To Be a Pirate: Part Three
Small waves broke against the prow of the Black Pawkeet.
It was a good morning for sailing, clear and breezy. Garin stood at the front
of the ship, one arm resting on the tiller.
"Maybe it's a good thing those surprise winds
blew us off course, eh?"
Garin turned to see Jacques, his friend, coming
up behind him.
"Mystery Island's sure to be full of treasure.
A change from Krawk Island."
A couple days ago, powerful winds, seemingly
out of nowhere, had driven their ship far from course. Garin had decided to
circle around Mystery Island before turning back.
"Yes. It's been smooth sailing lately except
for those winds. No sign of Scarblade for months now." There also had been no
contact from his friend, Isca the Maraquan Aisha, but he decided not to mention
Jacques looked keenly at Garin. "Months since
we fought for Maraqua. I wonder how Isca's getting along."
Garin never could hide any thoughts from the
Kyrii. "Well, she hasn't turned up with any dreams predicting me in some sort
of danger in a while, so I'm assuming things must be good," grinned Garin. "No
news is good news."
"I guess so," replied Jacques. "How close are
we to Mystery Island?"
"Pretty close. We should be there soon…" Garin
scanned the water. His sharp eyes caught sight of an island, not too far off.
"Land ho!" one of the crew members called suddenly.
Garin looked eagerly at the island, dark against the rising sun.
"Almost there," he said to himself.
Usi swung her small pack over her shoulder. Silvermist
had insisted on stopping to grab some Neopoints. They had made it out of the
Neohome without incident, even when Silvermist had tripped over an umbrella
stand and sent it crashing to the floor.
"I still say this is stupid," muttered the blue
Kougra unnecessarily. She had said that several times. Usi knew only too well
what Silvermist thought of her plan.
She adjusted the bandanna over her ears. "Quit
complaining. Just be sure not to say anything about pirates to Thaliana when
I'm gone. You're in this now, too." She dashed away from the Neohome without
bothering to look back. Usi was on a new path now.
"Wait up!" groaned Silvermist, bounding after
the Usul. The two of them ran for a bit, a reluctant Silvermist following Usi.
It was still fairly dark out, but some pink and orange was now showing over
the horizon, casting a shimmering net of light over the seawater.
"I can't help feeling like some sort of fugitive."
Silvermist still managed to complain, even when
they were running.
"I feel like I'm doing something against the
law, with a pirate. It doesn't help that you look like one, Usi. This is ridiculous.
What my parents would think-"
"Silvermist, shut up," panted Usi.
Soon they came to the dock by the marketplace.
The place was mostly deserted, save for a few early risers. The first thing
Usi did was scan the horizon for a ship. Her heart gave a tremendous lurch as
she spied a small black shape, far off.
She grabbed her friend's paw. "Silvermist, look
The Kougra sniffed disdainfully. "It doesn't
have to be the Black Pawkeet. It might just be a fishing boat. Anyway, I'm hungry.
I didn't have breakfast. Let's go buy something to eat."
Usi nodded, still in awe of the tiny ship. She
touched her bag of Neopoints.
Silvermist tugged her friend off the dock, and
the two of them started off among the many tawdry shops and vendors, all of
which were now open despite the early time.
Pawing through the pouch of Neopoints, Silvermist
poked Usi in the arm. "I think we have enough for a good breakfast, Usi…Usi?"
The Usul had stopped dead in her tracks, staring
at something. Silvermist peered around her friend to take a look at what it
A villainous looking Bori was sporting a small
vendor that was bristling with weaponry. Daggers, spears, and swords gleamed
this way and that.
The Bori spotted Usi looking. "You there! A young
pirate like yerself ought to have one of these prime blades. An' they're cheap
as you can get, too."
Usi sped over to the stall without giving Silvermist
a chance to protest. She ran her paws along the shining blades. She paused at
one that didn't seem to be made of steel. It was a sword, a grayish-bluish color
that seemed to glitter even in the dim light. Odd blue symbols ran down its
length, and the hilt was beautifully crafted.
