Lost in the Seas
Lucho was a Mutant Krawk who had been born and raised in Krawk Island. He used to sail through Neopia looking for treasures and trading goods. One could say he was a pirate, but a lone one, for he usually sailed alone, in his own boat. Many times he travelled with his best friend, Seeweg the Maraquan Krawk, but Seeweg preferred to swim alongside, only coming aboard when he was tired or they shared a meal. However, on Lucho’s current adventure, which led him north of Mystery Island, he was really sailing alone.
The day he left Krawk Island, Lucho had found Seeweg outside the Bilge Dice building and told him everything about his new treasure-hunting plans. Seeweg hadn’t wanted to go along and instead had asked Lucho to stay with him and enjoy a lazy day at the beach, watching the Food Club competition and listening to the music some locals were playing. Lucho had become very angry and they argued. He told Seeweg he was being lame and that he was needy and a control freak for not only refusing to go but trying to make him stay. He then left in a hurry, grumbling and exasperated, making everyone in the docks stare at him, despite his temper being well-known.
While at sea, Lucho had slowly started to reassess what had happened and in hindsight he came to the conclusion he had been a fool. Seeweg had simply not been in the mood for an adventure, so he suggested they spend a day together, like they had so many times before. He hadn’t really criticized Lucho for wanting to go, nor chastised him for not being willing to change his plans and stay one more day. In fact, as his anger faded away, Lucho could then see Seeweg hadn’t really argued with him much – but at the time he had been far too involved in his indignant shouting to notice it at all. The truth was that Seeweg hadn’t tried to limit Lucho’s freedom and he would have been probably fine with his going on his own if Lucho had simply politely declined his invitation.
After Lucho came to this new verdict about their fight, he could feel the guilt gnawing at his stomach and nearly turned the boat back so he could apologize. Nevertheless, he knew Seeweg was used to his temper and understood that when it was combined with a perceived attack on his tremendous need for personal space and freedom, the result was always explosive, but short-lived. He would surely be forgiven when he came back and told Seeweg he was sorry. He would also probably elbow and push Lucho and then laugh at him and the big scene he had made. That thought brought a fond, bright smile to Lucho’s lips and he managed to carry on his adventure with a lighter heart.
Three days after he had set sail, Lucho turned his boat back to Krawk Island. He was glad he had found two small treasure chests, made some good trades in Mystery Island and had no significant trouble his entire trip. Usually that last part would bother him a little, for an adventure wasn’t any fun if everything went smoothly, but this time it was different, for he was mostly happy about the prospect of going home and apologizing to his friend. He had missed him very much and had made several plans of how he would make up to him by arranging all sorts of fun activities for them.
However, as he sailed closer to his home island, he grew increasingly anxious. The sea was strangely still and he couldn’t hear the island’s usual noises, the loud laughter, the music. Soon it got worse, for he couldn’t see Krawk Island at all and he kept checking his compass, despite knowing he was at the right coordinates. His growing fear became a reality when, instead of reaching home, he spotted a small islet where a few Krawk Islanders were gathered. He rushed there and a small Pirate Cybunny he knew, named Tinypeg, told him how Krawk Island had been attacked by giant, horrible tentacles until it was dragged underwater, from where it had not emerged. With a desolate look on her face, Tinypeg went on to tell him that part of the islanders had managed to get off the island before the disaster and had even dove in search of it, but it could not be found.
