Arr, ye didn’t think I’d leave them drifting in the Seas, now did ye…?
“Sail ahead, cap’n!” a Baby Grundo shouted down from
the makeshift Crows Nest of the pirate ship the Blue Mist II.
Actually, the phrase “pirate boat” would’ve been
more appropriate, for that was what it was, more or less. It was no bigger than
the tour boats on Kiko Island, but for the five Baby Neopets that sailed the
Neopian High Seas aboard it, it was the size of a respectful galleon.
“Any ways to be able to identify her?” the Baby
Mynci, one Pirate Captain Bananarama, called back up with a rough voice that
came from years of experience. “Be it Merchant, think ye? Ye lads could do wit’
a bit o’ good plunderin’…”
“N-no, cap’n!” the little alien gulped, his small
frame rocking the mast. “I-I see a skull-an-crossbones, cap’n!”
But there was no fear shared in Bananarama’s
eyes, just a grim scowl. “Arr,” he muttered as he peered through an Auto Targeting
Telescope he had somewhat ingeniously attached to the front of the ship. “Competition,
ye say? This is going to be good…”
“Si-Cap’n?” another voice wavered uncertainly
from behind the Baby Mynci.
But Bananarama didn’t need to turn around to
know who had spoken up. A Baby Gelert, who he had made (and, strangely enough,
named) Second-In-Command, was a clear-thinking and smart example of his species
– or even his style. But there was just one thing about the little yellow canine
that irked the Captain, and that was the Gelert’s seemingly disability to learn
the traditional Pirate lingo.
“Aye, Second-In-Command?” Bananarama sighed,
turning around to face the crewmate. “Ye be havin’ an opinion needing ears…?”
“Erm… aye,” the Gelert muttered with some difficulty.
“I was thinkin’ this: why don’t we try our hardest to avoid the Pirates, Mistah
Bananara – Cap’n? We move much faster than 'em…and anyways, we is just a boatful
– ship! A shipfull of Babies…we don’t really stand much of a chance against
a real galleon full of adult Pirates, rig – aye?”
Deep reasonin’ from a pup, the Captain noted.
“One thing ye must learn ‘ere aboard the Blue Mist II…ye know when the odds
are against ye?”
“Aye, lad, aye! Anyways, to a Pirate, a real
Pirate, the best odds are always the ones against ye…remember that, won’t ye?”
the Mynci added, patting the Baby Gelert on the head before turning back towards
the on-coming galleon, which had obviously spotted them too and had turned sharply
to cut them off. “An’ another thing!” he added once again when he realised that
no matter how fast they rowed or sailed, the galleon would catch them eventually.
“A Pirate never backs down!”
There was a collective cheer from Second-In-Command,
the Grundo in the Crows Nest and the two Baby Eyries rowing…
It was at that precise moment in time when the
Captain felt his crew’s spirits soar, that he felt something strangely familiar
floating around the depths of his brain, some sense of recognition of the approaching
ship. Arr, must be ‘cause it be the first Pirate Galleon I’ve seen for nay on
a year now, he thought to himself by way of excuse.
But the way the galleon moved through the waves
like a hot Silver Butter Knife through…well, butter, Bananarama never was any
good at imagery. In the recesses of his mind something related to this, a memory
of times past…
But it couldn’t be! The ship looked totally different,
the figurehead all wrong, the sails an unfamiliar shape and material. The whole
ship was painted brown… when Bananarama strictly remembered blue.
And, before he had anymore time to make head-or-tail
of the situation, the huge galleon had pulled-up beside their little ship. There
was a faint splash as anchor was dropped on the other side and, slowly one-by-one,
faces of fearsome and rugged Pirates appeared over the side of the ship. They
were all adult Pirates of course, of mixed species. But the one that stuck out
the most was the Eyrie in the centre.
An eye-patch with the skull-and-crossbones on
it covering his right eye, the Eyrie had decided against the traditional hook
to replace his lost hand in favour of an Ancient Eyrie Longsword. His beak was
bent, his lips turned up in a menacing smile.
“Why, bless me jolly soul, me hearties!” he announced
dangerously softly. “Looks like we caught ourselves a boat o’ babes!”
“Does yer mummy’s know yer out this far?” a particularly
large and dirty-looking Skeith rumbled, before snarling at the Grundo in the
Crows Nest, who quickly scrambled down the mast and hid, cowering, behind Captain
“Now look what ye did, Lardtub!” the Eyrie muttered
with the pretence of jollity. Only Bananarama noticed the hidden spite deep
within the bird’s voice. “Ye only gone an scared the little wee things!
“Arr, but business must always come before pleasure,
curse the luck. Now, do we have to come down there for it, or are ye gonna be
kind enough to pass the loot up?” This time, there was no humor, pretend or
no, in the Pirate Eyrie’s voice. Just alarming calm menace.
“Ain’t got any loot,” Second-In-Command called
up somewhat cautiously after a long silence form his Captain. “In fact, we only
jus started dis Pirate business –”
“Oh, so ye’re supposed to be pirates, is ye?”
the Eyrie cried with sarcastic amusement. “I’m sorry, I simply had no idea…the
fact bein’ ye are all Babies, an all that…now, I’m gonna ask ye nicely to stop
playin’ ye game o’ Lets Pretend for a mo so’s that we can rob ye…”
“Like stealin’ candies from babies,” the Skeith
called Lardtub added before laughing alone at his own joke with a deep, “Hur,
“Lardtub…?” the Eyrie called sweetly.
