Story Pirates of the Caribbean: Quest of the Black Dagger

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by vypernight, Apr 25, 2013.

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  1. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3
    I took a break from Star Wars to write a Pirates story. This takes place between the second and third movies, with new characters who have interacted with POTC characters at one point or another. POTC characters may make cameos here and there, but this is mostly about the new characters. Hope you enjoy!

    Pirates of the Caribbean

    Quest of the Black Dagger


    The setting sun glowed above the wall of the newly-renamed, "Fort Beckett," in St. Augustine. Soon, it would fall until it lit up the bay before cloaking the entire coast. Above, the few orange clouds glided by. And a breeze circled the courtyard, cooling those stationed inside the fort, and sending a chill to those being led to the gallows in the center of the fort's courtyard.

    The day's way too beautiful to die in, Ian thought as he was herded forward in line. A tall, thin boy in his late teens, Ian watched as the next group stepped onto the platform, standing side-by-side as East India Trading Company guards lowered ropes over their heads. Several of them looked terrified. One grown man even started crying. Then the executioner pulled the lever, and Ian winced and looked away as the floors dropped, and the bodies with them.

    Hearing crying behind him, Ian glanced back to see an older couple. although their wrists were shackled, they stood shoulder-to-shoulder, comforting each other in their final moments.

    "I love you, Harold," she said.

    "And I, you, Tamy," he said. "I'm sorry about Stormbrook."

    "And I, fer calling you a lumbering oaf."

    The line stopped as the next group stepped onto the platform, and Ian spied a guard standing not far to the side. Clutching his chest, Ian started coughing.

    "What's wrong with you," the guard, Ian remembered his name being Bates, asked standing over him.

    "The sea," Ian coughed. "The smell, it's awful." Turning, he leaned his face into Bates's shirt and began gagging into his chest.

    Bates shoved him away, until he landed against someone behind him. "Get off me!"

    "Sorry," Ian wheezed." I couldn't help it."

    "Well you won't have to worry about it for long," Bates chuckled. "In fact, you won't have to worry about anything at all soon."

    "What a cur," the voice of the one he landed against said. Ian turned to see the person and looked up. She stood a good fist taller, with crimson hair that barely reached her shoulders and dark eyes.

    "Apparently," Ian said. He introduced himself. "Ian."

    "Jade," she responded. Can you stand on your own or will I be carrying you to the ropes?"

    "You can carry me anywhere," Ian said, entranced.

    "Beg pardon?" Jade asked in less than polite tones.

    Ian smiled, looking into her eyes. "Well these could be our final moments in this world. We should spend them constructively."

    Jade glared down at him. "Have you bumped yer head, boy? We're about to lose ours!"

    "All the better for ending these moments together. He traced his fingers along her waist. "You could make this boy's final moments lovely ones indeed, if you're well and able." He brought his hands to the front of her belt and started moving to her thighs. "You seem able to-"

    Snarling in disgust, Jade pulled her right fist back and planted it right between the boy's eyes. He stumbled back but grabbed her belt and pulled himself back into her. Pushing his head back, Jade slammed her fist into his nose once, twice, and a third time before guards stepped in and pulled him away from her.

    "That little sprat tried to have ways with me!" Jade said, massaging her bloody knuckles.

    "You again," Bates said as he inspected the boy who was lying limply in the arms of two guards.

    Ian smiled weakly. "I just wanted to leave with glee."

    "Then perhaps the sooner the better. Charles, we're moving this whelp to the front of the line," Bates said, calling another guard over. "Let us end his misery.," He rolled his eyes. "and our own.

    Jade watched as the guards unhooked the boy from the chain, keeping only the shackles to his wrists as they dragged him to the platform. What in blazes did he hope for, she wondered, except to drop sooner. What a block-headed fool.

    Adjusting her belt, she felt a bump along the buckle. Slipping her fingers behind it, found a key. Jade looked up at the boy again and then remembered his earlier coughing into the guard's shirt. So, she thought, this was all a distraction. Cunning little imp, isn't he?

    She quickly released her wrists from the shackles and heard the couple behind her.

    "I'm sorry we couldn't see The Highlands, me love," Harold said.

    Looking up, Jade saw the guards dragging Ian up the steps of the gallows' platform. The boy, coughing again, had attracted quite a bit of attention from the nearby guards, and Jade took the moments and turned to the couple.

    Handing them the key, she said, "Here's another chance for ye."

    Tamy looked at her. "How the devil?" She then followed Jade's eyes to the platform and to Ian.

    "The devil indeed," Harold said, reading her thoughts as they quickly unhooked their shackles and passed the key behind them. "But we still ain't gettin' far with guards all over."

    "Perhaps," Jade said, watching Ian, "he has his entire escape well planned out."

    As Ian reached the platform, Bates grabbed him by the shoulder and led him to the ropes. "Your choice, whelp."

    Ian gazed over the ropes. "The last one. I wish to see the sun set as I drop."

    Bates chuckles as he led Ian to the rope. "If you stayed quiet and out of trouble, you might have seen the stars."

    "You first." Wit that, Ian threw his right fist, now free of the shackles, and punched Bates in the face. The guard stumbled back a step, but to Ian's wide-eyed surprise, he remained standing and punched back, sending the boy to the floor of the platform.

    "Wonderful plan," Harold observed, "for getting us all shot instead a hanged."

    "We're not there yet." Jade lunged for the closest guard punched him square in the jaw, sending him to the rocky ground in a heap. Stomping his head with her boot. she snatched his sword and used it to block the attack of another guard.

    A third guard tried to flank Jade, but Harold grabbed his arm and punched him, then kicked him in the ribs. "I love me wife," he declared, "and you ain't takin' her!"

    Back on the platform, Bates grabbed Ian by the shirt and dragged him to his feet. "Is that the best you can punch, boy?" he asked.

    Ian's glassy eyes suddenly focused. "No." With the chains of his shackles wrapped around his left fist, he punched Bates in the jaw. The guard fell back against the platform's beam, and Ian lunged forward, tackling Bates and sending them both hurling to the ground below. He punched the guard once more and then fiddled with his pockets.

    Another guard rushed forward and swung his sword down, but Ian caught it with his chain-wrapped hand. Falling back, he threw the guard, causing him to crash into the fort's wall. He then threw himself forward and punched the guard cold. Looking down at his hand, Ian said, "Okay, I'll admit that was stupid.."

    Seeing more guards running toward him, he rushed up the steps to the top of the wall. He looked over the side and saw the grass far below. Not nearly the best way to escape. He ran along the wall and ducked just as a pistol shot struck the stone behind him. "Are you daft?" he asked the guard, who stood on the steps with his pistol drawn. "You'll kill someone!" The guard then pointed the pistol at Ian again. "Oh," he said, breaking into a sprint along the wall.

    Though busy fighting yet another guard, Jade jolted as she heard the gunshot. Looking up, she saw Ian running atop the wall as another guard chased him, pistol in hand. The guard she was fighting attempted to take advantage of the distraction to strike her throat, but she dodged, swatted his blade aside, and shattered his noase with her fist. "Looks like he's in trouble again."

    "We 'ave our own problems right now," Harold said, slashing a guard across the chest. Leaning over the man, he snatched the keys off his belt. Turning to prisoners who were still in chains, he said, "Here lads, make yerself useful," and tossed them the keys.

    The scene of what once was a mass execution had turned into a rout as prisoners clashed with guards. The one shooting at Ian paused to inspect the chaos, and Ian used that moment to gain some distance. He spotted a guard attempting to arm the cannon as an alert and hit him with a flying knee strike. The guard's head bounced off the side of the cannon and he crumpled off the wall. "No need to bother your bosses just yet," Ian said, continuing his run.

    "Halt!" Bates yelled, and Ian turned to see him standing on the ground, his own pistol drawn. Three other guards joined him, all training their weapons on the boy.

    Ian glanced down below the platform, then smiling, said. "I'm standing over 1000," he corrected himself as he noticed the incredulous looks on the guards' faces, "100, okay a lot of gunpowder below me. Do you really wish to risk sending a spark there?"

    Bates lowered his pistol and the other guards followed. Then, they pulled out their swords and approached the stairs Ian had been running to. Ian spun around to find more guards behind him.

    Jade stabbed another guard and stood back-to-back with Harold. "Don't know about you, but I think we've 'bout overstayed our welcome."

    "Aye, by afar," he agreed. "Where's the way out?"

    "Here," Tamy shouted, lowering the drawbridge. "You leavin' or you plan to stay fer tea?"

    The three started through the doorway when Jade turned and looked up the wall. "Ian!" They saw him standing atop the wall with guards on both sides. The guards all held swords while Ian only held his shackles. Harold grabbed her arm. "What're you plannin,' to fight 'em all?"

    Ian looked around for any chance to escape, but guards surrounded him on the wall and others stood ready below near piles of wood, straw, and gunpowder. Then, noticing a torch on the wall, he grabbed it and stood directly over the gunpowder.

    "He's mad!" Tamy said.

    "He's daft!" Harold said.

    "He's Ian," Jade observed.

    Bates' eyes went wide. "You wouldn't. No sane man would."

    "You're right," Ian agreed, and dropped the torch, right into the gunpowder. Panicking, guards on both sides of Ian turned and took off running. On the ground, guards and prisoners stopped fighting, and bolted as well.

    Then the pile exploded, engulfing the entire wall in flames. Nearby piles of wood and straw caught fire, and soon, the entire courtyard turned into a chaos of flames and fleeing persons.

    Jade, Harold, and Tamy darted along the drawbridge before the explosion had occurred. A guard tried to stop them, but Harold and Jade knocked him off the bridge. He fell below and screamed as frightened animals trampled him.

    "Look!" Harold yelled, and they saw Ian running atop the wall. Seeing them, he looked over the wall but only saw a long drop below. Turning, he looked for a solution and found some rope. Wrapping it around the East India flag, Ian took a step back, then leaped over the wall, using the rope to swing around until he landed before the three.

    "How in blazes you pull that off?" an astonished Harold asked.

    "I didn't have many other choices," Ian answered as they took off running.

    Outside the fort, several men attended to horses and carriages. Jade leaped into the nearest carriage. "What an adorable animal," she said as she shoved the handler out.

    The other three joined her with Ian grabbing the reins. "You know how to drive this?" Jade asked.

    Ian held the reins ready, when he stopped for a moment and turned to her. "No, do you?"

    Behind them, Bates, and several other guards exited the fort. "There they are!" Bates yelled, firing his pistol into the air."

    "Outta the way, boy," Tamy said as she snatched the reins from him. "Ya!" she yelled, snapping the reins as they took off.

    "Which way?" Harold asked.

    "Into the city," Ian answered.

    Jade looked at him. "The city?"

    "Harder to shoot us with buildings around," Ian said, watching behind them. "I also need a few things."

    "By the way," Tamy said. "Thank ye for saving us, ma'am."

    Jade, still watching behind them, shook her head, "Too young for 'ma'am.' Name's Jade Thorn. And thank him," she said, motioning with her head to Ian. "He started all this."

    "Let's just say I fear death," Ian said, "and greatly so."

    "I'm Tamy Houser, bloke with no neck's me husband Harold. You got a name, boy?"

    "Ian Passer, now cut down that street."

    Tamy steered a carriage down a side street with some small shops and houses.

    "Stop here," Ian said, when they were in front of a tiny shop.

    "St. Agnes Publishers?" Harold asked, reading the sign, but Ian had already disappeared behind the building. They waited for several minutes, noticing lights from torches as guards searched through the small city.

    "Hurry Ian," Jade said, watching the store.

    "Halt!" They turned to see three guards standing before them, two pointing pistols and the third holding a rifle. "Drop 'em, madam," the one with the rifle said. Tamy dropped the reins and she and the others held their hands up.

    Suddenly, Ian emerged with a dagger against an old man's throat. "Drop the guns, gentlemen."

    The lead guard turned in surprise. "Mr. Cody? Are you okay?"

    "Drop them," Ian repeated, "or he won't be." The guards lowered their guns as ordered. "Go," Ian said to Tamy. "I'll find you." They disappeared around the corner, leaving Ian, Cody and the three guards.

    "Why are you doing this, son?" Cody asked. "I took you in and helped you."

    "That'll teach you who to trust," Ian said. "By the way, I'm taking this as well." He snatched a pouch from Cody's belt.

    "That's today's sales," Cody said in shock.

    Ian chuckled. "Pretend it's my advance." He then whispered into Cody's ear, "I just saved your life," and tossed him into the guards. One guard pointed his pistol, but Ian threw his dagger at the guard's hand, sending his shot wide. The boy then threw his shoulder into the guards and vanished down an alley.

    Tamy threw the reins sideways, making the horses dart down another street. "Any sign of Ian?"

    Jade, who had been watching every street they passed, shook her head. "Nothing."

    As if on cue, Ian appeared on the corner. Tamy stopped the horses, and he leaped aboard. "Thatn't very nice what you did to the man."

    "Mr. Cody?" Ian said. "I figured if they saw me threaten and rob him, they wouldn't be suspicious."

    Harold looked at him in surprise. "You robbed th' man too?"

    "Relax," Ian said. "He had several pouches on him. I stole the empty one." He looked at the streets. "Turn into the marketplace."

    "The marketplace?" Jade asked. "Did ya happen t' notice the lot of people there?"

    "Exactly," Ian answered, looking behind them. At least two guards had given chase on horseback. "They won't fire into groups of people."

    As they passed one shop, the sign above it exploded from a gunshot. Everyone in the carriage ducked. "They won' fire at th' people, ya say?" Harold asked.

    "Did ya forget they wanted to hang all those if they so much as breathed on by a pirate?" Jade asked, pulling out a pistol she had found on the carriage. She fired, and one guard's horse reared in horror, throwing the guard through a shop window. The other paused to check on his companion. "That'll by us a moment, go!"

    "We're runnin' out of street, friends," Tamy said as they rounded a corner and cut through another alley."

    "Turn at the' next street," Jade said. "I have an idea."

    "The woods?" Ian asked, but she just looked at him.

    Bates led his horse through the marketplace and to the end of the road until he found his guards standing behind the now-abandoned carriage. "Report."

    "They left the horses behind," Charles said. "They must have made a run through the woods."

    Bates examined the row of trees for a moment. "Charles, Scott, go after them. Archer and I'll circle around the trees. They can only run in so many directions."

    The guards took off on their searches, with Bates and Archer leading their horses around the outside of the woods. None of them, in their search, noticed the tiny rowboat and its four passengers that had just entered the bay.








  2. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2004
    star 5
    I like this Ian. [face_laugh][face_love] You had some great action going in this chapter, and I loved the black humour with the beginning. His escape was cunningly thought out, and I am eager to see where they all end up next. [face_thinking]

  3. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3
    Thanks. Hope you enjoy the rest as I write it. I wanted Ian to be very different from Sparrow but also interesting in his own way.
  4. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3

    Entering the loft, which had a few beds scattered around the room, the woman brought several bowls of food in. "Here you are, Jade," she said, handing out the bowls.

    "Thank you, Monica," Jade said, standing to help her. She handed bowls to Harold and Tammy, who sat on the edge of one bed, while Monica handed the last to Ian, who sat on the floor, his legs scrunched.

    "Thank you," Ian said, setting aside his small book and eagerly accepting the bowl. He quickly devoured the contents and seconds later, returned the bowl to Monica. "Great stew."

