Battle Quills... ready! Circulation: 112,409,164 Issue: 224 | 20th day of Sleeping, Y8
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To Be a Pirate: Part Five

by lolazgirl


Usi slowly realized she was awake, which was a surprise in itself. The small Usul stretched. She was lying on a cold, wet stone floor. Looking around, Usi discovered she was in some sort of underwater cave. Most of where the floor would be was water, so it must be an air pocket under the sea. Apprehensively, Usi wondered how she had gotten here. She wasn't bound anymore…

      "Garin?" called Usi, stumbling to her feet. She spotted him, still unconscious, a few feet away. "Wake up, Garin!" Usi said insistently, hurrying over and bending over him.

      "What…" Garin's eyes fluttered. He rubbed at them dazedly. "Kisho, is that you? What's going on? Where are we?"

      He seemed to wake up a little more when he noticed the surroundings.

      "You okay?" asked Usi, relieved.

      "Yeah…I don't know where we are, though. I'd feel a lot better if I had my dagger. That fiend Scarblade must have it. He'll pay for this," said Garin fiercely. Then he seemed to notice her a bit more. "You sound strange, Kisho. You look almost like a girl when you're all wet."

      Frantically Usi adjusted her bandanna and remembered to gruff her voice. "What are you talking about? You must be confused. Let's see if we can find a way out of here," she said nervously. Garin looked at her curiously. But before he could say anything, there was a noise from the water, and a head broke the surface.

      "Caylis!" exclaimed Garin. "It's you! Did you save us?"

      "Garin!" Usi stammered. "Who is that?"

      "I am Caylis," said the Maraquan Aisha. "Yes, Garin, I did save you. No need to look so surprised."

      "But-" he stopped himself just in time. He was about to say what an un-Caylis thing to do that was.

      Caylis understood what he meant. "I dreamed of you, and this girl here, in danger. I could not sleep then, so I set out to find you."

      "Uh, thank you!" said Garin, slightly taken aback. "Wait- Kisho here is a boy, not a girl."

      Caylis frowned. "No. That Usul is female. I dreamed of her dressing up as a boy-" Caylis paused, obviously realizing Usi did not want this known.

      "Is that true, Kisho?" demanded Garin. "You're a girl? You lied to me? Being a pirate is too far dangerous for a girl!"

      "Garin, no, you don't understand," pleaded Usi, sensing the situation spinning out of control. "My…my name is Usi. I'm sorry I lied to you. I wanted to be a pirate!"

      Garin scowled at her. "Girls can't be pirates. As soon as we get to land, you are to leave. I don't want you on my ship!"

      Suddenly Usi got mad. "Well, why can't a girl be a pirate?" she shouted, taking a step forward. "I'm just as brave as you are! You're a stupid, selfish, self-centered Usul who has no right to be called a pirate! For a captain, you're totally impossible!"

      Garin exploded. "You're very lucky I don't have my blade right now!" he fumed. "You are a traitor and a liar, and I don't welcome traitors in my crew!"

      "Enough!" said Caylis, loudly and angrily. "If I remember correctly, Garin, in my dream, this girl left the safety of below the deck to help you. In my opinion, you should be thanking her!"

      There was a pause as Caylis and Garin glared at each other. "Fine. Thank you, Usi, for attempting to help me. But you lied, and the sea is no place for you. I must stop Scarblade and reclaim the Black Pawkeet and my crew. Caylis-" he turned toward the Aisha. "You must have been near the ship. Jacques was cast overboard. Did you see him?"

      Caylis shook her head. "I apologize, I did not."

      Usi felt the fury leave her as she looked at Garin's distressed face. "I'm sorry, Garin," said Usi quietly. He didn't look at her.

      "I have to return to the surface. Jacques and the crew may yet be alive. Scarblade's days are numbered! Caylis, where is the nearest land?" said Garin, without looking up.

      "There is a cove near here," she replied. "I will escort you there. If there is the smallest chance that Jacques made it to land, that is where he will be."

      "Then I want to leave now," said Garin resolutely.

      "It is a long way up," Caylis warned. "You may have trouble."

      Grudgingly, Garin reached into his pocket. He pulled out his magic necklace, which he passed to Usi.

      "I can hold my breath longer then you can," said Garin in irritation. "That necklace is magical. If you wear it, it will let you breathe underwater. You wear that, and Caylis can help me"

      "All right," replied Usi in surprised bewilderment. "Thank you!" Slipping the green necklace over her head, she jumped into the water. Garin followed.