“Oh…er, aye, Cap’n?”
“Shut yer pie hole…ye’re demoted to deckswabbin’
duty for a week, get busy!”
During all this time, down on his little Pirate
Ship, Captain Bananarama scanned the great galleon for any sign of its name.
When he finally found it, his heart sank. It was called the Nautical Spear and
so, no matter how many similarities he had noticed, the Baby Mynci had no choice
but to face facts: they were being shanghaied by a totally different set of
And then the sunlight caught something, and the
little Captain strained to see what had caught his keen eye. To his experienced
eye it looked like the ship had set sail before the paintjob had fully dried,
and some of the old paint showed through. There were letters… and there was
“T e lu Mi t”
His heart racing, Bananarama looked up and scanned
the row of fearsome corsairs for the first proper time. There was Oddball the
Kyrii (still had the lazy eye, the Captain noticed), Firenze the Grarrl (who
now looked even more like he’d been dragged though the ocean backwards) and
of course there was the great big bag of hot air shooting off his mouth right
at this precise minute.
“Now, that be a very fine boat ye gone got yeselves,”
the Eyrie continued nonchalantly, unawares of the Baby Mynci’s concentrated
stare upon him. “T’would be a shame, really, if one o our cannonballs were to
suddenly drop onto it, aye…?”
“Arr, ye just try it, an I’ll be ‘aving ye feathers
for mattress!” Bananarama exclaimed and, pausing dramatically through the shocked
silence, he finally decided to add, “Hawkeye.”
The Eyrie was at a loss for words shortly, before
he finally managed to mutter an excuse. “Arr, ye must’ve read it inscribed on
“…and after all these months,” Bananarama continued,
regardless of the Eyrie’s flustered outbursts. “I thought ye’d at least tidied
yeselves up a wee bit! Firenze, there must be more seaweed on ye then there
be on the entire seabed!”
There was only ever one Neopet brave enough to
pick the fearsome Grarrl up on his appearance. Granted, this Mynci was much
younger now, and his Pirate costume seemed to come from a toy…but there was
no mistaking that voice. “C-C-Cap’n?” he stammered in sheer disbelief.
Bananarama gave him a big mischievous smile.
“Aye, so I am…unless ye be wantin’ Feathers-For-Brains ‘ere to be leadin’…?”
“Ere, sorry,” Hawkeye hissed threateningly, “but
who exactly do ye think ye are callin’ Feathers-For-”
“Oh, give it a rest, Hawkeye!” Firenze growled,
moving to throw a rope ladder down to the Captain. “Can’t ye recognise good
ole Bananarama when he be speakin’ to ye?”
“Bu-but the Captain went down with the ship!”
the Eyrie exclaimed in exasperation. “This ship! Ye all know we ne’re found
his body when we had it salvaged…an’ this one’s jus a Baby!”
“Aye, well,” Bananarama muttered bitterly as
he climbed aboard the Nautical Spear/Blue Mist. “Let’s all just say Boochi better
not ‘ave his accursed Ray Gun when I catch up wit’ him…”
Whether it was the bitter statement that corrected
all of the Eyrie’s thoughts, or just because he could no longer deny the truth,
Bananarama never actually knew. All he did remember was the bird flinging it’s
wings around him and blubbering it’s heart out. “Bless ye, Cap’n…ye came back
to us after all! I – that is, the entire crew feared ye was a goner for sure!
But ye came back! No ‘ard feelin’s…?”
As if in answer, Bananarama turned to Lardtub
(who had been known as Jack the Lad way back then, but had obviously been eating
more than his fair share of rations ever since) who was busy scrubbing the deck.
“Lardtub, get up! Yer relieved o deckswabbin’ duties…Hawkeye here has volunteered
to take ye place. Ain’t that right, Hawkeye…?”
But Hawkeye didn’t answer. He just laughed merrily
along with the rest of the crew before getting to work.
“What about these ‘ere kids, Cap’n?” Firenze
asked as he pointed at the four Baby heads that had popped up over the side
of the ship. “Shall I send ‘em packin…?”
“What do ye think?” Bananarama snapped gruffly,
and four pairs of eyes turned to stare at him in disbelief and fear. Just as
the dinosaur was about to force them back onto the boat, the Baby Mynci continued
with a playful glint in his eye. “O course not, ye prehistoric sea cucumber!
They’ve been the first crew I ‘ave had in months, and thar be no way I’ll be
getting’ rid o them now.”
This time, the four babies cheered along with
the rest of the crew. Bananarama allowed himself a small, loving smile. Then
it was back to business, as Hawkeye would’ve said. “Well? What are ye all standin’
about for? Thar be treasures to be found, contraband needin’ smugglin’ and ships
wantin’ lootin’! Get to work, an raise anchor!”
“An for goodness sake,” he added with a laugh.
“Won’t someone please paint-over that terrible name? The Nautical Spear be no
good name for a Pirate Galleon! This be – and always has been – the Blue Mist!”
As his commands were carried out diligently,
Bananarama turned to look out upon the evening horizon. Look out Neopia, he
thought happily to himself as they slowly began to set sail towards the setting
sun. Pirate Captain Bananarama an’ his band o scallywags be back in business!
Authors Note: Arr, so’s alls well that ends well…a happy endin’ an all…but
is it? Will Bananarama ever find Boochi, and revenge? Will he ever be restored
to his proper state and age…?
Neomails are welcome, as I like to hear what people think of my stories!