Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 150,952,996 Issue: 232 | 24th day of Running, Y8
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Walk the Plank: Part Three


by puppy200010

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In the Pteri's eye there was a mad gleam. He smiled victoriously and coldly as he leaned over the pirate. Darkwing flinched but refused to show any more signs of fear. The two captains stared at each other for minutes, neither making a move. All of the crew members down on the deck held their breath. In the blink of an eye, Darkwing suddenly had the other pirate's sword. The Pteri's eyes widened in fear as Darkwing edged towards him. Suddenly, the Pteri jumped and tumbled down to the deck, landing on his feet. The impact of the pirate on the deck made the ship gently sway. Darkwing jumped down after him, but since the Pteri had no weapon, he jumped back to his own ship. The crew members tried to scurry after him. Most of them succeeded in escaping from the ship, but one tripped. He tried to struggle to his feet, but Bluescale caught him by the tail. The other ship's passengers quickly sailed away, eager to distance themselves from Darkwing. The Pteri crew member was stuck on the ship.

      He stared at the crew members, frightened. Bluescale gave the scared Pteri a long, glaring look. "We're not going to hurt you," he said after a long moment of silence. "But you're part o' our crew now."

      Slowly the Pteri nodded. "Aye, I will be! Anything to spare me young life!"

      Darkwing gave an untrusting glance to the Pteri. "Down to the galley with ye. Yer gonna have t' work yer way up from there."

      The Pteri nodded and scurried beneath the deck. Darkwing was wary about letting a member of the enemy's crew stay on the ship, but Diran refused to let him be thrown off the ship. Making Bluescale walk the plank and robbing the bank had been enough bad deeds for this excursion.

     ***

      "Supper be served!" squawked the Pteri as he brought out pots of steaming hot food. Darkwing sat and took a bite, giving him a wary glare. What kind of poison or strange substances had he put in the food?

      To Darkwing's surprise, the food tasted completely fine. He couldn't detect tastes of anything strange that had been slipped in. Maybe this Pteri wasn't out to get revenge on him the way he had thought. Perhaps he truly was going to be loyal to him and his crew. Darkwing grunted his approval. "Arr, so far you've made yerself a good assistant cook."

      "Thanks, Captain."

      Later that night, when the sun had long ago set and the crew were down in their cabins, playing card games, Darkwing walked slowly down the hallway. Standing outside the door with his back against the wall, he could hear mumbling coming from inside the room. He tried to peer into the kitchen through a small crack between the wall and the door, but he couldn't see anything. Silently he tried to poke his head inside the room.

      WHACK!!

      A kitchen knife flew through the air and struck the wood just above the doorway. "Wha?!" shouted Darkwing in reflex. Behind the kitchen's island, the Pteri smirked.

      "You didn't really think I'd bow down and be loyal to you and your crew, did you?" The Pteri scoffed. "Well, now your crew will be loyal to me." He walked over to Darkwing and stole the hat from off his head.

      Darkwing was outraged. "I ought t' make ye walk the plank!" he roared, stealing his hat back.

      The Pteri simply laughed in response. Darkwing was baffled. That Pteri should be cowering by now! Every other pet that he'd threatened to make walk the plank had begged him for forgiveness! "Unlike every other brainless neopet you've come into contact with, I'm not afraid of you, 'Captain' Darkwing. Your crew is mine now. They'll eat anything, even when I've slipped some 'special ingredients' into their meals. Due to the magical abilities of these lovely ingredients, all of your crew members will now obey me as their Captain. Now, as for you, 'Captain', I'd say it's time to make your exit, stage left."

      Darkwing wasn't sure quite how it happened, but minutes later he found himself shakily climbing down the side of the ship onto a wooden raft waiting in the water. "Ye haven't heard the last o' Cap'n Darkwing!" he shouted as the ship pulled away from his raft. And then he was left alone on the dark sea, without a paddle or any supplies. Had the Pteri heard the last of him already? What would become of his crew? His ship? Oh, his ship-the beautiful S.S. Gold Dubloon. He heaved a shuddery sigh at the thought of his ship being controlled by an incapable Pteri. Since there was nothing else to do, he gently lay down on the raft to sleep. Hopefully the raft wouldn't flip over on him overnight.

      The sunrise the next morning would have been beautiful. Darkwing was awake to see it. He'd tried for most of the night to sleep, but overall, he'd only managed a cumulative total of an hour of sleep. As the sun rose, the surface of the ocean gleamed and shined, complementing the blue, purple, pink, and orange colors of the sunrise. As much as Darkwing tried to enjoy the sunrise, it wasn't easy, knowing that he was sitting upon a flimsy raft in the middle of the ocean. This sunrise was the first he'd seen in a long time, and he saw all it. And everything after it, too. What else was there to do than stare into space and think?

      The raft drifted along on the quiet sea for two days. In that time, Darkwing did not see a single other ship pass him. Using the underwater fishing skills that he had learned in Maraqua when he was a lad, he fished for food. To his relief, the fish he caught seemed to be of normal varieties, unlike the kinds he had caught in Maraqua, years ago. Even if his stomach was full, his throat was dry with thirst. It was such a cruel curse to be sitting in the middle of a huge body of water but not being able to drink any. Darkwing prayed for rain. He even considered standing up on the raft to do a rain dance. After quick consideration, he decided he'd rather stay dry and keep the raft afloat than go to such drastic measures.

      On the third day, the rain that Darkwing had prayed for came. Thankfully, the Pteri hadn't stolen his hat again before he had left, so he caught the rain in it. The hat provided the water with a slightly sour taste, but it was better than nothing.

      To Darkwing's great surprise, land came into view on the fourth day. His first instinct was to jump off the raft and swim to shore, but the land wasn't within a short distance of his raft. Instead, he used his hands to madly paddle towards shore. Within hours, the edge of the raft bumped the shore. He stumbled onto it and actually kissed the ground.

      The land that he had come upon did not seem to be inhabited. A thin forest was near the shore. Using a couple of trees and leaves, Darkwing built a primitive shelter and immediately fell asleep. Any exploring would have to wait; he simply did not have the energy to attempt it now.

      When he awoke, it was the sun was just starting to rise. He stumbled into the forest to try to find signs of life. Hours passed, and still he saw no one. At one point Darkwing looked up and found himself walking in the middle of a desert. He wheeled around to look behind him, but there was only desert, as far as he could see. In every direction the desert stretched out around him.

      "Nooo!" yelled Darkwing, dropping to his knees. Finally he had found land, after long days of sitting on a raft, but now he was lost in the middle of the desert! Wouldn't his bad luck streak ever end? Was his own karma punishing him for the bad deeds he had done? Diran was sure of this. As Darkwing walked, a hazy waterfall and lake came into view. "Arr, it only be a mirage," he said, walking past. "If I try t' drink that water, it'll only be sand."

           Soon, yet another image came into view. It was a house with a flawless paint job and well kept lawn. Again, he walked past. "Me mind must be playin' some cruel tricks on me," moaned Darkwing.

      For a third time, something came into view on the endless expanse of desert. A Desert Shoyru appeared on the horizon. Darkwing was sure he was going crazy by now. The Shoyru appeared to be walking towards him! He laughed at his own mirage. The pet became even more clear, until he appeared to be standing right in front of Darkwing. Darkwing poked him, ready to prove to himself once and for all, that he was seeing things. The pet was solid. "You...you're real!" Darkwing sputtered, laughing like he had gone insane.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Walk the Plank: Part One
» Walk the Plank: Part Two
» Walk the Plank: Part Four
» Walk the Plank: Part Five
» Walk the Plank: Part Six
» Walk the Plank: Part Seven



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