"Why is there so much wood involved in boat building?" I
asked my friend Arielle.
She groaned at me. "Knock it off Marcus. The
wood won't hurt you."
"Yes it will. I'll get a splinter and the splinter
will get infected and…"
"Be quiet," Arielle interrupted me.
I grumbled about unfair Shoyrus and returned
to my work.
The former crew of the Peophin Lily was working
together to build a new boat, the Peophin Lily II. Ari and I were sawing planks
for her sides. Sammy was carrying the wooden planks to us. Jessica isn't good
at building things, so she handed tools to the workers. Brenda is nothing short
of disastrous with a hammer, so she roasted hot dogs over a campfire to keep
the warmth in everyone's hearts.
Then, an arrow pierced the calm serenity of
the building project. It landed an inch from Jessie's foot. Panicked, the human
threw her hands up and pliers went flying! They landed in some bushes and… the
But the bush didn't scream. A pirate in the
"We're under attack!" Kara Lee yelled. "They
could be coming from any direction. I'll bet my last dubloon, this is Goldtooth's
lot. They'd outnumber us four to one. I don't want to start a fight, so we run
at my command."
Pirates scrambled to obey their Captain's orders.
Jessie grabbed a hammer and threatened to throw it if any pirate should come
near her Neopets. Arielle drew her Sword of Domar. I picked up a spear and Brenda
got her bow and quiver of Jungle arrows. Sammy, being the youngest pet, was
unarmed. However, he did find a nice big rock, and he tore off a piece of his
shirt to make a sling.
For a few tense moments, there was silence.
Jessica whispering to Ari broke the stillness. "If anything goes wrong, get
your younger siblings out of here. We'll take to the air. Brenda and Marcus
got the ability "fly" from air faeries, so they can fly with us. Sammy can ride
on Brenda's back. Remember, you'll have to wait for me. I can't ride on anyone
Pirates wearing the yellow bandanas of Goldtooth
on their head popped out of every nook and cranny. They popped out of bushes,
from behind sand dunes, out of trees, and some rowed towards the shore in rowboats.
We were totally and completely surrounded.
Then, a second shaft was loosed. The chase had
Brenda flew, trying to stay out of the range
of enemy arrows. However, my little sister was too scared to fight back, so
she just flew.
Sammy hurled pebbles at the enemy pirates, running
the whole way. The pebbles didn't do much damage, but they made any sane pirate
think twice before approaching him.
I stayed away from the major action, by no fault
of my own. I was engaged in a one-on-one battle with a pirate Aisha. I focused
on defending myself. I didn't want to hurt this Aisha because he was doing his
Arielle was in the middle of the melee, pushing
everyone, friend and foe alike, out of her way. "Goldtooth is around here somewhere!
And so is his ship." She yelled. "I have to find them!"
"Retreat!" Jessica called. "My Neopets, advance
to the rear! Turn tail! Marcus, quit swinging that spear around! Get out of
I followed her orders gladly. That Aisha was
making me nervous.
Sammy worked his way out of the crowd, slinging
rocks as he went.
Brenda flew away from the crowd of pirates under
her, dodging arrows.
"Arielle!" I called into the crowd. "Where are
I took flight and scanned the crowd of swashbucklers
for my friend. "Ari!"
"I have to get to the ship." My friend said
to no one. "Get out of my way, shrub." She pushed the branches of a bush out
of the way.
I ran over to her. "Ari! You have to leave!
You're the only one who can carry Jessica! And Jessie can't stay. She's a human,
and these pirates would mince her. She's unarmed, she has no Battledome abilities…"
"I can't just abandon Kara Lee's pirates! Not
after all they've done for us!"
"We're not 'abandoning' anyone. We're getting
everyone out of here alive! If you stay behind, Jessie pays the price. You'd
be abandoning her."
Arielle froze in her tracks, to stunned to move.
Then, she turned. "I'll go, but only because I'm the only one big enough to
So, we left the scene of chaos and battle.
But was Ari right? Were we abandoning those
friends we had come to care for?
Our pirates retreated. Goldtooth had won the fight.
"'Twas the liddle lassie who led us well, Scorch,"
Flubb the Blumaroo yelled.
"No 'twasn't. 'Twas me mate Whipsail, here,"
Scorch the Scorchio responded.
"I heard yer mate givin' the order to attack!"
Said Flapp the Scorchio. "To lead our pirates into a death trap! He almost got
himself into a tricky fix with an Aisha."
"Not so!" yelled Whipsail.
This is what I hate about being a Captain. "Break
it up. Quit arguing, please," I ordered.
"Why're ye leadin', lassie? Ye don't even talk
like a proper pirate!" Whipsail yelled at me.
I gave him a look. "I'd recommend you refer
to me as Captain… Cap'n Kara Lee from now on. And my accent is none of your
business. Poor old Cap'n NightLupe left me in charge, so I'm going my duty.
Anyone who wants to challenge me may do so now."
"I thought so."
I heard the rustle of wings. My first thoughts
were; we're under attack again? Then, I looked up and saw Arielle, Brenda, Sammy
and Jessica coming to a nice, smooth landing on the beach. Marcus crashed through
some bushes nearby.
"Captain Kara Lee, I'm so sorry we left you."
"Deserters!" Scorch brandished his saber at
the four young NeoPets. "Naught but cowards!"
"They're not deserters, Scorch. They're children.
And it's good that they found a safe place. After all, children shouldn't have
A single arrow whizzed out of the sky and buried
itself in the sand at my paws. I picked it up. There was a note attached. I
read it out loud.
You might have escaped a single battle, "Cap'n",
but the war has just begun. That's right. I have officially declared war on
you, your crew, and those young ones you're harboring. They'll all be destroyed
by sunset tomorrow. You have my word.
Signed, Captain Goldtooth
"What an awful thing to say!" Brenda Bushtail
the yellow Usul wailed.
Arielle comforted her friend. "That's Goldtooth
for you. All bark and no bite. If his word were really true, there would be
arrows zooming out of the sky right now. We'd be looking like pincushions."
"Cheerful way to look at it, Ari," Marcus said
"Why is the word "Cap'n" in quotation marks?"
"He's mocking me," I growled. "Either making
fun of my accent or my lack of experience."
Then, I turned to face the crew. "Hearken now.
Goldtooth has officially declared war!"
"And it's all yer fault!" Whipsail said.
"Whipsail, if you and Scorch hate me that much,
Whipsail thought for a moment. Then, "Ye know,
ye've got a point there, lassie. Me crew comes with me! Let's go!" Then, Whipsail
and Scorch walked off alone.
"Ignore them," an Aisha said. "They were callin'
for us to be killed in the battle. 'Tis ye we trust, Cap'n. And 'tis ye we'll
A loud cheer rose from the crowds.
"Good!" I yelled. "Now let's go! We have a war
to prepare for!"
To be continued...