    "I would think so," Monica said in astonishment. "That be your third bowl this eve."

    "Escaping from inches of death tends to build your appetite," Ian replied.

    "Apparently," Jade said with a glare. "This food cost me friends a day of work."

    "You're right." Fishing through his pockets, Ian pulled out a handful of coins and handed them to Monica. "Thats should pay for the meals."

    "Thank you, kind sir," Monica said with a smile as she turned and left.

    Watching her leave as he sat again on the floor, Ian said, "She think's I'm kind."

    "Yer good at foolin' folks," Jade said. "Now pick yer jaw up. You act like you never seen a brothel 'fore."

    "That goes for ye too, Husband," Tamy said, elbowing Harold. She turned back to Jade. "So, ye worked here."

    Jade nodded. "Here, and others all over. I mostly handled the businesses and tossed bile-laden louts into the streets. That's how I almost made the gallows." She sipped some of her stew from her spoon. "Some so-called soldier got rough w' my friend so I tossed him out, makin' sure his head hit th' road." She looked at the window with fire in her eyes. "The' lout made my friend bleed, yet I'm the thug!"

    Tamy leaned forward, placing her hand on Jade's. "So sorry, dear. They're vile beings, yet be callin' us the monsters."

    "Aye," Harold said. "We sail these and the waters home since we're kids, me and Tamy." He locked eyes with his wife. We join the navy t'gether, got married a sea, and even helped build the ships out there."

    "What happened?" Jade asked.

    Harold huffed. "They say we talk funny, like pirates, so we must be pirates then. They also say we're planning to steal a ship." He shook his head. "We sailed on the ships since we walked. We could board any as if it'd our own. Why steal one?"

    Tamy sat on the bed next to Jade. "The sad part is we're planning to buy us a ship and sail together fer the rest o' our lives. We thought it'd be the way to spend out twilight years."

    "Speak for yerself," Harold said. "I'm a ways from me twilight years."

    "Oh, are ye now?" Tamy asked, mockingly. "I heard more cracks in yer bones than that ol' rat-trap we sailed back in Tortuga."

    "Oh yeah?" He challenged her. "Did ya see th' way that lass smiled t' me?"

    "Aye," Tamy answered. "She's amazed ye could sip stew with half yer teeth."

    Chuckling, Ian placed his book aside, removed his spectacles, and rubbed his eyes, yawning. "Quite a day."

    "So what's yer story, lad?" Tamy asked as the three turned to him.

    Ian shrugged. "I worked for a publisher in Salem and was on my way to Philadelphia when I boarded the wrong boat."

    "Ship," Harold corrected him. "They're ships."

    "The things on water," Ian said. "I ended up here and tried working to earn enough to return up north."

    "So how'd you wind up in the line?" Jade asked.

    "They said I sold a treasure map to a pirate, therefore I must be a pirate myself." He sighed. "First, I didn't know who he was save for being a customer, and second, it wasn't even a treasure map. It was just a map of landmarks in the area that anyone could buy."

    Jade thought for a moment. "He might've owned a treasure map but needed clearer locations."

    "Maybe," Ian agreed.

    "So what you reading?" Tamy asked, picking up book.

    "Verse I collected over the years," he said.

    "I didn' know you had trouble seein'," Jade said.

    "I don't," Ian said before realizing the were referring to his spectacles. "I just use them to read and for a few other things.

    Tamy flipped through the pages, "Fer Whom the Bell Tolls, Amoretti," she squinted. "Gads, boy, yer writing is atrocious!" She started reading a random page. "There once was an honorable lass, whose hearts was as big as her-" She slammed the book shut and tossed it back to a blushing Ian. "Interesting choices."

    "I try to be open to different ideas," Ian said, standing to stretch.

    "What's that among yer effects?" Harold asked, viewing his gear. He picked up a scope. "A spyglass? And a small one at that."

    "There's more to something than it's length," Ian said.

    Tamy nodded. "And if one would know, it be me husband."

    Harold looked back at her. "And how would ye know, Wife? Ye can barely see the hair below yer nose?"

    "But I can see the hair on yer back jus' fine."

    Harold grunted and placed the spyglass back before picking up a dagger with a black handle and a thin black blade with oddly-shaped teeth. "Ye an assassin boy?"

    "I have to defend myself somehow," Ian admitted. "Plus, I got a cache of those cheap." He turned to Jade. "So what's your plan? I doubt we're staying here for long."

    "Sorry to disappoint you," Jade said. "My friends found a ship leaving in the morning. We'll board, then go from there."

    "Works fer us," Tamy said. "The sooner we put water between us and those monsters, th' better."

    "Then I guess we better get some sleep," Harold said, dropping the dagger and lying on a bed next to Tamy.

    As Ian organized his gear, Jade approached him. "By th' way, sorry fer punching you earlier. You did save our lives."

    Ian stood and smiled. "I know you were falling for me."

    "Beg pardon?" She asked.

    "I don't ask for much," Ian said, "but you could do something to help me sleep."

    "That I could," she agreed. "Close yer eyes." Ian closed his eyes and waited with a smile on his face. The smile quickly disappeared though as Jade punched him in the face, sending him crashing onto a bed with his head hitting the wall.

    Grabbing his ankle, Jade pulled him until he lay flat on the bed and tossed a blanket on him. "Sweet dreams, Ian Passer. Yer quest is just begun."
  5. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3

    "Oh, my head," Ian groaned, rubbing his temple as he and Jade walked through the crowd along the docks.

    "That'll teach you t' watch yer step and not trip on yer own gear" Jade said, looking over the ships that were docked.

    Ian's eyes darted from person to person and he kept his hands along his belt, keeping his coat, with its pockets full of gear, close to his person. "What happened to the older couple?"

    "Mr. and Mrs. Houser said they needed t' pick up supplies," Jade said. "They'll be joining us soon. Ah, here we are, the Hawking."

    They stopped before a three-mast ship and strode up the boarding ramp. Around them, the crew brought supplies and gear to the ship, tested the rigging, and shouted orders and reports to one another.

    "I sailed all my life," Jade said as she gazed around the ship, "but every time I board these ships, I feel like a child."

    Ian jumped out of the way as a two larger crew members carried barrels past him. He glanced back long enough to read, 'Rum,' on both barrels. "Suddenly, I don't feel so confident about this."

    "Ye be fearin' the sea, do ye?" They turned to see a man step onto the deck, hunched over his crutch and eyeing them with his uncovered eye as his free hand ruffled through his own beard. "Tis be rough and th' stuff of nightmares. Pirates sails these waters. Monsters be dragging you to the locker." He leaned close and leered at Ian who quickly stepped back. "And if the ship be rocking, ye could be findin' yerself hurled ov'board. Can ye swim, laddie?"

    Ian looked to the side, taking in a breath. "Slightly."

    The man chuckled, then started a loud and bellowing laugh. "Well it won't be doing any good t' ye. If th' waves don't be ripping ye t' shreds, the fish be havin' tharselves a little meal o' ye." He patted his own stomach. "Ol' Hopper be makin' the meals on th' ship, but the fish there, well they eats whatever they be seeing in the sea with 'em. How feels you 'bout that, boy?"

    "I feels like I suddenly want a horse," Ian answered honestly.

    "Is there a problem, Mr. Hopper?" The three turned to see a woman in her late twenties step onto the deck. Her long dark hair was tie back in a pony tail, and she wore black pants, a dark green shirt and ablack jacket. Along with several pouches, a sword and several guns were strapped to her belt.

    "No, Cap'in," Hopper answered, "jus' be meetin' th' new blood."

    "Well you can meet the new blood once your kitchen's organized," she said. "I'd like us to be underway within the hour."

    "Aye, Cap'in." He turned to Jade. "Lassie." He sneered at Ian. "Lubber." He then disappeared below deck.

    Jade approached the woman. "You the captain?"

    "Olivia Reed," she said, "Captain of this bucket."

    "I'm Jade Thorn and this is Ian Passer. Monica said you have openings on the ship." Reed nodded.

    "You don't sound too pleased to be here," Ian observed.

    Reed sighed. "My previous ship, The War Song, was attacked and sunk by the East India Trading Company." She spat out the last few words. "My first mate, Old Tom Pistol, got himself a sloop and crew and set out on his own. I'm hoping to find the old dolt before he does something rash."

    She walked over to the helm and spun the wheel, and it continued spinning long after she let go. "The War Song was a living entity in itself. This hunk of rust, the wheel spins as loose as a governor's daughter at the ball." She glanced to the bow of the ship. "And she leans and drifts to starboard no matter how you angle the sails." She sighed, her eyes falling to the deck. "I've never been much to drink, but I fear I'll be into the rum within a day of our journey."

    "So yer without a first mate," Jade said. "I sailed with me father me entire life. I know th' ships well."

    Reed looked at her. "I'll judge that in time then. I expect my crew to prove themselves before I trust them as much, Miss Thorn. I've sailed with most of the crew here for years, and I trust every one of them with my life. I'll give you time to earn that saem trust, but for now, I can benefit most with you as a deck hand," she glanced at Ian, "and a cabin boy."

    While Jade was taking back by the statement, Ian merely nodded. "Fine by me as long as I can get back to Salem."

    "Salem?" Reed chuckled. "Mr. Passer, we're headed into the Caribbean, quite the opposite direction for you."

    Ian looked to her in shock. "But she said-"

    "She said I'd allow you aboard as crew," Reed cut him off, "but I never agreed to take you in a specific direction."

    "Well, if that's the case, forget it!" Ian turned and stormed off, pushing past crew as he made his way to the ramp.

    "Ian-" Jade tried to stop him, but he ignored her.

    "I hope you, your crew, and this, 'rust bucket,' as you call it have a nice little adventure." He pushed past Tamy and Harold, who slowly boarded the ship.

    "Permission t' come aboard, Captain," Tamy said, gazing slowly and wide-eyed over the ship.

    "Permission gran-" She stopped as Tamy walked right past her to the helm.

    "She still loose?" The older woman asked, running her fingers along the wheel.

    Reed eyed her curiously. "The helm? Well yes, when you turn it-"

    "She still lists to starboard?" Harold asked, cutting her off.

    "Yes," Reed answered, "how did you-" Before she could finish, Harold had already disappeared below the deck.

    Turning, Reed saw Tamy examining the wheel. "Ye always was a fussy one, weren't ye?" Removing her hairpin, she lowered herself to one knee and stuck the pin into a bolt in the wheel. Turning it slightly, she finally stood with a look of satisfaction on her face. "Try 't now, Captain."

    Reed spun the wheel, and this time it stopped almost after she let go. "How did you know that?"

    "We need some crates," Harold said, reappearing. He spotted a tall, bald man with dark skin. "Hey, friend, gi' me a hand w' this."

    Not moving, he looked to Reed, who glanced at the wheel for a moment before giving him both a nod. A moment later, the two carried a couple large crates onto the ship a below decks.

    "Sorry Ma'am," Tamy said. "Tamy Houser. That's me husband, Harold."

    "Olivia Reed," she said staring down the stairs.

    Stepping to the bottom deck, she found Harold throwing ropes over the crate, which were stacked to the port side of the ship's deck.

    "Take this, friend," Harold said to the tall man. "Secure 't to th' deck."

    The man looked at Reed who nodded. "It's okay, Mr. Benjamin."

    After the two had secured the crates, Harold turned to Reed. "She should steer right straight now fer ye, Captain."

    As they walked back up the stairs, Tamy slipped her arm into Harold's and giggled. "I can't believe we're back 'board th' Hawking."

    Reed looked at them "You served on this ship before?"

    "Aye," Harold said proudly. "We're with her first crew." As they emerged outside, Harold stepped away and ran his fingers along the wooden rail. "Captain, she may n't look like much, but the lass's got heart."

    Tamy smiled. "God hisself must be smilin' down on us to return us here."

    Harold grunted, rolling his eyes. "If God was so smilin' on me, I'd be dead by now, Wife!"

    Tamy glared at him. "Well th' day ain't over yet, Husband!"

    "Brings me confidence in my future love life," Reed said. She looked at the two. "What part of the crew were you here?"

    "I fixed her up, inside and out," Harold said.

    "And I steered 'er through the ugliest masses of storms," Tamy answered.

    Harold chuckled. "Speaking of, 'ugly,' you-"

    "I understand," Reed cut him off. "Mr. Houser, welcome aboard as ship's carpenter. Mrs. Houser, welcome aboard as helm officer. Mr. Passer was to be our cabin boy, but he fled on us already."

    "Oh I'm sure we haven't seen the last of him," Jade said.
    "Try tricking me aboard and I don't get to go home," Ian grumbled as he wandered through the streets, occasionally glancing back. "You actually think I want to 'adventure' on the seas? I don't even like to fish off the likes. Hell, I don't even like fish." He started to wander into a random shop, "You can take your, 'aye, Captain,' 'he be a land lubber,' 'batten down the hatches,' and shove them up your see-loving-"

    Looking back as he entered the shop, he walked right into someone and fell back against the wall. The person, a muscular man with tanned skin, long dark-red and brown dreadlocks tied with jewels, ears pierced at the top corners with what looked like bones, jagged scars across his face that resembled claw marks of some wild animal, and soulless-gray eyes, glared down at him.

    "So who is this as he can just walk right into Adissa?" He stepped forward, placing his fist against Ian's chest and lifting him a few inches off the ground. "You watching your step, boy, or you find yourself walking into the devil's hands."

    Ian made a face. "The devil ever bathe?" A second later, he realized what he said and how it may not have been the best response in this situation.

    Adissa narrowed his eyes and bared rows of blood-soaked teeth. "You defying Adissa, boy? How you like your skin peeled and your bones used to pick Adissa's teeth? You no wanna step in Hell with Adissa. You begging the devil let you burn."

    Behind the counter, the shopkeeper spoke up. "Could you please take that outside? We don't want any trouble."

    "Then don't interrupt Adissa when he speaks!" He pointed silver-fingernailed finger at the shopkeeper as he yelled, looking at the older man.

    This meant he no longer was looking at Ian, and the boy took advantage of the distraction. Grabbing Adissa's wrist with both hands, he drove the heel of his foot into the larger man's shin. Adissa yelled out in pain and backhanded Ian, who flew out the door and landed in the street. Looking up, Ian felt the ground shake as Adissa stomped forward. Standing, he turned to run.

    "You not getting from Adissa so easy!"

    Instead of running, Ian leaped and grabbed the shop's sign, with the momentum first carrying away from the store. But when it swung back, he kicked the opening door with all his might and heard a crashing sound, the upper part of the door bursting to splinters.

    Ian dropped to one knee and waited as the door slowly reopened to reveal a furious Adissa. Then the big man's eyes glazed and rolled into the back of his head, and he fell back, crashing through a table.

    Leaping on him, Ian fingered through his pockets and retrieved a handful of coins. Tossing a few to the shopkeeper, he said, "He expresses his regrets for the mess," pocketed the rest, and raced out the door.
    "All hands aboard!" Reed shouted as her crew brought the rest of the supplies onto the ship. "Mr. Foote, see to it that all lines are cast. Mr. Turnbuckle, Mr. Calob, release the sails." Without turning, she noted a crewmember passing behind her. "Mr. Temple, secure your cannons." She looked back and smiled slightly. "Why am I not surprised that you brought that aboard?"

