Child of the Drenched: Part Two
Mara had made quick progress with the cutlass. She liked the academy and the cutlass so much that she had decided to take advanced classes and had been at the Academy for two weeks. She had come to like her instructor and Cap’n Three Legs very much. Bruce, the instructor, was very concerned about her. He kept saying that she was too naive and she was in great danger because of that.
After her lesson that day, he came up to her saying again, “Mara, you’ve done really well, but you can’t stay on Krawk Island. It is too dangerous for such a nice lass like you.”
“But I don’t want to go back to the ocean yet! I haven’t seen anything,” Mara cried in protest.
“I know, so I’ve arranged for a friend to take you to my cousin Heather on Mystery Island. Everyone there is much kinder and more laidback. You’ll have a good time and she’ll send you back here when you’re ready to go home,” the pirate Kougra explained.
Mara grinned widely at the thought of going to a new place. “Are you sure that’s not an imposition?”
“Not at all, she’s happy to have you come and stay with her. Go get your things. My friend will be here any minute.”
Mara hurried to her room and grabbed her bag and ran to the entrance of the academy. Bruce was standing there with a pirate Blumaroo. He introduced the Blumaroo as his friend John.
Mara smiled at him and he said, “Nice to meet you, Mara. Come on, we have to hurry down to the docks. The ship is going to leave soon.”
She followed John off, waving at Bruce over her shoulder. He waved back and headed inside, believing that she was on her way to safety. The reality was a far cry from that. She was headed for the Revenge.
John was a crew member of the Revenge and he had seen Mara’s Maractite colored coat and her seemingly unlimited supply of dubloons and had assumed she must be part of a rich family. He led her down to the harbor and they got into a little boat and sailed off.
“I thought you said that they would leave without us, but there is no one but us here,” Mara commented.
“Don’t worry, the ship is around the coast, we’ll be there soon,” John reassured her.
Soon a ship came into view. She saw the name on the side, the Revenge. The name made her nervous; she seemed to think that she had heard that name before. They rowed up along side the ship and a rope ladder was thrown down and Mara climbed up. The crew frightened her, but she fought back that feeling because she felt that it was ungenerous of her to judge them before she knew them.
John climbed up behind her and took her arm and led her to a cabin on the deck. Inside a green Lupe sat behind an expensive and elaborate desk, marking something on a map. Mara could tell by his clothes and by the expensive décor of the room that he was the captain of the Revenge. He had a large scar down the left side of his face.
“Captain Scarblade, this is the girl,” John said.
The name Scarblade also rang a bell, but she still couldn’t figure out why. Her knowledge about anything other than magic was severely limited.
“Hello, captain, how long will it be until we reach Mystery Island?” Mara asked.
Scarblade rose and looked her over. He was surprised that she was unafraid. Then he realized that she didn’t know who he was or the position she was in. Scarblade had had some magic training and while he was not gifted, what he did have was enough for him to be able to sense anyone with a magical aura. He could feel Mara’s and was surprised by how strong it was. He decided to question her to find out who she was.
“What is your name, girl?” Scarblade asked.
“Mara, sir,” Mara answered promptly.
“You use magic?” he asked.
“Yes, sir,” Mara replied.
“Who trained you?” Scarblade asked.
“My mothers, sir.”
“You have more than one? Who are they?”
“I believe that the surface dwellers call them the Drenched,” Mara answered.
Scarblade was taken aback, though he worked not to show it. This was a sea witch who had been brought aboard his ship. However, the girl seemed too childish to be a danger. If he could figure out how to use her, he could become more powerful than ever before. He decided a test was in order and he knew who to test her on.
“We will not be able to take you to Mystery Island just yet, Mara. We just had word that a terrible menace attacked a nearby town. We have been asked to stop them. I can tell that your magic is strong; would you be willing to help when we confront them? After we have succeeded we will take you to the island,” Scarblade said.
