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Old June 4th, 2013, 03:05 AM
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The Prince of Sweet Sorrow
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Age: 19
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Chapter 1: the Humming Jackdaw

Shango



The open blue was all around them, shining under the sunlight, not a shred of land to be seen. Their ship slid over the waves gracefully and quick, with her sails fully engaged; it was a small ship, and as a small ship, it didn't require many crew members to run her. Her name was Avenger, 'destined to avenge those cursed pirates,' as her captain liked to say. But the Shedinja on the masthead lookout hadn't sounded any alarms for pirate ships so far; he was floating idle underneath the white Navy's flag the Avenger flew with.

They were standing on the rails of the main deck of their schooner, looking at the sea. The western wind whipping their faces and fattening their milk white sails.

"Where the bloody twelve seas are your pirates?" the Mankey captain screamed at Shango.

"I don't know, captain," Shango shrugged, hiding his ironic smile by looking out to the sea, his cape flapping as the wind blew. He thought he saw a wild Sharpedo racing with Avenger.

"Might be they are luring us off our waters," an Octillery, another member of the crew, standing next to the Mankey said.

"Might be," the captain agreed.

Shango looked upwards, where that Grovyle Nicholas was sitting on the first sail's ropes, with Tristana flying around him. Her eyes found Shango and she dove to his shoulder, landing a kiss on his furry cheek. "How's it going, hero?" she whispered naughtily, poking his ear. Shango snatched her with a swift move and squeezed her, making her exclaim, half in complaint half in awe. She stared at him defiantly as he pulled at her wings, just to tease her.

He continued to tickle the little Victini as he left the company of his captain to head for the poop deck, where the Tyrogue was holding the wheel.

"Listen," he whispered to Tristana when she landed on the rail, the sound of the wind and his flapping cape muffling their conversation. "See that Shedinja up there?" He pointed at the masthead, where the ghost Pokemon was constantly on the lookout for pirates, the Navy's Floatzel flag flapping above it. "I need him out of commission tonight."

"Oh," she let out, watching him in concern, "umm, why?"

"Because that's the plan."

"Promise me you won't kill anyone..." She looked him into the eye, knowing, biting her lip in worry. He just smiled broadly and patted her head playfully, gesturing his head up in an easy manner to get her going. Watching her fly away, he remained on the poop deck, feeling the wind brush through his dense white fur. He felt the Tyrogue manning the wheel looking at him intently.

"Shango, 'sup?"

He shrugged, a sly smile spread on his face as he examined the sailor with half-shut eyes, thinking of how easily he could kill him. "What do you think about our captain?" he asked deviously, suddenly.

"He's... uh..." he started saying, lowering his voice. Shango had to perk up his ears so he could hear him through the wind. "He's a drunkard. Everyone's wondering how he came to captain a ship..."

Shango simply smiled. "Roads open ahead for you, if you know the right people."

The Tyrogue blinked, tilting his head in question. "You suggestin' the Navy promoted someone not worthy...?"

"I'm suggesting all of the Navy is unworthy," he said in the same tone. "Wouldn't you rather be a pirate?" With that, he took off, without sparing him another look. His sly grin remained, though, as he walked down the stairs and into the schooner's corridor, where the crew's cabins were.

A nap before show time,
he thought as he fell onto the feather bed of his cabin. He didn't sleep at all. He kept staring on the wooden ceiling, lit only by two of the sun's rays that entered through his window's lids. Well, this is getting boring, he said to himself and grabbed a red flower from the vase on the bedside table. He brought it to his nose, its aroma tickling his nostrils. It quickly brought memories from the past.

"C is for clever," he said to the empty cabin, poking a petal off the flower.

"L is for lithe," he chuckled, lithe, poking out another petal.

"A is for affectionate." The red flower was waning.

"I is for illustrious." Another petal fell on the wooden floor.

"R is for required," he leaned back on his feather bed to make himself comfortable.

"E is for eager," he chuckled again, a mischievous but nostalgic smile spread on his face. He remained staring at the ceiling, until the sun shone no more. When he noticed, he jumped off his bed and left his cabin.



***


Night. Silence, only the sound of the waves resonating on the deck. The Mankey captain was looking off to the dark blue yonder, where the clouds concealed the moon underneath, hoping to see the pirates Avenger was after. The wheel of the ship had been left unmanned; the Tyrogue lay down, unconscious, the bump on his head swollen and purple. Ever so light footsteps went unheard by the captain. Shango was standing right behind him with his hands behind his back.

"Captain," he said, making him jump and jerk around.

"Bloody hell, Shango," he screamed, his eyes widening in fury. "What're you doing up here?" The moon appeared between the clouds, shedding its light onto Avenger. The Navy Officer's badge was shining on the Mankey's chest.

"Enjoying the breeze, sir," he replied, glancing up to the masthead. The Shedinja was supposed to be there, but he wasn't. "
We have sailed so far from the Novayas, yet we have not encountered a single pirate ship. You are a poor leader, ill tempered and not fit to sail a ship. It's clear the crew's got no respect for you."

He stared down at him furiously. "What do you--"

He grabbed the Mankey's head, pushing him down onto the deck with force. "I do everyone a favor," Shango said, sinking his claws on the Pokemon's head and ripping it open all the way to his mouth.


Nicholas


Nicholas yawned, waking up groggily after a bad night's sleep on an uncomfortable feather bed that rocked with the ship. The morning sun's rays entered through his window, blinding but welcome. He missed sleeping outside, in nature, and being woken up by the sun and the birds chirping. Now all he heard was Wingulls wailing as they flew above Avenger.