    Zahodan Foote, a middle-aged man with long unruly hair on both his head and face and wearing a sweat-soaked, short-sleeve black shirt turned to face Reed. "All lines cast, Captain!"

    "Good, drop the boarding ramps."

    Just before Foote dropped the last ramp, Ian leaped aboard the ship. "I changed my mind, Captain Reed. This is a lovely vessel, and I can't for us to make way."

    Reed eyed him curiously. "Why the change in heart, Mr. Passer?"

    "No time, Captain," Ian said, running past her. "You said yourself, 'Make Sail!' These waters aren't going to sail themselves."

    Reed and Jade watched Ian as disappear around the corner of the deck. "Why do I get the feeling I''ll soon regret his being aboard." Reed then turned. "Mrs. Houser, ease to port, bring us into the bay."

    "Aye," Tamy responded, "Off we go!"

    As the ship left the dock and entered the bay, Ian peeked over the railing and saw Adissa. The big man stomped around the dock, hurling curses in all directions, and kicking crates and he searched around. "Where you. Boy? Adissa find. You! Adissa skin. You! Adissa drag you. to Hell! Where you. Boy! Where are. You!"

    Ian ducked back below the railing as the Hawking disappeared into the bay.
  6. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2004
    star 5
    You have a great cast of characters going here. I love your dialogue, how you write everybody's 'voices'. And I am definitely hooked to see what comes next. :D

    Great job so far! =D=
  7. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3
    Thanks. It's been a challenge keeping everyone from sounding the same, though since pirate-speech has a number of variations, I can use different ones on different characters. However, I'm trying my best to not go overboard, except for a few characters, like Hopper, where it fits the character.
  8. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3

    "It wasn't my fault."

    Major Bates fidgeted as Colonel Greer stared down at him. "You had one job, Major," he said, emphasising the other's rank. "Oversea Fort Beckett and this town while presiding over the executions of pirates. Less than a month later, you nearly allowed half the pirates to escape and nearly burn down the fort!"

    "I didn't have enough men to stand guard," Bates protested. "When the pirates revolted, we were badly outnumbered."

    "They were shackled!" Greer yelled, forcing Bates back a step. "You had guns, and you still failed!" He turned away and walked to the doorway, stopping as he glanced out the door. "I can't wait to see you explain this to Strouse."

    Bates gulped and resumed his stand at attention as General Kaiser Strouse entered the room. Strouse, a man in his late fourties, stood shorter than Bates, but his wide shoulders and accusing glare made him more than an imposing force. He wore a blue jacket with EITC emblems and rank metals, and his graying moustache matches his short wig.

    For a moment, Strouse simply stared at the younger man while standing barely a foot away. Then his expression softened somewhat and took on more of a stoic look.
    In a gravely but base tone, he said, "While Lord Beckett removes the last dying pockets of opposition in the Caribbean, we are to ensure that the East India Trading Company continues its expansion." He turned to view a map on the wall. "With the English, French, Dutch, and Spainish at each other's throats over every grain of dirt, their colonies suffer as does their business. They have more than proven they cannot control anything beyond their own soil."

    Turning, he paced the room with his hands behind his back. "Thus falls this task to us. We're to control this side of the world, and because we will not fight one another, we alone shall grow economically." He peered out the window, over the damaged fort. "I was in the colonies, making plans to extend our arm all the way to Nova Scotia, when I hear that routine executions have fallen to explosive rout." Spinning, he returned to facing Bates, his eyes resuming their deathly glare. "Explain."

    Bates took a deep breath. "You're correct sir, they should've been routine. But a small group escaped and freed the rest. It all started when one boy-"

    "A boy?" Greer asked. "You're blaming your incompetence on a child?"

    "Not a child," Bates corrected, "a young man. He somehow stole my keys, freed the small group of prisoners, attacked my guards, and caused most of the damage to this fort."

    "Does this 'young man' have a name?" Strouse asked impatiently.

    Bates sighed. "No one we know, sir. The records office was destroyed in the fire, and the shopkeeper he threatened claimed he never saw the boy before."

    "I see." Strouse turned on his heels and again looked out the window. "Major Bates, you were tasked with simple duties and you failed to fulfill them. The only conclusions I can draw are that you were either unable or unwilling to fulfill your tasks." He looked to Greer. "He was trained, was he not?"

    Greer nodded. "He was, by His Majesty's best, sir."

    Strouse looked back to Bates. "That means you were unwilling, which means you sympathize with these pirates, and that you are one as well."

    "No, of course not," Bates protested. "I swear, my allegiance is to-"

    "Colonel," Strouse said, still watching Bates. Greer whistled and two guards entered. Without removing his gaze, the older man said, "Men, Mr. Bates has confessed to piracy. Find him a room. Once you repair the gallows, move him to the front of the line."

    "Yes, sir." The two shackled Bates and led him from the room. Pnce they were gone, Strouse turned to Greer.

    "Colonel, see to it that shackles are attached to prisoners' wrists And ankles. I plan to reccommend the same to Lord Beckett as he does the same in Port Royale."

    "I'll see to it personally, sir," Greer said.

    Strouse turned to leave when a shorter, overweight guards stepped to the doorway. "Major Bates, sir."

    "This is a private meeting, Lt. Archer. You better have a good reason-"

    "Report," Strouse cut in, suddenly interested in what Archer was holding.

    Archer entered the room and held the blade out. "We searched the forest but found no trace of escape."

    "You found something though?" Strouse asked, indicating the small blade in Archer's hands.

    "Yes sir." Archer held it out. "The boy was armed with this, and he threw it at our guards before disappearing."

    Strouse snatched the blade out of his hands. "That will be all." He turned away before Archer had left and brought the weapon into the sunlight at the window.

    "It's a black dagger," Greer observed, stopping by his side.

    "It is," Strouse said. Clutching the handle, he looked out at the water. "Which means He is here."

    Greer looked at him curiously. "Who is?"

    "The Black Dagger," Strouse answered, contemptuously, "a rather clever theif who terrorized nobles in the colonies for years. We named him so as he would leave a black dagger behind, to either flaunt his deeds or to taunt us for failing to catch him." Carving the blade into the stone, he said, "If he's hear, then we best double our efforts to stop him."

    "But if he's just a boy," Greer said, "how much of a threat could he be?"

    Strouse turned and now Greer felt his icy gaze. "At least in the colonies, he could only run so far. Here, with waters leading to all direction, he could escape and terrorize anywhere." He leaned out the window. "We are no longer hunting a thief. As we speak, he most likely is taking his first steps to ruling the seas as a deadly pirate."
  9. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3
    Ian clutched the ship's railing as he vomited over the side. Then, he collapsed, sitting against the railing as he wiped his mouth, tears streaming down his face.

    Jade, who had been mopping the deck, watched him in disbelief. "That's th third time since we left dock. Are ye that much of a landlubber?"

    Ian shook his head, covering his face. "What was I thinking?"

    "I don' know how you have this much trouble," Jade said, leaning on her mop. "I grew up sailing with me father." She looked out over the water. "At night, I'd make meself a bed on the deck and stare at th' sea. I'd fall asleep as the ship 'd rock back and forth, back and forth, rolling over th' waves."

    Covering his mouth, Ian spun around, and let loose again over the side of the ship.

    Chuckling, Jade patted his shoulder. "Not much in yer element now, are ye?"

    Coughing, Ian raised his head to counter when he spotted something in the distance. Pulling out his spyglass, he pointed it over the ocean.

    "What's wrong?" Jade asked.

    "I don't know. Hey, Calob!" he yelled, looking up at the crow's nest. The nest shook with playing cards and coins, and flying out, and then Calob stuck his head out.

    "You mind? he asked, rubbing his eyes. "I was dreamin' of me, a mermaid, some rum, a warm lake, ivory stones-"

    "Look out over there," Ian said, pointing where he had been looking. "See anything?"

    Calob looked through his own spyglass in the direction Ian had pointed. Cursing in a language Ian didn't comprehend, he lowered his scoped and cupped both hands around his mouth. "Ship Ho! Captain to deck!"

    A minute later, Reed stepped onto the deck. "You said a ship?"

    "or what's left of it," Ian said. He had climbed the ropes and was now just below the crow's nest, looking again through his own scope.

    "Aye," Calob agreed. "It's in pieces an' on fire."

    Reed raised her own spyglass and looked in the direction. "Mrs. Houser, bring us in closer."

    They approached the wrecked ship with pieces of it slowly sinking into the ocean. Jade and Reed slowly approached the railing as they looked on in horror.

    "The decks," Jade said, "they're covered in blood."

    "And the sea is soaked in it," Reed observed. What on Earth happened here?"

    "Captain," Ian said, again looking through his scope, "another ship in the distance."

    "Colors?" Reed asked, not taking her eyes from the grisly sight before them.

    "Black flag," Ian answered, "white skull with what looks like teeth."

    "It looks like demon's skull," Calob added.

    "Doesn't sound like they're friendly." She looked up at the two. "Stow your scopes, gentlemen. They might see the sun's reflection."

    "I doubt it," Ian said. "We're too far for them to notice us."

    Suddenly, two cannon balls chained together flew by, just missing Ian as he hugged the ropes.

    "Care to amend that statement, Mr. Passer?" Reed looked back. "All hands, we've got company! Mrs. Houser, keep the wrecked ship between us as best you can." She
    looked through her scope again. "Looks like a frigate, and a frightfully-armed one at that."

    "We can still get away," Jade said. She turned to Tamy. "Bring us about and into the wind."

    "Belay that," Reed said. "Mr. Turnbuckle, Mr. Foote, secure the sails. Mr. Calob, raise the white flag."

    Jade spun toward her. "You're giving up?"

    "They out-gun us four-to-one," Reed said, watching as the ship got closer. "And if we try to run, they'll cut our sails to ribbons. That last shot was merely a warning or our whole deck would be on fire by now." She walked over to the steps. "Mr. Temple, at your ready!" She looked up at the crew who had assembled on the top deck. "That goes for the lot of you." She turned back to watch the ship as the crew hurried to their stations.

    The frigate sailed around the wreckage until it reached the Hawking's broadside. The crew, with tanned skin and painted faces, leered at Reed and her crew. As the enemy crew brought their gangplanks to connect the ships, a tall man stepped out and faced Reed and Jade.

    "I am. Captain Adissa!"

    "Uh oh," Ian said, hiding his face behind the crow's nest.

    "Commanding the Blutanz! You. Are at. Our Mercy!"

    "Olivia Reed, Captain of the Hawking." If Reed was nervous, she didn't show it. Her voice stayed calm and proud. "We surrender, Captain Adissa."

    "What are ye doing?" Jade asked turning so Adissa couldn't see her speak and reach for her said.

    "Stay your hand, Miss Thorn," Reed said, lowering her head and voice slightly.

    "Are you having a problem with your crew, Captain?" Adissa asked.

    "No problem," Reed answered, meeting Adissa's eyes again. "As I said, we surrender."

    "Good," Adissa said with a huge smile. "Adissa's crew are hungry again for tender morsels."

    "We stocked enough food for two week's journey," Reed said, suddenly noting the deck of Adissa's ship was also covered in blood, as were his crew.

    Adissa started laughing in a way that turned Jade pale. "No, no, Captain. Adissa's crew will no be taking your food. Adissa's crew will be taking your crew. As food."

    "Did I just hear that?" Calob asked quietly as he watched from the crow's nest.

    Ian shuddered. "I guess after he breaks down the other ship, his pirates eat the crew."

    Calob shrugged to keep from shuddering himself. "Well, saves on cargo space."

    "You will stay standing on deck," Adissa continued, "as Adissa's crew deal with your people."

    "But, but I surrendered," Reed said, her voice breaking.

    "Adissa tells you what," he said with a grin, "Since you so easily surrendered, Adissa will let you and you alone live."

    Reed gulped. "I . . . I see."

    "Are ye daft, Captain?" Jade asked. She reached for her sword.

    "Stay your hand, Miss Thorn," Reed said quietly.

    "If ye think I'm throwing meself to these scabrous-"

    "I said Stay Your Hand!" Reed's pistol was out, pointing directly at Jade's head, and Adissa's hand immediately fell to his sword as he watched the two. For a moment, the two held each other's glare, then Jade reluctantly lowered her hand, dropping it by her side. "Thank you, Miss Thorn." Then, to everyone's surprise, Reed replaced her pistol to her belt clasping her hands behind her back.

    "Ye set us up," Jade said through clenched teeth.

    "All part of the plan," Reed answered. Turning back to Adissa, she asked, "So what will happen to me then?"

    Adissa smiled. "You will stay in Adissa's chambers and serve as Adissa's personal servant," he leered at her, "in so many ways."

    "I see," Reed said, glancing at the gangplanks before looking back to Adissa. "Very well then," she said in a voice, Jade noticed, that was much louder than necessary. "We will do everything in our power to cooperate with you."

    Then, the Hawking's cannon's fired, striking the Blutanz's hull at close range. The enemy ship rocked with the blast, throwing its crew off the planks and into the water between the ships.

    Adissa's eyes went wide as he was thrown against the railing. Regaining his balance, he looked up to see Reed pointing her pistol at him. But the ship shook from more blasts and threw him back, the pistol's shot missing head by mere inches.

    "Mrs. Houser," Reed said, "Flutter the tiller."

    Jade caught herself against the mast as the Hawking turned back and forth in place. Below, she heard screams from Adissa's crew as they were crushed between the two ships.

    More of the crew appeared and rushed the plank, but Jade pulled her sword out and met them with vicious attacks that sent them staggering. This time, Reed made attempt to stop her, and in fact, by the time Jade glanced in her direction, the captain had dropped three other crew members with her pistol.

    Seeing their felllow crew members fall, several more assembled at the plank swords ready. They started to dash forward but froze in their tacks as they spotted Jade, standing at the end of the plank, with her sword ready. "'ello boys!"

    In the crow's nest, Calob ducked down and held onto the mast as the Hawking rocked back and forth. Ian though lost his grip as was tossed through the air. He tried to grab the Blutanz's mast, but his fingers lost their grip, and he fell to the ship's deck. Rolling away from the crew, he fell again, landing before double wooden doors with glass windows.

    Meanwhile, Jade stabbed a pirate and before she had even pulled her sword out of his gut, she spun and kicked another pirate in the head. Another tried to flank her, but she ducked down and flipped him over her. He smashed his skull against the railing and disappeared into the sea, leaving behind a pool of blood.

    She spun to repel more boarders when the railing in front of her exploded. "Step back," Reed ordered, "they have a Murdering Piece."

    Jade looked up to see a pirate aiming a smaller cannon toward her, and she moved behind the deck as the gunner cackled. Then Reed appeared and fired, shooting the man right between the eyes.

    "Thanks," Jade said.

    "Back to your post," Reed ordered as more pirates charged the planks. Jade lunged forward and kicked plank. One pirate fell between the ships but the other landed on the Hawking's deck, laughing smugly. But Jade slashed him across the chest and kicked him right off the ship.

    Meanwhile, Reed's pistols clicked as they ran out of ammo. Ducking behind the mast, she replaced them to her belt and pulled out two more. Spinning into view, she fired, dropping two more pirates.

    "How many of those ye have?" Jade asked.

    "Never enough," the captain said, her weapons searching for another target.