"How much for this one?" Usi asked, without taking
her eyes off the sword.
The Bori was at her side in a flash. "Beautifully
crafted, ain't it? This un's the best o' the lot. Made of pure Maractite, from
the legendary underwater city. No one's got a way of goin' in there, unless'n
you can breathe underwater. Steel can't hold a candle to Maractite. Regular
metal would never break this un'. Took me a long time to get my paws on one
o' these. Price is 70,000 Neopoints. A steal any way ya look at it."
Usi flared up. "No blade is worth that much,
you lying, cheating old-"
Silvermist broke in. "Let's go, Usi. It doesn't
matter." The Kougra tugged the angry Usul away from the stall and the seething
Bori. She dodged inside an old little restaurant.
"That blade," began Usi, "is fantastic. I must
"But, Usi," protested Silvermist. "In the whole
pouch we only have about 1,500 Neopoints. There's no way."
Usi thought about what the Bori had said. A steal…
"I'll be right back. I, er, dropped something,"
said Usi hurriedly. She slid out of the restaurant, leaving Silvermist behind.
The Bori was now talking to an Aisha. Usi took the chance to sidle up to the
side of the stall. The Maractite blade was at the end of the line of swords.
Her paw snaked out and, keeping a careful eye on the Bori, she snatched the
blade and dashed back to the restaurant.
Silvermist was still there. "Usi, what did you
drop? Where…" Then she gasped as she saw the glittering weapon in the Usul's
paw. "Usi, you didn't. How could you- did you steal that?"
"Yup," said Usi proudly. "Here, hold this for
a minute." Usi thrust the blade into the shocked Kougra's paws and darted back
She blinked, glancing around. Luckily, the Bori
hadn't yet noticed the absence of the sword. Usi noticed the Grarrl from yesterday,
still selling his sashes. She dashed around behind the stall. Peeking around
the wood, she snatched a sash that was partially hanging off the side. It was
colored brown and blue. She balled the cloth up in her paw and sneaked back
to the restaurant.
Silvermist was gone. The Maractite sword lay
on the floor near the wall, half hidden by the shadows. Usi picked it up, feeling
relieved that someone else hadn't spotted the blade.
"Silvermist," called Usi, polishing it with the
cloth. "I'm sorry if I surprised you. That's what pirates do, they steal. Besides,
that Bori deserved it."
Slowly Silvermist moved out from where she was
hiding, under one of the dusty tables. "Sorry. I just thought that the Bori
might come in here and accuse me of steal- what's that?"
Usi waved the sash. "I need something to hold
my blade with." She wound the cloth around her middle and slid the sword neatly
through it. Looking expectantly at Silvermist, she said, "How do I look?"
"You look like it'll be hard to get you out of
the marketplace without attracting attention," she responded in exasperation.
"I'm hungry. What do you say we have a quick meal, and then we can go into the
woods for a bit to wait for the pirates?"
Usi nodded. She knew it was a good plan. "Right.
Excuse me- is anyone here?"
The Usul moved over to the dusty countertop,
ringing a bronze bell that was sitting there. After a minute or two, a harassed-looking
Ruki came out from a back door.
"Yes, yes, what is it, what can I get you?" she
Silvermist came up beside Usi and studied the
wooden menu on the wall. "Two servings of scrambled eggs, please, and some water
would be nice."
Usi nodded appreciatively, feeling rather hungry
"Very well," muttered the Ruki, disappearing
into the back door again.
Suddenly there was an angry yell from outside.
Usi ran to the window to look. The weapon-selling Bori was absolutely furious.
He was yelling himself hoarse in the middle of a crowd, screeching about something
having been stolen.
"What now?" said an annoyed Silvermist. Usi gestured
out the window. Now all the other sellers were checking their things. There
came another indignant cry from the Grarrl with the sashes.