Lucho was in shock at that point, though, so he could only understand parts of what Tinypeg was saying, while his eyes searched the seas frantically for the now highly improbable sight of his homeland. He started to picture parts of it in his mind – every corner meant so much, brought back so many memories. He remembered his favorite place back when he was a kid: the inner pond behind the Academy, where he went to play after school. That made him think about his time in that school, Cap'n Threelegs’s stern but funny teaching, his reprimands and covert displays of affection. The Academy was also where Lucho first met his best friend Seeweg. Lucho was a loner back then, getting more weird looks than company because of his mutated look and peculiar personality. Seeweg, however, had seemed to take an instant liking to him. After spending a lot of time with him for some months, Lucho decided that was because they were very much alike, and at the same time Seeweg was the calm and friendly counterpart to his restless and unsociable ways. They had been inseparable ever since, taking up trading at the Smugglers’ Cove until Lucho got his own boat for their business travels and adventures. Seeweg had later begun working as sea patrol, watching Krawk Island’s beaches as a lifesaver. They usually spent their days on their favorite part of the island, the bay near the Bilge Dice building, playing dice, watching the Food Club competitions and just enjoying lazy days at the beach. Sometimes they had what they called their “fancy nights”, at the Golden Dubloon. Now it was all gone. He could not believe that all those places that were such a part of his life and himself were now gone forever.
Then, his ears rang with something Tinypeg had said: only part of the islanders had managed to flee in time. His chaotic thoughts immediately rushed to Seeweg and he began maniacally shaking Tinypeg while questioning about Seeweg’s whereabouts. Unfortunately, the Cybunny had no idea where Seeweg was or whether he had saved himself, but remembered that when she had left the island, Seeweg was still there, helping with the evacuation. Lucho then came to his senses, letting Tinypeg go, apologizing and thanking her, all in the same breath. He wiped off some tears with his hands and stared into the distance for fifteen minutes, until suddenly he jumped back on his boat and set sail again.
Tinypeg shouted after him:
“Where are you going? We need lots of help here, gathering up the survivors and getting supplies!”
“I need to look for Seeweg! I’ll be back to help when I find him!” Lucho shouted back, waving. “Take care!”
For two days Lucho scoured the seas, but couldn’t find his friend. He did indeed find many islets and survivors scattered everywhere, so he helped them as much and as quickly as he could so he could carry on his desperate search. It was Seeweg who was missing, but it was Lucho who was feeling utterly lost. He couldn’t even begin to imagine what he would do if he didn’t find his beloved friend ever again.
At sunset of the second day, though, his unbelievably heavy heart stopped for a second: there he was, Seeweg, diving in and out of water, southeast of a tiny islet crowded with a few survivors.
“Seeweg!” he shouted, getting closer to him as fast as he could row.
Seeweg jumped out of the water and squinted until he could recognize his friend. He jumped aboard the boat and they hugged tightly for a long time, while laughing like maniacs.
“What are you doing out here?” asked Lucho, eventually.
“I’m looking for survivors, helping them get to a safe place. Many are so tired of swimming and floating aimlessly they are almost drowning.”
Lucho grinned. Of course his friend would be out at sea for days rescuing the frailer ones instead of mourning the tragedy in a safe, nice place.
“I was so happy you went on that adventure, or else you could have been dragged like so many were,” continued Seeweg.
Even though now it seemed a little weird, Lucho took the chance to apologize for their fight five days earlier. He was right about Seeweg’s forgiving him with a smile on his face, but no friendly rough-playing or joking could happen now.
Some minutes of chatting later, Lucho got suddenly very angry about what had happened to his home island and exclaimed, “We need to search the seas thoroughly; we need to look everywhere for Krawk Island! Or, at the very least, for the thing that took it from us.”
Seeweg calmly replied, “Of course we will. But first we need to find all survivors and help our poor fellow islanders reach safe land.”
Lucho began mouthing a retort, but then he grinned once more. Surely they could help the rescue effort for a while – together, which would be a lot faster than just Seeweg’s swimming around – and then join the ones who were trying to unravel the mystery and fight to either get Krawk Island back or take revenge. He wouldn’t be stubborn and inflexible, refusing to take the middle ground route. He had just been shown how fragile the most important things could be... He didn’t really need to indulge in his temper and his passion for dangerous action right this moment. Seeweg was far too precious for Lucho to leave him behind for petty reasons ever again.