    Entering through the double doors, Ian found a multi-room chamber. To one side was a smaller room with a bed and table. In the main room though, Ian saw a large desk, stacks of flags, bloody skulls on the wall (animal and otherwise), several small chests and one larger one. He inspected the larger one but found it locked. He started reaching into his pockets when he heard whimpering from the other room.

    Ian entered the room to find a dog with light brown fur chained to the wall. "Hey, Pooch." He examined the chain and found the lock. Pulling a dagger out of his pocket, he jimmied the lock and pulled the chains off the animal. "I have a feeling you were supposed to be dinner. Let's get you out of here."

    Leaving the dog, Ian returned to the previous room. As the ship trembled from yet another blast, he decided he didn't have time to raid the entire room. Spying plates of coins on the desk, he pocketed what he could, then turned to the door,

    to find a livid Adissa standing before him. "You again," he snarled. "You trying to steal from Adissa, boy?" A pistol appeared in his hand. "Adissa will steal your heart and have it for dinner."

    Just then, another blast rocked the room, knocking Adissa into the wall. When he stood up, he found Ian holding the pistol. "You going to shoot Adissa?" He pointed to his chest. "Shoot Adissa then."

    "Let's see you smile now," Ian said and fired, destroying a skull behind Adissa.

    The bigger man glanced back, and with a laugh , approached Ian until his chest met the pistol's barrel. "Go trying to shoot Adissa now."

    Ian pulled the trigger, but the gun clicked. Growling, Adissa back-handed him, sending him into one of the chests. He then picked up the gun and pointed it at him. "You need to cock it first," he pulled the hammer back, "like this," and pointed it at Ian.

    Ian backed up until he met the wall. Reaching back, his fingers found one of his daggers. Pointing past the large pirate, he screamed, "Krakan!" Adissa looked behind him and remembered too late that the wall held no window. As he turned back, Ian hurled a dagger at him, and Adissa screamed as the blade sliced across his face. Dropping his pistol, he clutched his face, cursing in his language.

    Ian lunged for the door, but Adissa caught his shirt. "You paying for what you did to Adissa!"

    Suddenly, the dog leaped out, knocking Adissa to the ground. The pirate rolled onto his back and fought with the dog, but Ian kicked the man in the head. As the larger man
    lay stunned, Ian and the dog raced out the door.

    Around him, enemy pirates raced around as the ship rocked back and forth. "She's taking on water!" someone yelled from the nearby steps to a lower deck. Running to the aft deck, Ian climbed the mast as high as he could. When the ship rocked again, he leaped and caught then Hawking's mast, dropping himself to the deck right behind Reed.
    She spun around, pointing her pistol at him.

    "Mr. Passer, so you finally appeared from hiding," she said before returning to shooting enemy pirates. Another pirate manned the murdering piece right at Reed, when the dog suddenly appeared. rushing around the deck, it slammed into the pirate, causing him to shoot the deck of his own ship.

    Aboard the Hawking, Benjamin was kicking away the last gangplank connecting the ships when Jade stopped him. "Wait, the dog." She called out to the animal, "Come here, fella!" Barking, the dog leaped forward, landing on the Hawking's deck. A moment later, Jade and Benjamin kicked the last plank free.

    Standing on the deck of his sinking ship, Adissa cursed at Reed. "You shrewish. Vile, wretched. Haggish little-"

    "Now now," Reed said, "that's no way to talk to a lady."

    Adissa snorted and spit in her direction. "You. Surrendered!"

    "First," Reed said, "you attacked my ship without provocation. Second, you threatened to consume my crew after I had surrendered. And third," she tilted her head slightly, and in a sing-song tone, said, "Pirate." She pointed her pistol at his head.

    "Captain," Calob called from the crow's best, "another ship in the distance."

    Reed looked up. "Colors?"

    "East India," he replied.

    With a smirk, Reed returned her pistol to her belt. "Well, Captain Adissa, you're their problem now. I'm sure the EITC would love to know about a pirate ship full of cannibals."
    She turned away. "Mr. Turnbuckle, release the sails! Mrs. Houser, get us out of here, south by southeast."

    Adissa continued stomping around his ship. "You will. Pay for this! Adissa will find you! Adissa will hunt you down!" He grabbed his belt and tried to stand tall, which wasn't easy as his ship started to tilt. "You will counting your days until Adissa feasts on your-" He then started touching around the sides of his belt. "Keys. "Where are the keys?"
    He disappeared into his chambers as his crew worked desperately to keep the ship afloat.

    Aboard the Hawking, the dog wandered up to Ian with keys in his mouth. "Good boy," he said, slipping the keys in his pocket.

    "Mr. Houser!" Reed called out, and a minute later, Harold appeared on deck. "Damage?"

    "Nothing serious," he said, "but I'll be checking the hull to make sure."

    "Thank you," she said. Glancing at Jade, she said, "Excellent work, Miss Thorn." Stepping to the steps, she noticed Ian. "Perhaps, in the future, you'll muster the courage to join in as a member of the crew, Mr. Passer."

    "Right," Ian replied, walking away.

    "Now if you'll excuse me, I need to recognize Mr. Temple for his fine work with the cannons and to double his shares as well."

    As Reed walked down the steps, Jade petted the dog. "Well now, I see we've got a new member of th' crew. Welcome aboard, pup."
  10. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2004
    star 5
    Ack, that was some great, but disturbing action. Adissa and his crew sure were a pill, that's for sure. I really, really liked Reed in this chapter. And the dog! That was a great touch. [face_laugh]

    Another great couple of updates. =D=
  11. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3
    My friend told me, for it to count as fanfiction, I needed characters from the movies, so I used the dog. Adissa's basically my version of Davey Jones, but without any magic. I also wanted to have fun with the line from Jurassic Park; "When the ride breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists."
  12. NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    I'm two chapters in and already totally in love with Ian :D Great job! I can't wait to catch up :D
  13. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3
    Thanks! Hope you enjoy the rest.
  14. NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    I have a baaaaad feeling about Adissa (just finished Chapter 3).
  15. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3

    Jade Thorn wandered past the bunks of sleeping, crewmembers who enjoyed much-needed rest after the recent battle. Even the newest member of the crew, the dog they found on Adissa’s ship, rested on a hammock, snoring as loudly as some of the crew.

    Stepping out onto the deck, she saw Hopper approaching Ian, who lay uncomfortably against the railing, his pale face revealing his lack of love for the sea.

    “Here, boy,” Hopper said as he tossed Ian a small bag, “be chewin’ on these a clear yer belly.”

    Ian caught the bag. “What’s this?”

    “Ginger leaves. Good fer stomachs weak a yers.”

    Ian opened the bag and looked inside. “Thanks.”

    Hopper scoffed. “No needs a thanking me, boy. I just wants my hard-worked food to stay in yer gullet fer longer.” He started to leave, then looked back. “That stuff ain’t cheap. Wants more, get it yerself next time we makes a port.”

    Jade chuckled at the exchanged, then turned as she heard music playing nearby. Leaving the duo, she walked along the deck of the ship, until she found Captain Reed standing at the bow and playing a mournful melody on her flute. The cool breeze meanwhile lifted her tune and carried over the ship and crew.

    Jade stopped next to Reed, resting against the railing. Reed, noticing her new company, stopped playing and held her flute in contemplation while gazing over the approaching sea. “You handled yourself well today, Miss Thorn.”

    “Sorry fer doubting you, Captain,” Jade replied.

    Reed nodded. “Most of the crew sailed with me long enough to know our plans, but I didn’t have time to educate the rest of you.” She turned, leaning back against the railing while propping one foot to the hull. “I just had to hope you’d trust I knew what I was doing.”

    Jade stared down at the ship’s hull. “I didn’ exactly trust as well, did I?”

    “Actually,” Reed said, “you did quite well in convincing Adissa so it worked out.” She straightened. “Hopefully now though you’ll allow yourself a little more confidence in your captain.”

    “I’ll try but no promises,” Jade said. She looked in Reed’s direction. “By th’ way, I never fancied you playing a tune.”

    Reed studied her flute. “Two of my loves, music and the sea. The tune, ‘Rappelez-moi,’ is for the third, who was claimed by the sea itself.”

    “Lost love, aye, I know that all too well,” Jade agreed, looking back over the water. “Not long ago, I lost the only man aside from me father th’ I ever loved.”

    “So we have something in common,” Reed said, returning her gaze forward as well. Raising her flute as if it were a bottle of wine, she said, “To lost loves.”

    Jade nodded in return, “He’s a scoundrel. He’d steal yer heart as soon as yer purse, but he’d hold yer heart to his.”

    “A matter of words, a gaze into his handsome eyes, and you were his just as you knew he was yours.”

    Jade smiled. “A wink, a touch, and ye melt as butter.”

    “The touch that you wished would never end,” Reed said, grinning to herself.”

    “There’ only one to hold yer heart so close,” Jade said.”

    “Only one,” Reed agreed.

    “Then, they both happily sang, “Captain Jack Sparrow!” A moment of confusion went by before both slowly turned to each other, their loving smiles replaced by glares of suspicion and much more. And the cool breeze carried the long, icy silence that followed.

  16. NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] Oh, Jack. What have you done :p

    I'm finally caught up and loving it! Adissa is a super-creep. Can't wait for more!
  17. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3
    Glad you're enjoying it. One of the reasons I set it up between the second and third movies is because I thought it'd be funny to have a love triangle where the third person is dead. I didn't do much writing this week because I'm fighting off a cold, so the next chapter is pretty short. However, next week's should be longer, and it introduces a new addition to the heroe's group.
  18. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3

    General Strouse crossed the plank from his ship and found Greer on his, interrogating an incensed Captain Adissa. Greer’s crew rushed to salvage the Blutanz, and Adissa’s crew stood nervously nearby while their monstrous captain paced back and forth. “One ship. One petty little ship did all this!”

    “Report,” Strouse said, adding an air of threat to his voice.

    Greer turned to him. “We found Captain Adissa’s ship adrift and damaged, apparently attacked by rogue pirates.”

    Strouse turned to Adissa. “We paid you rid the seas of pirates, not to fail.”

    “Adissa. Not failed!” He picked up a stack of flags and tossed them at Greer. “All ships Adissa sunk. All pirates Adissa rid seas of.”

    “Save for the one who defeated you,” the general corrected, keeping to himself that he was genuinely impressed that Adissa’s single ship had amassed such a kill count. The mysterious captain was a deadly one indeed.

    Adissa narrowed his eyes and snarled. “Adissa not defeated. Captain surrendered. Then struck Adissa’s ship!”

    “They attacked under a white flag?” Greer asked. “Vile low-lifes like these are the very reason we drag them en masse to the gallows.”

    “No gallows for this captain,” Adissa scowled. “Adissa drag her to cabin and paint with her blood!”

    “Her?” Greer asked. “So they have women pirating ships now?”

    “It’s not an original concept,” Strouse answered. “Captain Gallows has terrorized British Ships for years.”

    Greer shook his head. “What is this world coming to?”

    “Adissa find Reed and show her why Adissa. Is the Devil.”

    “Cap’n,” said a grizzly voice from the steps, “Bessy’s drownin’!”

    The three men turned to see a stocky, bald man with a rusty gray beard limp onto the deck. Standing waist-high to the captain and to the general’s and colonel’s shoulders, he looked up bloodshot eyes. “I no be letting Bessy fall to Jone’s Locker! Be helping me, Captain!”

    Somewhat embarrassed, Adissa followed the short man down the steps. A few minutes later, the two reappeared, dragging a large cannon onto the deck.

    “We saves ya, me love,” the man said, hugging the cannon. “Thank ya, Cap’n for savin’ Bessy.”

    Strouse gazed down at the shorter man. “And you are?”

    “He Gabriel Lamb,” Adissa answered, “and his cannon’s the reason for all those flags.”

    “Limbo,” the man said, “me name’s Limbo, and th’ girl here with a sharp-tooth spit be Bessy.” He patted it affectionately. “When Bessy’s a-singin’, we be eatin’.”

    “Until your most-recent battle, though,” Greer said, “when you lost-“

    “Bessy an’ me never lost!” Limbo shot back, and even Greer stepped back. “If Cap’n ordered me to shoot, they be the ones in pieces!”

    “Adissa heard captain surrender. Entire crew heard surrender!”

    Limbo snorted. “Bessy should’ shot ‘em when we had th’ chance.”

    Ignoring him, Strouse asked Adissa, “Did this captain give you her name?”

    Adissa thought for a moment. “Reed. She call herself Reed.”

    “Olivia Reed?” Greer scoffed. “It’s no surprise then.”

    Strouse turned to him. “You know her.”

    Nodding, Greer said, “Unfortunately. She tried to join the British Navy when I did, thinking she could accomplish all a man could. When she failed, she tried to point fingers, to blame her lack of ability on everyone but herself.” He looked back to Adissa. “I strongly doubt she could captain a pirate ship though.”

    “She knows how to deceive though, which makes sense,” Strouse said, again looking to Adissa. “Did she give you that scar as well?”

    Adissa ran his fingers over his cheek. “No. Was the boy. The Boy did This!”

    “The boy?” Strouse and Greer looked at each other questioningly until Adissa handed the general the dagger.

    “With this!”

    “The black dagger,” Strouse said, studying the weapon for a moment before looking out over the water. “We’ve found him.”

    Greer considered for a moment. “He must be captaining the ship in secret. That’s the only explanation.”

    “Perhaps,” Strouse said. “Regardless, a dangerous knave and a false-tongued pirate captain joining forces means we best keep our senses sharp.” He turned and walked back to his ship. “Colonel,” he called behind him, beckoning Greer to follow.

    “What of Adissa and the Blutanz?” Adissa asked.

    “We will get you back to ridding us of scoundrels, Captain,” Strouse answered. “However, unless your successes far outnumber your failures, we will remove further costs from your pay.”

    As they walked away from Adissa, Strouse said. “You know too well this must remain covert. If anyone were to learn of our paying a monster to eliminate pirates for us, it could threaten the very empire Lord Beckett seeks to create, and any place for us to command in it.”

    “I understand sir,” Greer said. “But I can’t agree with your decision to allow him to crew his ship with,“ he shuddered. “cannibals.”

    Strouse nodded. “He chose his own crew from that island he discovered. Plus it eliminates the threat of survivors. Let Lord Beckett interrogate any pirate he finds. I personally prefer them all out of our world.”

    The general stopped at the plank to his ship. “How soon can your crew complete repairs at sea?”

    Greer glanced back at his crew. “A week.”

    “Good,” Strouse said. “Complete them and return to port as soon as you can, and also give the crew of the Blutanz provisions.”

    “Yes sir,” Greer answered.

    Strouse started to board his ship when he paused. “Give them six days’ worth. That should motivate them for future encounters.”

  19. NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Colds are the worst. You feel like crap and you can't take anything for them.

    Great chapter! I'm really interested in this black dagger and Ian. Can't wit for more!
  20. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3

    “Here’s th’ list of what I need to fix up ‘er up for yer,” Harold said, handing a piece of paper to Reed. “Also, I be wanting parts on hand, case we be meetin’ more foes on the seas.”

    Reed examined the list as the crew docked the Hawking at the town of Andros. “I’ll give you what you need to cover the expenses,” she said. “I’m already sending Ms. Thorn into town for supplies as well.”