"Uh oh," echoed Silvermist. "What a mess. Let's
get out of here before they come looking for you, Usi!"
"But how?" protested Usi. "They're all crowding
in front of the restaurant and this sword's kind of obvious- hey, wait!"
Silvermist followed Usi's gaze. There was a small,
open window in the other side of the shop. She jumped at the chance. Usi dashed
over to the window with Silvermist. Pulling over a chair, she stood on it, wriggling
through the window. Silvermist tried to copy her, but unfortunately got stuck
"Come on, Silvermist!" exclaimed Usi.
The Kougra squirmed pitifully. "Excuse me for
being bigger then you. Give me a hand, I can hear the crowd outside!"
Quickly Usi grabbed Silvermist's front paws and
tugged as hard as she could. Finally, the rest of Silvermist popped through
the window, and the two of them landed in a heap. And not a moment too soon.
The tip of her tail had barely whipped out of sight before the angry crowd crashed
through the door of the restaurant.
The two of them disentangled themselves and raced
away until they were hidden in the trees.
"That was ridiculous, Usi," said Silvermist,
complaining enthusiastically. "Why do you need a stupid sword anyway? We could
have gotten caught!"
Usi merely grinned cheekily and admired her blade
again. Silvermist groaned.
"Hey, wait for me," said Usi. "I'm going to go
check on the Black Pawkeet." She crawled out of the trees, keeping a careful
eye out for any angry merchants. It was a nice day. The sun had just risen and
there was a breeze, perfect conditions for sailing.
Usi got as near as she dared to the water. The
Black Pawkeet was close to the island now. She could see it was heading toward
the left. Feeling her heart leap, Usi turned with the intention of telling Silvermist
they had to head west.
An angry voice cut through the air. Usi paused.
"You there! Usul! That's my blade, thief! Come
back here!" It was the Bori Usi had stolen from. The crowd seemed to materialize
around him. They started after Usi, who darted into the thick trees.
"Problem?" Silvermist inquired, noticing Usi's
"You can say that again," she gasped. "We're
in trouble. I got seen. Let's go!"
Quickly, Silvermist got to her feet and the two
of them raced off, the bumbling, crashing pursuits of the angry crowd following
them. Usi and Silvermist were faster, however, and soon the crowd was far behind.
Nonetheless, Usi continued running.
"Usi, we can stop!" panted Silvermist.
Usi shook her head. "The ship's heading west.
Come on!" And she broke into an even faster run.
Silvermist kept up a steady stream of complaints
until they burst out of the woods. They stopped at a large, grassy hill with
a small beach next to the sea.
"Oh, great," panted Usi as she noticed something.
Several rich Neopets were having a picnic on the hill. Usi rolled her eyes as
she noticed the prissy Neopians daintily eating with several different kinds
"Usi, look!" hissed Silvermist suddenly, poking
Usi sharply in the back. Usi pulled her gaze away from the picnickers, gasping
in surprise when she saw it.
The Black Pawkeet was moving smoothly toward
the hill, the sails billowing in the breeze. Usi pushed Silvermist back under
cover of the trees, because it was plain the ship would stop. Usi ignored Silvermist's
protests as she stared at the Black Pawkeet, momentarily overwhelmed. She could
see the crew as they maneuvered the ship to shore, bringing it to a stop. Garin
leapt from the side, brandishing a dagger. Usi noticed, with a rush of excitement,
his dagger was made from Maractite as well. She noticed the other crew members
leaving the ship with their weapons drawn.
Of course, she thought. They're going
to loot the picnickers.
Garin's voice cut clearly through her thoughts.
"All right! All of you, take off your jewelry and give it to my comrades here!"
Garin smiled at a Uni near him, bringing his
blade toward her.
"Okay, Uni, hand over the necklaces," he said,
touching one of the expensive jewels with the point of his dagger.
The Uni scowled and lifted the jewelry over her
head. "You'll be sorry for this," she said in a high voice. "Pirates always
get what they deserve in the end."