      "Take a deep breath," Caylis advised. "Time to go."

      Quickly, the three of them dove underwater. Usi took a nervous breath. The necklace seemed to work fine. Caylis and Garin were soon in front of her, they being better swimmers. It was a long way up. Usi swam as fast as possible, keeping right behind Caylis and Garin.

      After a minute, Usi put on a burst of speed and swam up next to Garin. It was clear he was having difficulty continuing. Having an idea, she slipped the necklace off and placed it on Garin. He opened his eyes and looked at her in surprise. Usi swam up ahead without giving him a chance to do anything.

      Luckily, they soon reached the surface. Usi plunged above water and gasped for air. Garin and Caylis surfaced a moment later.

      "Well, obviously you don't listen to orders," said Garin halfheartedly. "I told you to wear the necklace. But thanks." For some reason, he took it off and handed it to Usi. "I want you to keep this for a while. We might need to go underwater to spy on Scarblade, and you're smaller then me. You'd be better at it."

      Looking slightly surprised, Usi tucked the necklace away. It was late afternoon, and the sun was shining. The clouds of the previous storm were gone.

      "The weather sure changed fast," muttered Usi.

      "Good," said Caylis. "We are at land. Come." She swam forward, and Usi saw that they had come up near a large cove.

      Usi and Garin were soon able to scramble up onto the sandy shore. Caylis stayed in the slightly deeper waters, watching them. "Goodbye," she said. "Scarblade is dangerous. Watch out for him." Caylis turned and swam out into the ocean, quickly disappearing into its depths.

      "She was, er, helpful," said Usi, breaking the silence.

      Garin shrugged. "Believe me, that was cheerful for Caylis. Maybe now that she can go back to Maraqua if she wants, she won't be so unhappy."

      Garin started off down the beach, Usi running after him. "Where should we look?" she asked after a moment. Garin sighed.

      "I don't know," he admitted. "I don't know what to do. I wish I could find Jacques."

      "Wish granted, old friend!"

      Garin spun around. There, having just stepped out of the trees, was Jacques!

      "Garin!" he exclaimed happily. "I never thought I would see you again. How did you escape from Scarblade?"

      "Thanks to Caylis. She rescued me after the pirates threw us into the ocean. But how did you survive, Jacques? I saw you fall into the sea," Garin said exuberantly.

      "The waves drew me away from the ship, friend. Isca helped me return to land," he responded. "Is that Kisho behind you? I have to say, Kisho, I wasn't sure about you at first, but you showed loyalty and bravery on the ship. You're not a bad fighter, either. I'm glad to see you alive."

      "Thank you," replied Usi uneasily, looking at Garin. She was sure at any moment he would tell Jacques the truth.

      After a moment, Garin asked hesitantly, "How is Isca? It appears for once it was Caylis who had the helpful dream. Has Isca already left?"

      "Yes," Jacques replied. "She would have been pleased to see you, though. I wish I could tell her you are fine. She was worried when I told her about the Black Pawkeet's plight."

      "Do you know where the Black Pawkeet is?" asked Usi quickly.

      "No," said Jacques. "I'm afraid I don't know where Scarblade is either. What I wouldn't give to repay him!"

      "You might be able to," said Usi. "It's logical for the Revenge to bring the Black Pawkeet to this place, the nearest land. I say we search the cove."

      Garin looked at her sharply. She was sure he was about to inform Jacques of what she was, but there was a sudden commotion behind them.

      They whirled around, all three of them reaching for weapons that weren't there. Apparently a group of pirates had been sneaking up on them when one of them tripped. Usi recognized the pirates from the Revenge's crew.

      "Attack!" the pirates yelled at once. They sprang upon the three. Jacques, Garin and Usi had no weapons and they were heavily outnumbered.

      The pirates overpowered them easily, forcing them together. An evil-looking Bruce produced a long rope, and proceeded to tie the three of them together.

      "Release us," Garin demanded. The Bruce laughed nastily. "I don't know how you survived our last attack, little Usul, but I imagine Captain Scarblade will be very pleased to see you!"

To be continued...

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Other Episodes

» To Be a Pirate: Part One
» To Be a Pirate: Part Two
» To Be a Pirate: Part Three
» To Be a Pirate: Part Four
» To Be a Pirate

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