    A few minutes later, Reed gave Jade and Harold the needed funds, and they made their plans to journey into the town.

    “Mr. Benjamin,” Harold said to the taller man, “I could use yer help in haulin’ it all back to ship.”

    Benjamin looked to Reed, who nodded her head. “I’ll go with you.”

    “Great, let’s slog on then.” He slapped the big man on the back. “And while we’re out, I’m buyin’ us a round. You ever a Hag’s Head Grog?”

    “What’s a hag’s head?” Benjamin asked with a confused look.

    Harold glanced back behind them. “It’s what’s sittin’ on me wife’s shoulders!” He grabbed his chest while laughing loudly, leaning against the taller man. Noticing Tamy’s glare, Benjamin smartly kept quiet while returning his attention to the landing ramp.”

    “I heard that, ye slack-jawed louse!” Tamy shot back. “And the view from me end could stop a clock.”

    “Mark mine, the view from me end could launch a thousand ships right into Davey Jone’s murky, smelly-“

    “Well, good luck and be safe,” Reed cut in. She turned to Jade who was followed by Ian and the dog. “I see you’re taking the petty animal with you.”

    “Aye,” Jade agreed. “I’m taking the pooch here fer a walk as well.” She smirked at Ian.

    Ignoring Jade, Ian looked to Reed. “I’m picking up more ginger for my stomach after Hopper kicked me out of his stores.”

    “Did I that!” Hopper said, pointing his crutch in the boy’s direction. “The feeble welp be running me crates dry! And fer a stringy, he eats like a herd a bulls!”

    As they descended the ramp, Jade glanced over the marketplace before them. After passing through rows of smaller booths, they entered an area where the various shops lined in a circle around a central series of platforms. Most of the people seemed focused on the central areas and less on the shops.

    “Well that ought to make shopping easier,” Jade said to Ian. “Ye know where yer goin’?”

    Watching the people shuffling past, Ian nodded. “I’ll figure it out.”

    “Good, let’s go, poochy.” Jade and the dog disappeared into the crowd, leaving Ian alone.

    Sometime later, Ian exited a shop with a small sack of ginger. Placing on his spectacles, he wandered between the shops and the gathering crowd, watching the people as they passed.

    He was so busy observing the various people, he didn’t realize he was passing a church. A priest, an older man, tall, but portly, whose hair circled the top of his head like a gray halo, burst from the doors, nearly running into Ian. “Watch thy step, boy,” he said, pushing the chains of gold and gems around his neck aside as he moved along the crowd.

    “Who’s that?” Ian asked a young woman who had noticed the event.

    “That’s Bishop Peck,” the woman said, her eyes glued to the ground as she trembled until the older man was out of sight.

    “Bishop?” Ian asked. “So he’s the church’s voice here in the Caribbean?”

    “He Is the Church of England here,” she corrected, “the voice of the Almighty himself.”

    “Well, he’s certainly humble before his god then,” Ian said, remember the gold chains around the man’s neck.

    Ian continued wandering and observing the crowd, slipping through as his eyes scanned the clothing of anyone nearby. Nothing promising, he thought with a frown. These were all poor folks just trying to live their lives. He wondered then what could possibly attract their attentions as much when Bishop Peck appeared on a platform overlooking the others. He raised his hand and everyone bowed their heads. Noticing this, Ian ducked down while keeping his eyes on the people around them, only standing straight again when they raised their heads again.

    “Bring the accused before us,” Peck ordered.

    A group of prisoners appeared on a long, narrow platform close to Peck’s. The first was a man a few years older than Ian. He was somewhat muscular, with barely a layer of dark hair on his head and a short dark moustache and small beard. Ian caught himself from gasping when he noticed the man was joined by a number of children of various ages. He then noticed a third platform near the other two and the all-too-familiar gallows.

    Peck looked to the first prisoner. “Crispin Acardi, former Brother of the church, thou standeth accused of crimes against said church and thus against God. Said crimes include bearing false witness, refusal to honor the Voice of the Almighty, and defiance of God’s laws.”

    “Funny how you accuse me of false witness,” Crispin said, “while speaking with a slimy, forked tongue.”

    “God’s judgment is final,” Peck continued as if Crispin never said a word. “Thy fate is thus sealed. However, I will show mercy and humbly beg God for thy soul if thou begeth for mercy at this moment.”

    “If I plead guilty,” Crispin asked, his head down, his voice controlled, “if I beg for forgiveness, will you spare the children?”

    “If only the choice and power were mine to do so,” Peck said with, as Ian noted, feigned regret. “However, the Almighty’s decision has thus been revealed, and thy little devils must pay for thy sins as thou must.”

    Crispin raised his eyes, now narrow, toward Peck. “God spoke to you?”

    Peck raised his Bible above his head with both hands. “I sweareth thus on the scripture of our lord!”

    “Really now?” Ian spat, mocking Peck’s tone and speech. “Producing holy witness through thy smiling cheek?”

    “Enough!” Peck said, and Ian could hear his voice break slightly. This Crispin fellow seemed awfully skilled at striking under the bishop’s skin. Either that or he was speaking with some ring of truth. “To the final drop with thou! And may god have mercy on thy soul as it burns for eternity!”

    “Well then, if I’m to burn,” Ian said as he was being led off the platform, “I’ll patiently await ‘thy’ vile presence.”

    Crispin stood before the platform as the guards prepared the ropes, glaring at Peck, calling out to the people who bowed before him, when another guard stepped up and took his wrists. Crispin immediately noticed the guard seemed much younger than the others. “Just what are you doing?”

    “Getting back on God’s sour side,” Ian whispered as he held Crispin wrist shackles with one hand while fumbling through the ring of keys with his other. “Now quiet.”

    Realizing what Ian was doing, Crispin pulled back. “No.” He motioned to the children. “Save them. Use my hanging as a distraction if necessary.”

    “Too late,” Ian said, finding the key and slipping it into the lock. “Besides, I might need-“

    “What’s going on here?” A guard asked as he approached the two.

    Ian turned to face the guard, using his back to hide the lock and key. “You there, whoever fastened these locks should face the gallows themselves. They’re all loose and must be retightened. You are beyond fortunate these prisoners didn’t escape.”

    The guard eyed him suspiciously. “Who are you?”

    “Guard your tone, Mister. I am Admiral,” he looked up at the setting sun,” North, and you Will show me the respect I deserve.”

    “Admiral?” Crispin whispered while he fiddled with the lock.

    “Admiral?” the guard asked. “What happened to-“

    “Are you questioning me?” Ian got right into the guard’s face, shouting at him while drawing all attention from Crispin. “If thus, then you must question the authority of our government, of our church, of God!”

    The guard, taken back, started to stutter, “I . . . I’m sorry, sir. It’s just we usually hear if a new admiral has arrived.”

    “Well I do apologize for not being able to alert every little soldier of my arrival,” Ian said sarcastically. “I was somewhat busy keeping matters in check in the south.”

    “You’re pointing west, you idiot,” Crispin hissed as he hurried to unlock the children’s shackles.

    “What is going on there?” Peck asked, still standing on the platform. Ian ascended the platform where Crispin had stood and addressed the Bishop.


    “Your Eminence,” the guard corrected him.

    “My Eminence,” Ian said. “I am Admiral North, arriving from the south to oversee matters in this town, and I do not appreciate your troops showing me disrespect.”

    Peck eyed him suspiciously. “Thou art quite young for an admiral.”

    “And thou art quite ancient to still be alive!” Ian shot back before realizing what he said. On the ground, Crispin shook his head.

    Peck’s eyes went wide. “Thou art an intruder!”

    Before the guards could react, Ian pulled out a dagger and threw it. Peck used his Bible as a shield, and the blade struck the book before bouncing off and falling to the ground below. Leaping over the railing, Ian landed on a guard feet-first. Throwing off the jacket, he ran past Crispin.

    “The charade’s over.”

    “Oh really?” Crispin said. “I’d never have known.” Grabbing the nearest child’s hand, he said, “Follow me. Stay together,” and led them through the crowd.


    In an alley, Jade talked with a blond woman in her twenties when they heard yelling from the town.

    “Oh no,” the woman said.

    “What is it, Phoebe,” Jade asked.

    “Another hangin’,” Phoebe said sadly.

    Just then, the dog took off into the crowd.

    “Hey, Poochy, where ye goin’?” As she and Phoebe stepped out of the alley, she saw the commotion.

    “That’s Bishop Peck,” Pheobe said with less-than-subtle contempt. “He’s nothin’ but a monster.”

    Jade watched. “The other sounds familiar.” She looked closely. “Oh no.”


    Ian, Crispin, and the children raced through the crowd when one guard stepped forward and shouted, “Halt!”

    “Haven’t you learned,” Ian said, “that never works?”

    Suddenly, another guard appeared and slammed the butt of his rifle against the back of Ian’s head. “I’d say it worked just nicely.”

    He pointed his rifle at Crispin when the dog leaped and tackled him. The guard fell to the ground and threw the dog off, when Crispin grabbed the rifle and pointed it at the guard. “Get back!” He then fired above the guard’s head, causing everyone to duck. Grabbing a still-stunned Ian, he led the children into a nearby alley.


    Jade and Phoebe caught up to them as they entered the alley.

    “Jones’ wrath, Ian,“ Jade said, “what’d ye do this time?”

    Using a wall to support himself, Ian turned to Jade. “Why do you assume it’s me?”

    “’Cause I saw ye on the platform.”

    “Oh,” was Ian’s only response. “I think we can talk later.”

    “Oh, I promise we will,” Jade said as she took Ian’s arm. “We can’t take the kids on th’ ship though.”

    “I’ll take ‘em,” Phoebe said. “We’re far ‘nuff from town to be searched.”

    “Thank ye and see ye soon.”

    Crispin turned and led them out of the alley. “I have to slip into the church really fast to get my effects.”

    “The church?” Jade asked. “Did ye notice they’re chasin’ us?”

    “There’re only other priests in the church,” Crispin answered, “and the church has a back door that leads to the docks.”


    Captain Reed, watched as Harold and Benjamin loaded the last pieces of wood onto the ship. As they disappeared below, she turned to hear shouts coming from past the marketplace. “Please let it be someone else.” But when Jade and Ian appeared, followed by the dog and a third man, she sighed. “Of course not.” She turned to her crew. “Ready the ship make way. Cast off the lines. Prepare to raise the gangplank.”

    They boarded just as Caleb and Foote were raising the plank. Ian raced aboard first. Glancing back, he slammed into Reed, sending her compass hurtling into the water as she fell to the deck. Rolling to one knee, she quickly stood.

    “Mrs. Houser, get us out of here!”

    Tamy steered the Hawking away from the dock and toward the ocean, ducking as rifle shots just missed her head.

    Spying in an approaching ship, Reed said, “Mrs. Houser, lay in an intercept course.”

    “Ye want to ram ‘er?” Tamy asked skeptically.

    “No, just steer us by her.” Pulling out her pistol, she watched the ship and looked over the crew until she found one who looked and acted like the captain. Aiming her pistol, she fired, sending the man’s hat flying off his head.

    “What in the name of-“ He started to ask before he noticed Reed pointing her pistol at him.

    “Mr. Temple,” Reed said, “ready all cannons!”

    “Please,” the captain pleaded, raising his hands, “we’re but a merchant ship.”

    Keeping her weapon aimed, Reed said, “Order your crew to stay their weapons.” After he complied, she ordered, “Now bring your ship hard to port and drop anchor.”

    “Hard a-larboard!” the captain ordered. “Drop anchor and reef the sails!”

    “Now kiss the deck and stay there until you’re rescued.” As the captain ordered his crew to lower themselves, face-first, to the deck, Reed turned to her own crew. “Keep that ship between us and the dock and make speed.”


    After watching the town disappear into the distance, Crispin turned, walked over, and punched Ian in the face, sending him sprawling to the deck. “You clod-like, soft-headed, feckless, little dolt!”

    “Why Mr. Passer,” Reed said, watching from near the helm, “I see you’ve made a new friend.”

    “You’re welcome,” Ian said as he raised himself to sit on a bench, caressing his jaw. “Glad I could help.”

    “And what lovely help you administered,” Crispin scoffed. “I told you to free the children and run. You put us all in danger.”

    Ian gaped at him in astonishment. “Danger? Of what, death?” If you didn’t notice, you weren’t too far from that before I even showed up.”

    “He’s right,” Jade said, stepping in. “Anyway, you and the children are safe for now.”

    “Where are the children?” Crispin asked.

    “Annie Hill’s Inn,” Jade answered. “It’s just outside of town.”

    Crispin looked to her in shock. “You sent the children to a brothel?”

    “Ye ‘ave a problem with that?” Jade asked, standing face-to-face and glaring at him.

    Crispin stared back evenly for a moment. Then with a sigh, he sat back on the bench. “No, to be honest, they’re probably safer there than that church.”

    Reed stepped forward. “Well now that you all have that figured out, do you have a name?”

    “Crispin Acardi,” he said.

    “Where are you from, Mr. Acardi,” Reed asked. “You don’t sound like you’re from around here.”

    “I grew up in Venice and traveled to England before arriving here a few months ago.”

    “I see. I’m Olivia Reed, Captain of the Hawking, and if you want passage, I’ll drop you off that the next port.“ She looked out over the sea. “But in our haste, and thanks in no small part to Mr. Passer’s actions, I lost my compass and have no idea where we are.”

    Crispin stared up at the stars for a few seconds, and then leaped to his feet. “Do you have a map?” After Reed showed him the map, he examined it. “We’re heading east and we’ve been out of port for about an hour. How fast does this ship sail?”

    “We were too hurried to cast full sails so I’m guessing about fifteen knots,” Reed answered.

    “Fifteen knots, heading east.” Crispin stared at the map while doing the calculations in his head. “Well, if you maintain speed, you should reach Nassau by sunrise.” He pointed to a spot on the map between the two ports. “We should be right about here.”

    Reed looked at the map for a moment longer, then smiled. “Well done, Mr. Acardi. You’ve just earned your passage, unless you’d like to remain longer. We could use a navigator.”

    Crispin shrugged. “At this point I’ve nowhere else to go.”

    Reed nodded. “Very well then, Mr. Hopper, please help find Mr. Acardi a bunk.”

    Stepping forward, Hopper eyed the younger man. Crispin held out his hand, but the one-eyed man ignored it. “So, what pestilent, dung-souled sot-head be you?”

    Eyeing the man back without an ounce of emotion, Crispin answered, “Pleased to meet your steely-eyed backside as well.”

    Hopper snarled as he glared at the man. Then a moment later, he held his chest and started laughing. “Aye, me likes this pasty bloke! Come, let’s be finding a bunk for you.”

    “Thank you again, Mr. Acardi for your help.” Reed turned to Jade. “Your leadership skills improve by the day, Ms. Thorn.”

    “Thanks,” Jade said, adding a hint of sarcasm to her voice.

    “And Mr. Passer,” Reed said.

    “Captain?” Ian asked, turning.

    As she walked to her cabin, Reed said, “You owe me a new compass.”

  21. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3
    Pirates 9

    “So this is Port Socas,” Ian said as he, Jade, and Crispin walked through the town square.

    Jade bent down to pet the dog as he whined and moved closer to her. Around them, people either danced in the streets in well-known and exotic manners, attacked each other, or swayed in circles before collapsing in the street holding bottles of rum.