"Exactly. And I'm getting what I deserve now,
miss," said Garin cheerfully, snatching the necklaces from the reluctant Uni.
The crew was doing their job, relieving the picnickers
of various trinkets. Suddenly Usi noticed a pink Kyrii, laden with jewels, edging
away from the commotion.
"This is my chance!" hissed Usi. "Goodbye, Silvermist!"
Silvermist looked upset. "Are you sure you want
to do this? I'll miss you!"
"Don't worry, I'm sure the ship'll come back
to Mystery Island sometime. Wish me luck!"
And with that, Usi darted from the trees, adjusting
her headband and trying to blend in. She drew her sword and stopped hastily
in front of the Kyrii.
"Okay, you," said Usi, trying to sound commanding.
"Hand over the jewels, and I will let you go without a fight!"
Usi had to work to keep from smiling as she saw
the Kyrii fumbling with the glittering jewelry. She hadn't thought it would
be this easy.
"That's enough, crew, we've made a good haul
here!" called Garin, turning from the Uni. "Let's head back to the ship!"
Usi watched as the pirates hurried back to the
Black Pawkeet, laughing and admiring the treasure. She hastened to grab the
Kyrii's things and catch up.
"Hold on just a minute. Who are you?"
It was Jacques, barring Usi's way with his blade.
He looked at her suspiciously. "You're not one of our crew. What-"
"Any problems, Jacques?"
It was Garin, moving quickly to where they stood.
He paused and surveyed Usi.
Usi leaned on her sword, trying to look confident
and dangerous. "I'm a pirate, obviously. I was…passing through, saw the looting,
and thought I might as well join in," she said, gruffing her voice.
Jacques pointed his blade at her. "Where's your
ship? I don't believe a word of your story. What's your name?"
Usi stuttered. A name. "Well I- what I mean is,
my name is…ermm…Kisho? Yes, my name is Kisho."
Garin stared at her. "What do you want here,
Usi let out a breath. She might as well get to
the point. "I was actually thinking about joining your crew," she said casually.
Suddenly, without warning, Garin swung his blade
toward Usi. Almost without thinking about it, she jerked her sword upwards to
block the blow.
Garin's long dagger was stopped. He let it down
slowly, nodding in approval.
"I can tell you've never been in a real fight
before, but you have potential. You've never really been a pirate before, have
Usi shook her head slowly, deciding on the truth.
Garin nodded, satisfied. "You have a decent blade there. Maractite, like mine.
Where'd you get it?"
"I, well, I…" Usi looked up at Garin's steady
blue eyes. Suddenly she felt she knew what the right answer was. She said clearly
and deliberately, "I stole it. From someone selling swords at the marketplace."
Garin grinned at Jacques. "See? He's got the
Jacques frowned. "He's so small, though. You
can tell he's got no experience in sailing."
Usi did not like to be talked about as if she
wasn't there. "I might be small, but I'm fast," she said quickly. "I can learn."
Garin nodded slowly. "After all, Jacques, where
would we be if we never got the chance to learn? I say we let him join the crew.
If he's not cut out for it, we can always leave him at Krawk Island."
Jacques jerked his head in agreement. "All right.
I'm trusting you with this, Garin."
"Kisho. You can join our crew. But only if you
work hard, and do your part. Got it?"
Usi nodded, hardly daring to believe her ears.
"I will, Captain Garin. I won't let anyone down," she said fiercely.
"Right. Let's go. And one more thing-" Garin
paused. "When we loot anywhere, we put the spoils together and split the money
when we get to land. Hand over the jewels."
Usi willingly passed over the Kyrii's jewelry.
Jacques took them, boarding the ship. Garin followed.
"Let's go, Kisho."
Usi looked for one last time at the woods. She
gave a short wave to Silvermist, knowing she would see. Then, turning around
without a hint of hesitation, Usi climbed aboard the Black Pawkeet.
To be continued...