Mara wanted to be helpful to thank them for taking her to Bruce’s cousin so she said yes.
“Take her below deck to a private cabin. Please stay there until I summon you,” Scarblade directed.
John led her out and then down a ladder below decks. There were a couple of doors along that corridor and he opened one of them. The room was very plain, but it had a bed, so she was grateful. She went in and John closed the door behind her. Mara was very tired from staying up late the night before so she went right to sleep.
The youngest Drenched sister had waited weeks for a sight of Child. Finally she had her in her sights; the girl was far off in a small boat sailing around the island. She swam with all her might after them, certain the Blumaroo Child was with had terrible plans for her. Her heart ached for what Child could be put through.
Before she could reach Child, a ship came in sight. She stopped to read the name and gasped in horror, it was the Revenge. Child wouldn’t stand a chance against Scarblade’s wiles and she would never see her daughter again. Child reached the Revenge before she could catch up. She couldn’t use any magic or her sisters would sense it and come. All she could do was wait and hope that Child would come near enough for her to call to her.
Her hopes were dashed as the anchor began to rise out of the ocean and the sails were unfurled. The ship began to sail away with Child aboard. She risked using a small amount of magic to mark the ship so she could track her. As she watched the ship get smaller and smaller in the distance, she could only hope no great evil would befall Child.
Mara was kept in isolation. Scarblade did not want her among the crew for fear of alerting her that they were not what he claimed they were. He would need to slowly acclimate Mara to his crew. Midmorning the next day he ordered the anchor dropped. He summoned Mara up on deck.
“Those are the marauders,” Scarblade said as he pointed.
Mara could only see a little ship on the horizon so she cast a spell to allow her see things faraway close up. A little bubble of water rose out of the sea and in was shown the other ship. The ship was much smaller than the Revenge and her name was the Black Pawkeet. There were many people about doing their jobs and she thought they looked a little nicer than the crew she was with.
Then two men came up on deck from the hold. Mara’s heart skipped a beat; she knew them. One was the Red Kyrii she had met years ago and the other was the Yellow Usul who had been with him. Mara had wanted to see Jacques again and be able to talk with him about all the things she hadn’t been able to those eight years ago.
Without a word she dived over the rail of the Revenge and was gliding through the water towards the Black Pawkeet. A hundred thoughts raced through her mind. Would he remember her, could he really be bad like Scarblade claimed, and what would she do if he was?
She reached the Black Pawkeet and swam upward. She used the water around her to propel her upward as she left it. She shot into the air, clearing the side of the ship and landing on the deck. All the pirates jumped in surprise and pulled out their swords. She took a step back and tried to think of something to say.
Garin rolled his eyes and sighed, “Oh grand, another Maraquan.”
“I beg your pardon, what is a Maraquan?” Mara asked.
“You’re made of Maractite; how can you not know what Maraqua is?” Garin asked skeptically.
“I’m not sure what Maractite is either, to be honest,” Mara replied nervously. “Jacques, do you remember me?”
Jacques looked into her eyes; they were still as blue as they had been at their last meeting.
“You’re the girl I saw in the lair of the Drenched, the one who freed me from the chains. Your name was Child, right? You were shadow colored then,” Jacques said in disbelief.
Mara nodded. “Yes, but I go by Mara now. I’ve wanted very much to see you again, Jacques. But wait, I was told that you destroyed a costal town not far from here. Please, tell me that isn’t true.”
Garin’s face clouded with anger. “Who said this? We may be pirates, but we never hurt anyone who didn’t attack us first.”
“It was Captain Scarblade of the Revenge. He was transporting me to Mystery Island, but he said that first he had been asked to stop you,” Mara explained. “I didn’t think Jacques would do something like that so I came over here to ask you your side of the story. It must be a mistake.”
Garin and Jacques exchanged grim looks and Talak cried out, “It is the Revenge, she's bearing down on us!”
“To arms, protect the ship!” Garin ordered.
To be continued...