    Crispin gazed at the commotion around them. “The city is of night, but not of sleep, for the night seems a termless hell.”

    “I’ve seen worse,” Ian said. “At least there’s money here.” He ducked as a bottle flying through the air missed his head by inches. “Speaking of which, why are we here?”

    “We’re searching for, ‘The Amorous Goat,” Jade said. When Ian and Crispin looked at her strangely, she added, “It’s a tavern that,” she paused for a moment, “someone I knew helped set up years ago. Someone there might know of Pooch here’s owner, and with th’ Captain not to fond of him at th’ moment, I’m hoping to return ‘em to his home.”

    “Makes sense, ”Crispin said, “but why are Ian and I here? I was enjoying the Captain’s stories about her crew and their adventures.”

    “You’re here to keep Ian out a trouble,” Jade said. “Ian’s here because th’ Captain’s close to choking him.”

    Ian struck his best offended look. “What did I do?” Jade looked at him. “In the past-“ Crispin looked at him. “-few days?”

    “Are ye’ saying ye want to be on the ship another two weeks?” Jade asked.

    “Definitely not,” Ian answered. “I’m just wondering why she kicked me off the ship but expects me to return.”

    Jade smirked. “I’m wondering as well.” She stopped and looked up at a sign. “We’re here.”

    Crispin looked up. “Why would anyone name their tavern, The Amorous Goat?”

    “Ye don’ wanna know,” Jade said as opened the door and stepped in.

    They entered the tavern and found it to be a miniature version of the port itself. People drank, laughed and danced in various barely-lit reaches of the room while others concealed themselves in the darker corners.

    “Find yerselves a seat,” Jade said, “and stay out a trouble.” She and the dog approached the bar while Ian and Crispin found a table close to the door.

    A few minutes later, a large, burly man with a bald head and a short gray beard towered over the table. “Welcome to The Amorous Goat, lads. They call me Buddy Manes. Now what your pleasures be?”

    “I’ll have an Apello,” Ian said.

    “Apello,” Ridge said in disbelief.

    Ian looked up. “You don’t have?”

    “Aye, we have it,” Ridge said, “but this be a tavern, boy, not a dainty square. What vexes yer brain?”

    “You assume he has one,” Crispin said.

    Ridge turned to the other man. “And what ‘ave you, lad, a lady’s Apello or a man’s Rum?”

    Crispin ignored the slight. “Well, technically I’m a man of the cloth.”

    “Technically, he prefers lace,” Ian said as Crispin shot him a glare.

    As Ridge stormed off murmuring to himself, Ian turned to Crispin. “Still happy you left Venice?”

    “Actually, I left because I struggled to agree with the views and actions of the Catholic Church. I ended up traveling to England and spent a few years as part of their church instead.”

    “Ah, the Church of England,” Ian said. “So whose bad side did you kick there?”

    “I didn’t,” Crispin said, “I took a ship to the Caribbean because I thought I could help more people.” He smiled. “As for kicking someone’s bad side, someone had apparently won the race there in England.”

    Ridge returned with their drinks and the two handed him some coins. After taking a drink, Ian asked. “So what happened?”

    Crispin thought back. “Well, I once witnessed a pirate infiltrating and impersonating a member of the church.” He sat back in his chair. “I honestly didn’t know he was a rogue at first, but by the time they identified him, he had overseen countless confessions one funeral, and two weddings, including one to two unwitting lieutenants. “Crispin sipped from his drink.” The Cardinals were furious, of course, that this ‘sacrilegious rogue had blasphemed the great name of the Church of England!’ They even tried to blame me for letting him escape.”

    “You mean you didn’t know?” Ian asked.

    “I’ll admit, I had an inkling,” Crispin replied, “but he didn’t act like the pirates I’d read about. He spoke politely and charismatically,” he smiled. “and he performed one of the best funerals I’ve ever attended. Honestly, I watched people go from sobbing to laughing in minutes. It was quite an experience, especially later when they informed me he was in fact a pirate.” Crispin chuckled and took another drink.

    Jade stopped at the bar and spotted a woman a few years younger exiting a nearby door. “Sidney!”

    Sidney noticed Jade, smiled and run up to her. “Jade, it’s been so long,” she said, hugging her. She noticed the dog. “What you be doing with Teague’s mutt?”

    “He belongs to Captain Teague?” Jade asked, suddenly nervous.

    “Oh yes,” Sidney answered, She bent down and pet him. “I almost didn’t recognize you without keys in your mouth, boy. Teague thought he lost you in Port Royal.” She looked up at Jade. “Where’d you find him?”

    “H’ was on a ship full of cannibals that attacked us,” Jade answered. “Apparently, h’ was to be the captain’s next meal.”

    Sidney shuddered. “Poor thing. Looks like you’ve had your own adventures.”

    Jade glanced back to the door. “So how often does Captain Teague show up here?”

    “Every few months I guess,” she said with a shrug. “We can expect him to walk through that door anytime now.”

    “Then we best be on our way,” Jade said. “Please see to it that he gets his friend back.”

    Sidney stood, nodding. “Of course, Jade, though might I ask why you don’t want to be around Teague?”

    “Oh I have no qualms with Teague himself and I doubt he remembers me,” Jade said, “but h’ does know certain people.” She turned back to Sidney. “And I’d rather those people not know I was here.”

    “I understand. So what should I tell him then?”

    “Tell him,” Jade thought for a moment, “just say Sea Turtles.”

    “Sea Turtles?” Sidney asked. “Well if that’s what you wish.” She filled a mug and placed it on the bar. “Here, one on the house, my friend.”

    “Thanks.” Jade took the drink as Sidney led the dog through the doors and disappeared.

    As Jade downed the drink, Ridge walked behind the bad and began filling mugs. “Interesting friends ye have there.”

    “I don’ know if I’d use the term,” Jade said.

    Ridge huffed and drank from one of the mugs. “So, yer sailing ‘gain?”

    Jade shrugged. “I didn’t have much choice. I started some trouble in St. Augustine when some stone-headed slugs got unfriendly with my friends.” She nodded in Crispin and Ian’s direction. “Th’ thin one helped me escape.”

    “So you were the ones in Augustine,” Ridge said, pulling out a piece of paper from under the bar. “It seems th’ East India Tradin’ Company’s crackin’ down on anyone they see a pirate. You heard ‘bout that mess in Tortuga, aye?”

    Jade nodded. “I doubt they’ll waste resources comin’ this way.”

    “Don’ be a sure,” Ridge said. “After that mess in Augustine, some bloke named Strouse showed up and began a bringing the gallows this way.” He showed her the paper. “Looks like he be seekin’ yer friend.”

    Jade looked at the paper. “5000 guinea for the acquisition, dead or alive, of the vile demon known as The Black Dagger?” Her eyes went wide as she noticed the picture. “Ian?”

    “I thought he be looking familiar,” Ridge said.

    “If this is true, and anyone here found out-“ Jade let the words trail.

    “Don’t be a worrying, lass,” Ridge said. “The last thing we be wantin’ here is that scum Strouse here. Plus I figure he be taking’ his money back after hangin’ us all.”

    “Thanks,” Jade said, folding the paper and slipping it in her pocket. “I plan to have a little talk with Captain Reed when I return.”

    Ridge nodded. “I just thought you should know, lass. Now excuse me.” He picked up the remaining mugs and headed off to disperse them.

    Jade took another drink from her mug, contemplating this new bit of information, when she heard boot steps behind her.

    “Well, no one told ol’ Cap’n Alec this eve be Costume Night,” came a voice behind her.

    Jade turned to find several men, led by one with blond hair and beard, presumably Alec, leading them. “Beg pardon?”

    Alec leered at her. “I be no expecting to sees a wench dressed a pirate.”

    “Well I wasn’ expectin’ t’ see a walrus dressed as a man,” Jade replied.

    “I got a ship for yer, woman,” Alec said. “It be called Me Bunk.”

    “I’ve got a ship of my own,” Jade shot back. “It’s called, my foot, your-“

    Alec cut her off by placing his fingers around her throat. “Don’ be playin’ hard t’ get, wench. It might not play t’ yer liking.”

    Hearing the commotion, Ian and Crispin turned. “Oh no,” Ian said. “This isn’t going to end well.”

    Jade calmly eyed Alec. “I’m enjoyin’ this already.”

    With that, she drover he knee right between his legs. As he stumbled back, she slapped his hand away from her throat with her left hand and drove her right fist into his face. Alec collapsed, covering his face as blood seeped through his fingers.

    His hands over his face muffled his voice, but not his cry. “Get ‘her!”

    Jade pulled out her sword and stepped away from the bar toward Alec’s crew.

    Watching the action, Ian dropped two coins on the table between him and Crispin. “Two pieces says she drops them all.”

    “Are you blind?” Crispin asked as they watched the men surround Jade. “She outnumbered five to one. It’s not a fair fight.”

    “You’re right,” Ian said, thinking for a moment. “Make that six pieces.”

    “You’re on,” Crispin said, dropping coins of his own on the table.

    Jade’s eyes moved from one opponent to another as they circled her. Then she struck forward, sword in her right hand, at the thug directly in front of her. Swatting his blade viciously aside, she caused him to slash his own crew. She then used her left fist to punch the guy. She then spun and clashed blades with the next closest thug. Driving his blade upward, she delivered a kick to his ribs and grabbed his shirt, pulling him into another man. Grabbing the other blade, she turned and met the blades of both remaining opponents and forced them back against the bar.

    Alec, meanwhile, had regained his feet and pulling out his sword, snuck up behind Jade. Crispin immediately leaped to his feet grabbed Alec’s wrists. Pulling Alec toward him, Crispin punched him in the face and tossed him into a table.

    Ian started toward the door and four other thugs entered. “Captain!” One of them shouted, and they moved toward Jade and Crispin. One noticed Ian and stalked toward him. “’ello, boy.” He picked up a bottle and broke against a table, holding the remaining piece menacingly.

    Seeing himself literally backed into a corner, Ian picked up a chair and used it to block the man’s attack. The man laughed and Ian pointed past him. “She’s got a gun!” The man turned to see an empty corner, and Ian swung the chair but the thug caught it with his free hand.

    “Is that all you be a gotten, boy?” He asked.

    He stabbed his blade forward, but Ian spun the chair so it caught the blade. Cursing, the thug fought to free his blade, tossing the chair, and Ian, in every possible direction. Jumping onto a table, Ian leaped off, bring his feet onto the chair and driving it right into the man’s face. The thug hit the floor with a groaning thud, and Ian landed on top of him. Kicking the sword away, Ian ran from the man.

    Meanwhile, Alec regained his feet and joined his remaining crew as they surrounded the three. Alec chuckled as the stepped near the three when a rifle shot froze them in their tracks.

    “I swear on me pappy’s grave,” Ridge said, holding a musket, “that I be puttin’ a bullet through the skulls of you and yer clue b’fore you be blinking.” He pointed the gun directly at Alec’s head. “It be cleaner for us both if you be running.”

    Alec looked about to relieve himself right in the bar. But remember the crowd and his crew around him, he straightened his shirt and picked up his sword. “Men, there be no profit from these monkey’s. Let’s remove ourselves from this dump.” With that, the men left.

    “Again, thanks,” Jade as they left out the other door.

    “Be seeing’ ye, lass,” Ridge said, saluting with two fingers off his forehead.

    Ian walked back over to his table where he Crispin had dropped their coins. He reached for the coins, but Crispin snatched them first.

    “Hey I won that bet,” Ian said. “She defeated all those thugs. The ones entering after weren’t part of the bet.”

    “I agree, you did win the bet,” Crispin said, stepping to the bar, “but we still helped to make this mess.” He dropped the coins on the counter. “That should cover what we broke.”

    Ian looked at him. “I’m beginning to hate you.”

    “I think we’re done here,” she said to Ian and Crispin. “Time to return to ship.” And to have a little talk with Captain Reed, she thought.

  22. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3

    “General, Bishop Peck has arrived, rambling about an attack at his port,” Greer said, entering the office.

    Strouse, who had been listening to his wife, turned away from her and faced Greer. “Send him in.” Returning to his desk, he examined a book before him while speaking to his wife. “Katherine, you may leave now.”

    “Yes, woman,” Greer said. “We have business to attend to. I’m sure you have a home to clean.”

    Strouse looked up at Greer. “That was uncalled for.” To Katherine, he said, “Thank you. You’re dismissed.”

    After she left, Greer walked over to Strouse’s desk. “Why waste time calling her here? She has no place in your office.”

    “I like to know what happens in all aspects of my life,” Strouse answered, “whether here or at home.” He looked toward the door. “Your eminence.”

    Peck stormed into the office, ignoring Greer, who bowed his head. “General Strouse, a month’s past, a storm of pirates invaded my port, assaulted thy troops, ruined a public execution, and escaped with a known convict!”

    Strouse studied the man as he spoke. “This convict is so much a threat, you traveled all the way here to inform me instead of sending ships yourself?”

    “Crispin Acardi is a threat to the entire Church of England,” Peck answered. “Not only has be spread lies about the clergy, but he believes the clergy should stand with the common man as his equal.” He paced back and forth as he spoke. “Also, the pirates escaped by taking a merchant vessel hostage and vanishing in the fog. Not to mention one of those scoundrels impersonated a member of the navy, ridiculed me and thus God before the entire public, and assaulted me with a dagger!”

    That last sentence caught Strouse’s attention and eyed Greer briefly before returning to watch Peck. “Do you have this dagger now?”

    “I ordered the cursed thing destroyed,” Peck grumbled. “All I remember is it had a black blade.”

    “I see.” Strouse produced some papers from a drawer in his desk. “See that these are distributed when you return home, Bishop.”

    Peck examined the top paper. “The Black Dagger? This boy is wanted?”

    “Correct, and you and your clergy can help us track him and his allies down, freeing the seas from these criminals once and for all.”

    Peck looked up at Strouse. “I’ll do everything in my power to aid in thy mission to stop this demon-seed.” Straightening his robe, he departed the room.

    Greer approached a map on the office wall. “At least we know which direction he’s heading.”

    Strouse frowned. “Unfortunately, that was over a month ago. He’s likely gained some distance since then.

    Greer turned to him. “Should I call for Captain Adissa?”

    “He’s currently near the Keys,” Strouse said, shaking his head. “Captain deTete should be closer.”

    “I’ll see to it personally, General,” Greer said. He looked to the door upon hearing a knock and said, “We’re conducting business.”

    A young woman in her twenties entered the room. “I’m jus’ bringin’ drinks for the general.”

    “Thank you, Maggie,” Strouse said. “To Greer, he said, “That will be all. Alert deTete of the situation.”

    “Yes sir.” As Greer left the room, he noticed Maggie closing the door behind him. Just as the door closed, Strouse stood, smiling.

    “Mr. Passer, it’s time for you to explain yourself,” Captain Reed said, holding the paper that Jade had handed her.

    Ian and Crispin climbed to the quarterdeck and approached the captain. Tamy and Harold Houser, Hopper, and several other members of the crew joined the group.

    “For the record,” Ian said, ”I didn’t start that fight in the bar. Jade was the one who grew hostile with some thug.”

