By joshmightbe 15 Comments
Continued from here part 1
Hana stood across from Bartley with a crudely carved wooden blade, "Why do I need to learn this."
Bartley put a hand on his hip, "You're throwin' star ain't like normal blades. Its a livin' thing that has to rest from time to time and it ain't a whole lot of use in a close up fight without power."
He then swatted her blade aside and stopped his a mere inch from her neck, "You want to live this life, you're gonna need to get better."
Angus leaned against the mast as he looked to Bartley, "I know I heard of you, somewhere."
Bartley shrugged, "That so?"
Angus searched his memory, "I heard tale of a pirate named Black Heart Bartley."
Bartley chuckled as he knocked Hana's blade away again, "Haven't been called that in years."
Angus grinned, "They say you killed a thousand men."
Bartley shrugged, "Bah, it was barely a hundred. Folks love to exaggerate."
Hana sighed as she dropped her blade, "If you're a pirate, what are you doing on a Navy ship."
"Well, see quite a while ago I ran into this young Navy Lieutenant in the middle of a raid. Big son of a b*tch who fought like a monster. In the middle of everything he'd got his sword knocked out of his hand and I thought he'd be easy pickings. He swatted my blades from my hands and beat me half to death with his bare hands.
A bit after that I was waiting for a judge to tell me I was being executed when that big man said I'd be more use on a Navy ship than at the end of a noose. Told'em if I made trouble he'd kill me himself. Been workin' for him ever since."
He then side stepped and tripped Hana as she tried to charge. He caught her just before her face hit the deck and yanked her back to her feet, "Don't be thinking I can't talk and fight at once."
Across the deck Vargas working out a kink in the anchor line when Akida stepped up behind him, "You think you're funny, sell sword?"
Vargas looked back, "I've been known to crack a joke or two."
Akida gritted his teeth and shoved Vargas who rolled his eyes, "You're just intent on being a cliche' ain't you?"
He then took a swing that Vargas easily dodged and followed it up with an attempted strike with his hook blade. Vargas caught his wrist and looked at it, "Triton's Claw? Guess you do have to give up a hand to use it."
Vargas then put a foot to his gut and kicked him away. He noticed the blade beginning to glow, "Controlling fish ain't gonna do you much good here."
Akida looked surprised at the blades activation but they were distracted by the ship suddenly dipping on the port side. Abasi and Kearn were sitting inside the cabin playing cards when they were both suddenly slung to the floor. Kearn sat up angrily, "What the hell is going on?"
On the Deck Vargas and Akida's eyes went wide as massive tentacles began wrapping around the ship. Vargas turned, "You called a damned Kraken?"
Akida looked just as shocked as Vargas as he began to stammer, "I didn't mean to."
"Do you even know how that hook works?"
Menace and Bedlam burst from the cabin to attack the beast followed by Kearn and the rest of the crew. The Admoral roared, "Get that thing the hell off my ship."
Angus was the first to hear the mast crack. He and Bartley grabbed it to keep it from coming down as the Changeling took the form of a support beam. Bedlam tore into one of the creature's tentacles as Menace leapt for its face. The creature fell back into the water taking the dogs with it.
As it moved to grab them Kearn stepped up on the bow and sent Leviathan to capture the Kraken and move it away as he ordered , "Drop a longboat and get my dogs."
As some of the crew got the dogs Kearn noticed a guilty look on Akida's face as Vargas stepped away from him. He marched over and stared down at the frightened sailor, "Did you call that thing?"
Akida looked as if his life flashed before his eyes as Vargas tried to slip away. Kearn caught him by the back of his shirt and dragged him back, "Two days in the brig, both of you."
Vargas seemed stunned, "He started it."
"And I'm ending it."
After seeing Vargas and Akida to the brig he came back up to see his shipwright, a middle aged man named Olaf. Olaf had an annoyed look as he stood by the mast of the mainsail, "I can patch it but if we get much more than a stiff breeze, I'd be shocked if it doesn't give."
Kearn sighed, "If we head north east we ought to meet up up with the God's Head in a day or so. We can do a proper repair there. In the meantime, do what you gotta do."
Down in the brig Vargas looked over to Akida's cell, "You haven't figured out how to talk to that hook, have you."
Akida turned away in a huff as Vargas chuckled, "First time I accidentally let the Wolf howl, I blew a wall out of an inn. Couldn't hear crap for near a day after. The inn keeper was mad as hell. My father laughed his ass off."
Akida turned, "I only got the thing a month ago."
Vargas gave a nod.
Captain Barrick sat on a barrel on a pier sipping rum from a bottle as a massive ship pulled into the harbor. He tossed the bottle to Amos as it docked and walked over. As the gangplank hit the dock a woman stepped down. Her name was called Selena and at her side was a claymore broadsword called the Midgard Serpent.
Barrick gave a bow and spoke in a mocking tone, "What brings the pirate queen to my humble island?"
She gave an annoyed look, "Stow it. Its been a long sail and I need some rum. We'll attend to business after."
He chuckled, "You're in luck. The Navy was generous enough to part with a few dozen barrels."
She got a slight grin, "That was awful nice of them."
Two days later.
The Barracuda pulled up to the God's Head. Angus and Hana looked in awe at the ship the size of a city. Bartley chuckled, "Nice boat, huh?"
Down in the brig The Master-At-Arms, named Castor unlocked the cell doors, "Olaf said to tell you, if you try to break his ship again he'll have you keelhauled across the God's Head."
Vargas got up from his cot with a stretch, "Been a while since he threatened that, the kid must have broke something big."
Castor nodded, "The kraken broke the mast for the mainsail. Bartley had to talk the old man out of coming down here and burring his ax in your heads."
As Kearn stepped off the ship a petty officer shouted, "Admiral On deck!"
The men around him gave a salute which Kearn returned. He then looked to the chief petty officer of the God's Head, Argus, "We got a mast that needs replacing."
Argus gave a sigh, "We should be able to handle it."
Kearn gave a curious look, "There a problem sailor?"
Argus looked over to Bartley as he stepped off the ship, "Barrick and that damned sister of yours have amassed a fleet of pirates and they claimed an island sitting in the middle of the biggest trade route between the Western Empire, Europa and the African Empire. They've been raiding any ship that comes through for weeks."
Bartley chuckled, "Selena loves stirring crap up, don't she."
Argus shrugged as he looked back to Kearn, "Supplies are getting a bit tight."
Kearn nodded, "You planing on sending someone after them?"
"We have, last try they sent back one sailor in a dinghy and killed the rest for show."
The Admiral sighed, "Well get my ship fixed up and I'll go take care of that for you."
They began to walk off when Lieutenant Casandra cleared her throat behind them. Kearn turned, "You're supposed to salute."
She gave a slight grin, "Who says you deserve it old man?"
He laughed, "That's my girl. Where's that grand daughter of mine? Got her a present from the Capitol."
Vargas stepped off the ship and Kearn pointed, "By the way, brought your cousin with me."
She gave Vargas a wave as she answered, "Kali is in school, it can wait."
She got a bit of a serious look, " I heard about Marcus and Victor."
Kearn shrugged, "Bah, they went out in a fight, they'd have had it no other way."
"I also heard about Vargas killing Harris."
"He's fine, and if he weren't he ain't the sort who talking it through would help."
Angus and Hana met Vargas by ship. Angus looked him over, "All rested up?"
Vargas stretched his back, "I've slept on stone softer than a Navy brig cot."
Hana gave a wary look, "Perhaps it will teach you manners."
(To be continued)