Beginning of a Legend: Part Two
“My name is Talak,” said the Wocky. “I want to help. Now come on, quick!” He led Garin and Jacques to a room at the top of the stairs and opened the door. Inside was a small round table with four chairs, a few mats on the floor, and one window that was covered by cloth. Garin and Jacques exchanged puzzled glances.
“You’ll be safe in here. No one really knows about this place, except for myself.”
“How’s that?” asked Garin, still a little suspicious of the Wocky stranger. “And what is this place?”
“Because I hide here, that’s how,” said the Wocky. “We’re in a room above the pub you were just in. That’s how I knew about the two of you and that scrape you were in with Daring Dixon and Big Ben down there, two of the worst pirates on this island. I must admit that I admire the both of you. I’ve never seen anybody get away from those two without a scratch!”
Garin and Jacques couldn’t help but feel proud. They had actually made something of themselves in one night. Now they were really getting somewhere. Maybe this Talak fellow could help them out more than he already had. And maybe they could help him.
“Why do you hide here?” asked Jacques.
“Do you know what it’s like to be shark bait half of the time?” Talak asked him, his ears flattening against the back of his head. “I make my living off of petty theft, and I stay alive by hiding from anyone else bigger than me.”
“That doesn’t sound pleasant,” said Garin. He tapped his chin thoughtfully. “Ya know somethin’, maybe you could team up with us. We’re looking to become pirates, and we could use a good crew.”
“What makes you think I’d be any good at finding a crew?” asked Talak. “People think of me as shark bait, remember?”
“Don’t tell me there aren’t more people around here in your situation who want a ticket off this island,” said Garin. Talak smiled.
“Well, I do know a few.”
“Good,” Garin said. “Tomorrow Jacques and I will look for a ship while you go looking for a crew.”
“Aye, aye,” said Talak. “But watch yourselves, and stick to the alleys. Dixon and Ben will be on the look out for the both of you. And believe me, you do not want to know what happened to the last poor soul they got a hold of.”
Garin swallowed. “They’re that bad?”
“WORSE,” said Talak.
Garin and Jacques walked around the harbor, cautiously watching for Dixon or Ben, looking for a ship that was for sale or one to swipe.
So far, they were having no luck. All the ships that were in the docks were too heavily guarded to try and steal, but then, a beached ship off in the distance caught Garin’s eye. He pointed it out to Jacques, who nodded. They made their way down the beach toward the ship, which was large, and had a few holes in her sails, but she was still in one piece. Garin let out a whistle.
“That sure is a fine ship,” he said.
“Looks abandoned,” said Jacques. He looked at Garin. “What do you think... Captain?”
“I’d say she’s good enough for us.” Garin winked at Jacques.
“Let’s go up for a little peek.”
“Sounds good to me.” Jacques swung a grappling hook over the railing of the ship. They climbed up and pulled themselves aboard. It was a mess, but nothing they couldn’t fix.
“Yep.” Garin nodded. “This should do us just fine.”
“Yeah, considering her owner doesn’t come back.”
“Aw, don’t be such a worry wart. You stay put, Jacques, I’m going to see how Talak’s doing.” Garin made his way back to the side.
“Alright, but hurry back. If this ship’s owner does come back, I don’t want to be caught alone here. Especially if they get angry very easily,” Jacques said a little nervously. “Meanwhile, I’ll start cleaning up.”
“Okay.” Garin slid down the rope. “See you in a few minutes, Jacques, and don’t worry. I’ll be back before you know it!” he called behind him then ran back into town.
“Easy for you to say,” Jacques moaned. He looked around the ship at the rather huge mess that was around him. “Okay... Where do I start?”
Garin opened the door to Talak’s hiding place. It was unusually quiet in the tavern just on the other side of the wall, and Talak was nowhere in sight. Garin gripped the hilt of the cutlass, that he stole last night, nervously and peered through the darkness.
“Talak?” he asked, hoping his friend would reply.
“...Oh. Garin, it’s you.” Talak emerged from the shadows. “You gave us a little bit of a fright, mate.”
“Us?” Garin asked. A red Buzz, a green Techo, and a red JubJub stepped forward.
“Meet Bill, Jim, and Gordy,” said Talak. “They’re just like me, in hiding.”
“And looking for a ticket to freedom?” asked Garin. The three nodded. “Mm-hm. Anyway, now that we’ve got a crew, or at least a small one, Jacques and I found an abandoned ship on the beach. He’s there waiting for us now, so let’s move out.”
“Alright, but we should stick to the alleys,” said Jim, the Techo. “From what I’ve been hearing there’s something astir on the island, and it isn’t good at all.”
“What do you mean?” asked Garin. Jim swallowed nervously.
“I dunno, but it can’t be good. From what I heard though, someone... a BAD someone is in a REAL foul temper. So I suggest that we stay out of sight and out of trouble if possible.”
“Well, then get ready for a hard time,” Garin sighed, “’cause trouble seems to follow Jacques and I wherever we go.”
Jacques glanced anxiously over the side of the ship. Garin had been gone a long time, and there was still no sign of him. He hoped Garin was all right, but then again Garin was tougher than nails... or at least he was most of the time. Garin’s father had always taught the both of them to never cry or give up unless it wasn’t for yourself. Jacques walked over to the front of the ship and glanced again at the name of the ship; The Black Pawkeet. The name rolled slowly through his mind. It was a fine name and fitted the ship perfectly. The wood was a deep color like black, but not so black; it was still easy to see the brown in her. It had faded away because of the salt water and heavy winds that the ocean must have thrown at this magnificent ship.
“Hm,” Jacques said to himself. “No doubt this ship has had her share of sailing. I just hope I can remember everything my pop taught me about sailing. This vessel sure looks as if she takes a lot of w-”
“What in Neopia was that??” Jacques drew his cutlass. The sound had come from below in the cargo hold. Jacques walked carefully down the stairs and looked around. There were piles of crates in there, making it possible for anybody to hide down there yet impossible for them to be found. Out of the corner of his eye, Jacques spotted a dark figure dart behind a crate. He slowly walked over towards the crates, sword at the ready, and turned the corner as quickly as he could, only to find nothing. Whoever, or whatever, had moved, had moved again. Jacques now realized that the perpetrator could be anywhere around him. He strained his ears and listened, but all he heard was the creaking ship and the wind whistling. Suddenly, someone tackled him from behind and shoved him into a crate. He reacted quickly and kicked behind him. He heard an ‘oomph!’, meaning he had hit his attacker. He whirled around to fight back, and met blades with the shadowed figure. Jacques struck at the figure who, with lightning speed, ducked and bobbed to the side. Jacques swung a second time. But suddenly his attacker hit him in the chest and then kicked his feet out from underneath him, causing him to fall backwards.
“Ouch!” he yelled. He quickly tried to get up, but then he felt the cold, smooth edge of a knife against his throat. Jacques froze, his mind racing.
“Make any move,” hissed his attacker, “and I will cut your throat!” Jacques swallowed hard. What could he do? Garin wasn’t back yet, and his sword was out of reach. For now he was at his attacker’s mercy, if he were to be shone any at all. The only thing he could TRY to do was kick his attacker off of him, but one false move...and it was over. But he had to at least try. He couldn’t give up. Jacques held his breath and shut his eyes...
To be continued...