    Jade glared. “Hostile? Th’ smelly git tried to grab me-“

    “Enough.” Reed cut in. “I’m talking about this, Mr. Passer.” She held up the paper. “The Black Dagger, a thief wanted by an agent of the East India Trading Company.” She handed the paper to Harold, who passed it to another crew member.

    “Yer daggers be black,” Hopper said.

    Ian shrugged. “A coincidence.”

    “Yer a thief,” Harold said.

    “The Caribbean has a lot of thieves,” Ian protested. “That doesn’t mean-“

    “Do all these thieves have yer face?” Foote asked, showing Ian the picture on the paper.

    Ian glanced at the picture. “Oh.”

    Reed stomped her foot “Well?”

    Feeling the glares of the entire crew, Ian sighed. “Yes, that’s me.”

    “Yer the thief the Company’s hunting?” Tamy asked.

    “Who terrorized the colonies fer years?” Harold asked.

    “I don’t think I ‘terrorized’ as much as survived,” Ian answered. “When the orphanage closed down, most of the kids were taken in by nobility. I was one of the few left to fend for myself.” He shrugged his shoulders. “I learned to steal from those with money to survive”

    “You seemed pretty well-known for someone just trying to survive,” Reed said.

    “The rich have big mouths and small brains,” Ian said. “They’re easy to steal from and quick to point fingers.”

    “Is that why to traveled all the way down here?” Reed asked. “To find more riches to acquire?”

    Ian shook his head. “I was telling the truth about boarding the wrong boat-“

    “Ship,” Harold correct.

    “Ship,” Ian said. “But I left Salem originally to keep them from hunting the wrong people.”

    Jade shook her head. “Well thanks to your being wanted, now we’re all being hunted by the entire East India Navy.”

    Ian looked at her in shock. “You’re pirates. You’ve been hunted ever since Beckett took control in Port Royal.”

    “He’s right,” Crispin said. “He may be a complete dunce at times but we’re being hunted for numerous reasons.”

    Reed crumpled the paper. “Well regardless the reason, I think it’s best if you remain out of sight whenever we approach port for the time being. Mrs. Houser alter our course south. We’ll sail a few days through the straits before finding another port.”

    “I’ve a question,” Jade said. “What’s with the book and your spectacles, and everything else?”

    “e’s got poetry in those books,” Tamy said, turning from the helm.

    “Actually,” Ian said, “although I love reading, the poems hide notes I made of places I had planned to . . . visit.”

    Reed eyed him. “Nothing about this ship and crew, I assume.”

    “Of course not,” Ian answered. “I’m on a boat . . . ship in the middle of the ocean. Where would I run to if I was caught?” Realizing what he had just said, he quickly corrected himself. “I mean, I don’t steal from those already in need.”

    “How honorable,” Crispin said.

    “And the spectacles?” Harold asked. “Yer eyes seem right for seeing by me.”

    Touching his belt, Ian said. “They were a gift from someone years ago. They’re not magical, at least I don’t think they are. They just make certain fabrics transparent, which makes it easy to see what valuables people carry.”

    “Wait a minute, you’re wearin’ those in th’ brothel!” Jade said, slapping Ian in the back of his head.

    “I just have one more question,” Crispin said. “According to that paper, you’d leave a black dagger behind as your signature. If you’re so bent on remaining in the shadows, why leave evidence behind?”

    They think it was my signature?” Ian chuckled. “Only a blockhead would do that. Now at times, I’d throw a dagger to distract someone, or I’d stupidly forget one somewhere, but I’d never purposely leave one to be found simply because I had no desire to be found myself.”

    “So ye weren’t arrogant,” Jade said, “just clumsy.”

    Ian nodded. “That’s the real legend of the Black Dagger.”

  23. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3

    Captain Reed stepped down the stairs to the lower deck, passing some crew who carried sailing sheets and stopped when she found Crispin working in one corner. He had converted a crate into a desk and sat before it, tinkering with a clock-like device.

    “I see you’re keeping busy when you’re off-duty,” she said, examining several papers he had attached to the wall. “What is all of this?”

    Crispin looked up. “When I was in school, I studied the works of Leonrdo da Vinci. Apparently, he designed a number of contraptions that would resemble magic.”

    “And you’re attempting to recreate those from his designs,” Reed observed.

    Nodding, Crispin said, “I used my pay for the components and finished a couple, though I’m not sure they’ll work.”

    Reed was suddenly curious. “Such as?”

    He held up what looked like a mask with a pipe protruding from the top. “This would allow you to survive below the waves for some time. It seems certainly useful for those on a ship. And this,” He pointed to a cannonball surrounded by a ring of wood, “could give us an advantage if we’re faced with threats at sea.”

    “And what of that?” Reed asked, pointing to a picture on the wall.

    “The mobile turtle? I don’t have the resources for that.”

    “No,” Reed said, “Below it.”

    Crispin looked where she was pointing. “Oh that, I’m actually attempting that.” He pointed to a pile under a sheet. “He never finished that project, but he described it as-“

    “Captain,” Jade said, descending the stairs, “We’ve reached Port Paloma.”

    “Thank you, Ms. Thorn.” Reed turned to Crispin. “As long as you don’t take anything we need or blow the Hawking up, you may proceed as you wish, Mr. Acardi.”

    “Thank you, Captain,” Crispin said as Reed and Jade walked up the stairs.

    On the main deck, Reed approached the helm. “Mrs. Houser, you’re in charge while I go into town to seek out information about Tom Pistol’s Whereabouts.”

    “Captain,” Jade said, “I can watch over the ship.”

    “You’ll accompany me, Ms. Thorn,” Reed said. Handing her a piece of paper, she said, “Purchase what supplies we require and return when you’re finished.”

    “Of course, Captain,” Jade said. Then under her breath, she added, “I wouldn’ wish to bruise me fingers.”

    As Ian approached the gangplank, Reed stopped him. “Where do you believe you’re going?”

    “To get more ginger,” Ian answered.

    “Miss Thorn will get them, Mr. Passer. As of this moment, I want you to remain out of sight, at least until we reach Santiago.”

    “But captain, I-“

    “Consider that an order, Mr. Passer,” Reed said. “If you choose to endanger my crew but taking as much as one step off this ship, I’ll careen the hull with your face, understood?”

    Taking an involuntary step back, Ian answered, “Understood, captain.”

    “Good, Ms. Thorn, let’s go.” As she started down the gangplank, she glanced in the distance. “Funny, that ship with the blue-striped sails looks oddly familiar.”

    “Captain, I’ve a question,” Jade said as she and Reed descended the Hawking’s ramp. “I’ve proven countless times I can sail an’ fight. I can be a right first mate, so why do you keep treatin’ me as a cabin boy?”
    “I believe I grant you more responsibility than I would a cabin boy, Miss Thorn,” Reed said, watching the crowd.”
    Jade huffed. “Y’ know what I mean, captain. If this is because we both love th’ same man, then that seems a bit childish for a captain.”
    Reed smirked. “You really think this is all about our feelings for Captain Sparrow. He’s gone, Miss Thorn, and even if he still breathed, I’d never risk my crew over jealousy.”
    “Then what is it?” Jade asked. “I prove my skills every day, an’ every day, I prove I can lead th’ crew.
    Reed stopped and faced her. “I agree, and I’ve never questioned your skills, only your dedication.”
    “My dedication?”
    Reed nodded. “I need to know my first mate puts the ship and crew before him or herself. I need to know that, if I put you in charge, you’ll do everything in your power to keep our ship and crew alive and safe, even at your own expense.” She glanced back at the Hawking. “You’re an admirable sailor, Miss Thorn, but you wear your feelings on your sleeves.”
    “How dare you!” Jade said with a glare.
    “And you illustrate my point perfectly.” Reed turned to face the crowd. “I’ve only had one first mate to whom I trusted ship and crew. I await the time when another earns that same trust.” And with that, Reed stepped into the crowd.

    Ian waited until Reed and Jade had disappeared from view before descending to the dock from a rope holding the ship in place. He then slipped into the crowd and into a nearby shop. A few minutes later, he stopped in an alley. Sitting on a crate, he pulled out the ink pen which he had just brought and wrote on a parchment. He was so focused on his writing that he didn’t hear footsteps that approached him.

    “So there you are.”

    Ian froze, his hand falling to his belt. Looking up, he saw Crispin standing before him.

    “What are you doing here?”

    “I saw you sneak away,” Crispin answered. “Captain Reed ordered you to remain on the ship.”

    “And I told her I understood her order,” Ian replied. “I just never promised to follow it.”

    “Interesting logic,” Crispin said with a smirk. “And that doesn’t look like ginger.”

    “I just need to touch ground that remained still,” Ian said, slipping his parchment and ink pen in a pouch.

    “Well, if we make haste,” Crispin said, “we can return you to the ship before the captain finds out.”

    “If we must.” Ian hopped off the crate, then paused. “Someone noticed us, but it’s not Captain Reed.”

    Crispin turned and saw several men entering the other entrance of the alley. “Whose spirits did you offend this time?”

    “No one’s,” Ian protested, hands up. “I bought an ink pen and sat here. That’s all.” As they started walking away, he glanced back. “Those look like the thugs from-“

    Just then, Alec stepped into their path. “Well who we be having here, boys?” We best be bringing these lots lads to ship.”

    “That’s very kind of you,” Crispin said. “Our ship is docked-“

    “I didn’ say ‘yer’ ship,” Alec growled. “Let’s go, boys!”

    As they pirates surrounded the two, Ian leaned toward Crispin. “See what happens when you don’t follow the captain’s orders?”

  24. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3

    A slap across the face jarred Ian awake.

    “Hey, what the-“ He looked up to see he and Crispin were seated, surrounded by pirates on the deck of a ship. A familiar-looking pirate glared down at him. “You’re the one who got too close to Jade.”

    “Yer more trouble than yer worth,” Alec said, “but the captain wants a word with you.”

    A moment later, a man in his thirties, dressed in bright blue with a rapier hanging from his belt, marched onto the deck and stopped before the two. He spoke to them while looking above their heads. As soon as Ian looked at him, he had to fight to keep from laughing.

    “Bienvenue! I am Captain Lemer deTete and you are aboard the Galante.” He spoke with a deep French accent, pacing back and forth.

    “Lemer deTete?” Crispin asked. “Didn’t you serve with Captain Reed and Tom Pistol?”

    “Ah, yes,” deTete said, “Reed and Pistol, good leaders and friends, but General Strouse, he pays so much more.”

    “So you double-crossed them,” Ian said.

    deTete huffed. “There is no honor in death, which will come if we don’t align with Beckett and his company. It is about joie de vivre. Let Reed and Pistol keep their honor and see how it pays.”

    “Well your head’s like a rock if you believe-,” Ian rolled his eyes as deTete continued to pace flamboyantly back and forth. “Hey, powder-face, we’re down here!”

    deTete shot him a glare. “It would be unwise to draw my ire, child. Consider yourself warned.”

    “I apologize,” Ian said, “mademoiselle.”

    Crispin looked over to him. “Ian, you’re not helping our chances to negotiate.” He turned back to deTete. “What do you want with us?”

    deTete resumed his pace. “General Strouse searches for one known as the Black Dagger. He is said to sail with your ilk.”

    “They’re looking for Ryan?” Ian asked Crispin.

    “Ryan? Crispin asked. Realizing Ian’s intentions, he thought quickly. “I thought only a few of us knew about him.”

    “Apparently someone talked,” Ian said.

    “So you know this Black Dagger,” deTete said, curiously.

    Ian nodded. “He owes me 13 pieces.”

    “And he is still aboard your ship?”

    “That’s right,” Ian answered. “In fact, you probably docked right next to us and never realized it. I must say I admire your pirating skills.”

    “Ian,” Crispin said, trying to silence him.

    deTete laughed. “I was merely seeking a better time to attack the Hawking. Now tell me,” he said. Brandishing his rapier, he pointed it at Ian’s throat. “What is her heading?”

    “S-“ Ian started to answer, then he caught himself. “Singapore. She’s trying to escape the Caribbean.”

    “Singapore?” deTete returned his blade to his belt, grabbed his own stomach, and started laughing loudly. “I’ve just been informed Lord Beckett has dispatched a fleet to Singapore. Your friends, they are walking into a trap.” He walked over to the ship’s railing, his voice suddenly taking a darker tone. “We shall simply close the door behind them.”

    Turning to Alec, deTete said, “Take them below. When they stop feeding us information, you may feed them to the fish.” He walked back to his cabin. “And set course for Singapore.”


    “Why did you tell them Reed was headed to Singapore?” Crispin asked as they sat in the Galante’s cell.

    “They left port before the captain did,” Ian answered. “If they got to Santiago first and waited, they really could catch her in a trap.”

    “So what now?”

    “Now,” Ian said, “we wait.”

    They sat in silence for over an hour. A few times, one of deTete’s crew would bring them food and threaten them, but otherwise, they were ignored.

    “They plan to interrogate us at sunrise,” Crispin said, watching the hallway.

    Leaning back against the wall, Ian said, “And when we provide nothing, we’re swimming.”

    Crispin looked over at him. “I thought you were a legendary thief.”

    “I never claimed to be legendary,” Ian said, “merely successful.” Looking at the ceiling, he thought back. “One time, some landowner kidnapped an Indian and forced her to be his slave. Not only did she return home safely, but her ‘owner’ woke up the next morning penniless and naked under his horse.”

    “So you also freed slaves,” Crispin said. “I thought an ounce of nobility hid inside you.”

    “I wouldn’t say noble,” Ian said. “Her father made me these shoes, while she gave me-“ He closed his eyes and smiled.

    Crispin chuckled, shaking his head. “You’ve experienced some rather uncanny adventures.”

    Ian nodded. “Another time, some wealthy people who thought they were above it all held a ball. Since it was a masquerade ball, I could walk right through the doors, greet the many powdery sods and the many valuables they carried on their persons.”

    They heard a bell clang from the deck above.

    “It’s midnight,” Crispin observed.

    “It’s midnight already?” Ian reached down and pulled out a black dagger. “They never check the shoes,” he said as he picked the lock and slowly opened the door. “Stay close to the shadows. Most of the crew should be abed, but a few may wander unexpectedly.”

    Crsipin followed him as ordered. As they moved through the hallway and up the stairs, he whispered, “So you strode right into the ball and out undetected?”

    Ian nodded. “I strode out with nearly 1000 pounds in bills and jewelry.”

    “Impressive,” Crispin said. “So what happened to it all?”

    “What do you mean?”

    “If you still possessed that amount, I doubt you’d be down here in the Caribbean. So what did you do with it all?”

    Stopping at the deck. Ian looked back at Ian and merely shrugged.

    Crispin looked at him curiously. “What do you mean?” He mimicked the gesture.

    Ian repeated the shrug. “Hence the reason I no longer drink.”


    They made their way onto the upper deck and snuck past the helm.

    “deTete left his map here,” Crispin said, examining it.

    Ian looked at it. “So where are we now?”

    Crispin glanced up at the stars. “Let’s see, how long have we been at sea?” He ran the numbers through his head, then pointed to the map. “We should be here.”

    Ian looked where he pointed. “We’re not far from Santiago. We can take one of their little ships and sneak out.”

    “They’re called Longboats,” Crispin corrected him.

    Ian rolled his eyes. “Am I the only person out here who’s not familiar with sea terms?”

    “At sea, surrounded by people who spend their lives aboard ships, yes, Ian, you are.”

    “Look at this,” Ian said, pointing to stacks of coins on a nearby table, along with deTete’s gloves. “His crew must greatly fear him if he can simply leave valuables lying around.”

    Crispin smirked as he untied the roped connecting the longboat to the ship. “He must feel no one is mad enough to steal from him.”

    “How greatly mistaken,” Ian said, sliding the coins into his pocket.

    Suddenly, a voice bellowed from the voice above. “Who goes there?”

    “None of your god d-“ Catching himself, he deepened his voice. “Captain deTete ordered the decks be checked fer slime water. In these parts of the sea, it be splashin’ all over the decks, and if you slip, yer a gonner.” He pointed behind the guard. “You best be checking the bow-“

    “Stern,” Crispin muttered quietly.

    Ian corrected, “stern deck for slime as wells.”

    “Aye,” the guard said, turning.

    As the guard disappeared, Ian and Crispin lowered the longboat into the water and rowed away from the ship.

    “How long until we reach Santiago?” Ian asked.

    Crispin shrugged. “I’m guessing by dawn.”

    “Right,” Ian said, nervously glancing behind them.

    “Just keep rowing,” Crispin said. “We’ll reach the port before they even known we’re gone. Besides, as far as deTete is aware, we’re just two cabin boys.”


    “The Black Dagger, he was here?” deTete asked the terrified guard as he picked up his gloves from the otherwise empty table and slapped the guard in the face.

    “Josef my friend, how could you let this happen?”

    The guard, Josef, shook his head. “He said the deck was covered in sea slime and I should check the stern deck. By the time I return, the longboat was missing.”

    “Josef, my friend, this displeases me so,” deTete said, placing his arm around Josef’s shoulder. “But this act is done and we must move forward.” He then shot Josef in the chest with his pistol. “Or at least most of us will.”

    Josef stumbled back against the railing, blood pouring from his wound.

    “He’s not dead,” Alec said as he stood near Josef.

    “Not as of yet,” deTete said, as he and Alec grabbed the screaming guard and threw him into the water. “Well some fish will be eating good food tonight, no?” He walked over to his map. “Now we will find this boy for General Strouse.”

    “But we don’t know where he went,” Alec said.

    “Oh, but we do,” deTete said, pulling the black dagger out of the table, leaving a hole in the map over Santiago.

  25. vypernight Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3

    “You did what?” Crispin asked as they rowed the longboat closer to shore.

    “Well,” Ian answered, looking toward the water and the empty horizon, “I might’ve, possibly accidentally, left one of my daggers imbedded in the map and thereby pointing deTete to our destination.”

    “So much for our escape,” Crispin muttered. “They’ll catch us before sundown. Why did you not even bother telling them who you are?”

    “Simple,” Ian said, “if I had told them before, deTete would’ve rushed straight to St. Augustine and right into Strouse’s hands.” He pointed to the dock. “Since this is Captain Reed’s next destination, deTete’ll be the one walking into a trap.” He turned and pointed to Crispin. “In a way, this was your idea.”

    Crispin stared at him in shock. “Mine? My idea? How in your cudgeled brain do you possibly rationalize that?”

    Ian chuckled. “You mentioned how the Black Dagger would leave his blades behind to taunt his victims. I simply used that to further our own ends.”

    “It wasn’t my idea,” Crispin protested. “I was simply informing of you what’s spoken about you.” He glanced to the dock. “We’re here, what’re we to tell anyone?”

    “I have an idea,” Ian said. Splashing watcher on his face and shirt, he leaped out of the longboat and onto the dock.

    Ian raced across the dock until he found the closest guards. “Sir,” he gasped, “you have to help us!”

    The two guards caught the stumbling Ian. “Settle down son. Who are you and what happened?”

    “I’m Westley,” Ian said. “This is Montoya. We’re from the merchant vessel Au revoir.” Crispin had to fight to keep from looking at Ian in disbelief as the younger man continued. “We were on our way to England when we were attacked by pirates! Please, you’ve gotta help us, sirs!”

    “All right,” the taller of the two guards said. “Calm down, son. There’s an inn at the top of the hill, the Crowned Heart. Go there and you’ll be safe. We’ll keep a watch for any pirates.”

    “Thank you,” Ian gasped. Grabbing Crispin’s arm, they rushed up the hill.

    “That should allow us time,” Ian said as they hurried through the street toward the inn.

    “What if they question deTete?” Crispin asked.

    Arriving at the inn, Ian pushed on the door. “I’m hoping they open fire before he gets too close to question.”

    “Wonderful plan,” Crispin scoffed, looking back toward the dock. “I see only few infinite manners it could fail.” He glanced back at Ian. “By the way, Montoya?”

    Ian Shrugged. “It’s the first name I could think of.”

    “Do I look Spanish to you?”

    Ian held his hands up. “Spanish, Italian, they’re similar enough.”

    “I’m sure a number of both would love to have words with you concerning that.”

    They entered the inn and were immediately surprised to find it quiet and calm, with various patrons reading, or talking quietly.

    “Well this isn’t right,” Ian said as they approached the bar. “No one is striking anyone with chairs.”

    “I see no need to give them ideas,” Crispin said.

    A young woman approached the two. “Good morn to, lads, and welcome to the Crowned Heart. I’m Lola.” She gave them both a warm smile, hazel eyes moving from Ian to rest on Crispin. “And what might be your pleasure?”

    “Well I-“ Ian started to say before Crispin cut him off with an elbow to the ribs.

    “We’re just looking for a room for the night, ma’am,” Crispin said.

    Ian dropped some coins on the counter and Lola’s eyes widen. Dropping the coins behind the bar, she took Crispin’s arm. “Well, lads, I think we can accommodate you.” She led them up the stairs and across a long, narrow walkway that overlooked the bar below. “And there’s no needing to be calling anyone, ‘ma’am.’ Just be calling Lola will please me.”

    “I can’t help but notice your accent,” Crispin said. “You’re Sicilian, are you not?”

    “Y’have a good ear,” Lola said with a smile. “I grew up, in Sicily before spending a few years in a convent in Rome.”

    “A convent?” Crispin looked at her curiously. “So you took vows?”

    “For a time.” She shrugged. “The last I vowed was to speak the name of our lord to all who would listen.”

    “And have you kept your vow?” Crispin asked.

    Lola grinned. “Every night, love. Every night.” She stopped before a door at the end of the walkway. “Here’s your room, lads, with a balcony overlooking the valley. “Now don’t be shy, locking yourselves here all the night. Please joins us once you’re all settled.” She gave Crispin a wink and walked back to the stairs.

    Ian watched her. “Lucky, you have her attention.”

    Crispin ignored him as they entered the room. “Now what? We simply wait?”

    “Now completely.” Ian pulled out his spyglass and stepped onto the balcony, where he froze in place.

    “What is it?”

    Ian pointed to the docks at the bottom of the hill, where the Galante was docked.

    Crispin rushed to the edge of the balcony. “Why aren’t they firing on her?”

    Ian looked through his spyglass. “She’s flying East India Trading Company colors.” He scanned the docks area. “I see deTete speaking with the two guards we met earlier. One is pointing in this direction.”

    “Wonderfully insightful plan,” Crispin said, walking back into the room. “All we have in our favor is the several minutes before deTete arrives.”

    “We may have something else,” Ian said. “The Hawking just appeared on the horizon.” He pocketed his spyglass. “I wonder how soon until they reach the dock.”

    Crispin joined him again and looked out. “It took us half of an hour so I would guess a few minutes.”

    “Best we can hope for.” Ian waited a minute before out a mirror. Holding it out, he pointed it toward the Hawking.

    “What are you doing?” Crispin asked.

    Ian continued and Crispin could see sunlight reflected off the mirror. “Calob showed me how they’d speak with each other on other ships using mirrors. Since he’s probably up on the mast in that round thing at the top-“

    Crispin looked at him. “The crow’s nest?”

    “Yeah, that.” Ian continued. “He should be able to see this signal and know what’s happening.”

    “What’s in the message you’re sending him?”

    “Nothing, I never learned the messages themselves.”

    Crispin nodded. “So he’ll know it’s you because you’re speaking in gibberish.”


    “Wisdom through stupidity,” Crispin said, shaking his head. “So how long until deTete finds us?”

    “Salutations, mon amis,” Captain deTete said, standing in the doorway while holding his rapier.

    “I’m guessing not long at all,” Ian said, spinning around, Tilting his head slightly to Crispin, he whispered, “We need time.”

    “How did you find us?” Crispin asked.

    deTete shrugged. “It was not difficult, not difficult at all. We told the sentries we were searching for bandits who stole from The East India. He pointed me in this direction.”

    “I doubt the people in the inn were as trusting,” Ian said, catching a quick glance out the window.

    “You are correct,” deTete said, “but my crew will keep them occupied until you cooperate.” He narrow his eyes and leaned forward. “And you will cooperate, mon amis, or their blood shall fall to your hands.”

    “You son of a-“ Crispin grabbed a chair and launched himself at deTete.

    With a chuckle, the French captain pivoted on his feet and ducked as if dancing and shattered the chair with his blade. Falling to the ground, Crispin picked up a leg from the chair and lunged again, but deTete dance and spun again, this time sending a kick into Crispin’s ribs. Crispin dropped to his knees, and deTete slammed the hilt of his sword over his head. He ended his move with a mock bow, as Crispin hit the floor face-first, not moving.

    Ian watched the short fight and saw Crispin fall to the ground. As deTete turned his attention to him, Ian pulled out a dagger and backed away. As predicted, deTere moved toward him and away from Crispin.

    “And now, it is your turn, petit,” he said to Ian as he gracefully stepped closer to him. “I can see you tremble in terror of Captain Lemer deTere.”

    Ian smirked. “I find it hard to tremble in fear of someone wearing baby poweder on his face and a sheep on his head.”

    deTete laughed. “Ah, you are an enfant. This is the fashion where I am from, and it speaks volumes for me. Do you know what it says?”

    Ian though for a moment. “That you want to be a woman?” He lunged forward, dagger aimed for deTete’s face. “Well wish granted.”

    deTete brought his sword up to block Iam’s blade, but instead, Ian launched a kick between the captain’s legs. deTete dodged the move though, grabbed In by the shirt, and sent him tumbling into the wall.

    As Ian slumped to the floor, he heard deTete step over to him. “Now it is your choice. Either I take you back to General Strouse as my prisoner, or I just take back your head.”

    Looking past deTete, Ian noticed boots as someone entered the room behind him. “I still can’t believe you betrayed Captain Reed and Tom Pistol.”

    Pointing his blade at Ian, he smiled. “Ah yes, Pistol and Reed. Fine sailors, but doomed to fail at their tasks. With them, I am also doomed, but joining with General Strouse, I live and get paid well.” He held his hands out. “There is no profit with the losing side.”

    Ian frowned. “And you think Strouse will actually let you, a pirate, live when it’s all over? How do you say, in French, the word, ‘idiot?’”

    “’Imbecile,’” deTete answered, “but it is not I act foolish.”

    “And what if Reed finds out you betrayed them?”

    deTete laughed. “Ha, by then she will already be doomed herself.

    “Somehow I doubt that,” Captain Reed said as she entered the room.

    “Captain Reed!” deTete turned to see her, then spun around to glare at Ian. “You tricked me!”

    Ian grinned. “Who again is the imbecile?”

    deTete glowered at him, then remembered his crew. “My men!” He sprinted past Reed and looked down at the floor below, and saw his crew lying in piles and surrounded by Jade Thorn, Benjamin, Calob, and several other members of Reed’s crew.

    The only one left of deTete’s crew still standing was Alec. “I’ll get you, wench!” He charged, sword drawn toward Jade, but she knocked his blade aside and punched him in the face. Smashing into a table, he tried to pick himself up, but Jade drove her sword through his chest.”

    “Who’s on the losing side now? Reed asked, approaching him.

    “No!” Dropping all composure, deTete drove his sword toward Reed, but she deflected it with her own.

    Growling, he attacked her over and over, but each time, she easily knocked his blade aside. At the last lunge, she sidestepped and slammed the hilt of her sword into deTete’s jaw with a loud Crack.

    “Where are your dance moves now?” she said as she stopped every one of his attacks.

    deTete spun and tried a sneak attack, but Reed ducked under his arm and delivered a kick that sent him tumbling over the banister and onto the ground on the floor below. Dropping to one knee, Reed pulled out her pistol and fired, shooting deTete right in the chest.

    As the French captain lay on the floor groaning, Reed cautiously stepped down the stairs, her gun trained on the French captain. Both Ian and a still-groggy Crispin emerged from the room as Reed leaned over deTete.

    “Where is Tom Pistol?” she asked.

    Coughing up blood, deTete managed a chuckle. “You can do no more to me, Captain.”

    Reed nodded, then thought about the matter before looking to him again. “Lemer, you believe that one who dies in peace continues into afterlife in peace, while one who dies suffering, continues to suffer into the afterlife, correct?”

    Coughing more blood, he simply nodded.

    Reed pointed her pistol toward his groin. “Then I suggest you cooperate, for once.”

    Eyes shooting wide, deTete forced himself to speak. “He said he was headed back to St. Augustine to find you. I swear, it is true.”

    “Now that wasn’t so hard was it?” she said, standing.

    As Reed stepped away and toward Crispin and Ian, deTete reached for his sword.

    “Captain-“ Crispin started to say before Reed simply pointed her pistol and shot deTete in the head.

    Returning her gun to her belt, along with her sword, Reed looked to Crispin. “Mr. Acardi,” and then to Ian. “Mr. Passer.”

    “Captain, we can explain-“ Crispin said.

    “It was my idea, Captain,” Ian cut in. “I . . . I saw deTete’s ship back when we were in port. I snuck off the ship to investigate, and Crispin decided to follow me, to keep me out of trouble, as he said.”

    “Really?” Reed looked at him skeptically. “And how did you know it was deTete’s ship?”

    Ian fought to escape the corner he’d talked himself into. “The stories you told us, the ship he commanded sounded like something he’d command, if he was the captain, I mean.”

    Reed sighed. “Mr. Passer, considering the circumstances and the information revealed, I’m going to pretend I believe you.” She looked to Crispin. “Welcome back aboard, Mr. Crispin. Miss Thorn, I think we’re done here.”

    As they all started to leave, Ian started forward. “What about me?”

    Reed turned to face him. “Mr. Passer, you’re starting to become more trouble than you’re worth. And I thought you wanted off the ship.”

    “I did,” Ian said, “but as long as Strouse has rogues like deTete hunting me, I’m not safe staying in one place anywhere.”

    Reed started at him for a moment, then her eyes fell. “I don’t recall that sack.”

    “What sack?” Ian looked down. “Oh, I acquired some items of value from deTete before we escaped.”

    “I see,” Reed said. “You do realize your crew risked much to rescue you.”

    Instantly seeing where that line of dialog was going, Ian handed her the sack. “Divide the plunder as you see fit, Captain.”

    “Thank you, Mr. Passer.” Reed took the sack and reached in, retrieving a single coin. Tossing the coin to Ian, she said, “Welcome back aboard, Mr. Passer. Here is your share.”

    “Thank You, Captain,” Ian said. Following the others, he reached into his pocket, silently grateful that he had already taken several coins out of the sack.

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