Trees and leaves was where he was used to sleep, but life and need had drawn him out of the forest a long time ago. He had boarded a Navy's ship to be a privateer, to earn fortune to leave his offspring with. The job had proven demanding so far, but he couldn't complain. The Navy was generous regarding payment when it came to attacking pirates. So, he forced himself to get off the bed, put his sailor's hat and grab an oran berry to eat while he fastened the belt with all his daggers, which he hoped to use in killing some of those pirates soon.

He exited his cabin and headed through the corridor to the stairs. Everyone was asleep at this hour, he thought; he was always the first to wake up. But walking past a door, he saw Shango's cabin empty. Smirking, he went quickly went topside.

The sails were red. From the ropes hung a bloody mess of fur. The deck was thick and sticky with blood as if a Mareep had been butchered there. After a moment, Nicholas realized what he was seeing: his murdered captain, his small body ripped right open and trickling with blood.

"Oi," he shouted in confusion and awe. The Tyrogue came running up from the stairs behind him, as if he had sensed danger.

"What's going on," he begun saying, but he was cut off.

"I killed him, like we all agreed." Nicholas jerked up to see Shango on the poop deck, manning the wheel casually, as if nothing was wrong. He was looking down upon them with that sly expression of his. Then, a scream tore the skies, coming from the Shedinja on the masthead.

"Murder on the deck! Mutiny! Mutiny!" He kept screaming, then left the ship to fly to the northwest.

"Hey! Get back here," Nicholas started shouting, waving his arms in despair. The screams had brought the rest of the crew on the deck: the Octillery and the Magnezone that manned their 'fireworks'. They turned at Shango, after getting a look on their captain.

The Zangoose was pointing to the direction the Shedinja had flown off, smiling. "We mutinied. That's what the Shedinja is gonna tell the Navy. Thinking to return me to the Navy for justice, aren't you? Well, that's not gonna work. We're all traitors. No less than pirates, and we'll be hunted down like them." He held his hands up from the wheel, smiling calmly at them. "I don't want anybody getting hurt, now. I just didn't like the way the captain did business. I therefore declare myself captain of this ship, which will be renamed to Humming Jackdaw."

Nicholas was staring at him aghast. Me? A pirate? He had never thought of that before. His thoughts went elsewhere. What reason did the Zangoose have to mutiny? To score himself a ship and a good start at piracy, most like... Nicholas realized Shango had bloody well succeeded in that, and the rest of the crew understood that as well. Except, somebody kept up with the Navy's honor.

The Magnezone levitated in front of Shango and they locked eyes. "I refuse to be part of a pirate crew," he said. Nicholas noticed Shango's unflinching confidence, realizing that Pokemon would do anything to accomplish his task. The man is ruthless, he thought, watching his eyes flash in the sun.

"Then I must dispose of you," Shango said quietly. He brought his claws on his mouth as if to whistle, then his breath became fire - a small trail that remained on his claws, playing with the wind until it faded. Tristana appeared on his shoulder, then; Nicholas could see that her blue eyes were watery, from crying. She can't stand slaughter, he reflected.

The Magnezone didn't seem so eager to defy Shango anymore, now that it had been revealed he knew how to use the flamethrower technique. His flames would melt his steel body down, granting him a disgusting death; not to mention the Zangoose seemed powerful enough to crack the Magnezone in half with his hands.

It was the Octillery's turn to stand up to him. "You lied. There were no pirates! We came all this way just so you could..." he glanced at the body of the Mankey hanging from the sail. Shango spread his arms wide and backed off from the wheel, and everybody approached him. If the crew wanted to confront him for his actions, now was the chance.
Tristana whimpered, crying. "Don't worry lass," Nicholas shouted, "we won't hurt ye, only your friend."

"No!" she shouted desperately, "back off! He'll kill you all, I swear..." Nicholas evaluated the situation. The crew were four, against one. What are the odds? Can he take us all four at the same time?

The Zangoose was smiling calmly, his cape billowing behind him with the wind. "I had hoped it wouldn't come to this. Why shed more blood?"

"What is it you all seek?" he asked passionately. "Is it fame you seek? Glory? Fortune, adventure? Then I'm your man," he rasped, his green eyes flaring youthfully, patting his closed fist on his chest. "You bend the knee to the Navy. You're their trusted dogs, they set you to roam the seas and take on pirates. All the while, the pirates are swimming in gold from the treasures they find and the galleons they loot. Pirates!" he roared.
"Crime does pay, my friends. Stay under my command, and I will prove that to you. Each time you will leave this ship, you will have more gold than you can spend."

Nicholas couldn't help but be carried off. Thoughts of him holding legendary treasures crossed his mind, adventure on the high seas, battling their way through the Navy's frigates. He thought of his daughter, the tales she would hear of him and the gold she would have thanks to her father; his chest puffed up proudly. In that instant, he knew Shango was capable of being their captain, and his promises were not hollow. The others craved gold, not the honor of the navy.


Shango

The view from the masthead of Humming Jackdaw wasn't changing the past few days. Shango, as he was sitting up there, had seen ships with the black flag of the pirates from afar, but none had confronted them. They, too, were sailing under the black flag. They belonged to the Pirate Union of Carajol now - which held a code of honor, to be bidden by every pirate. No pirate was to hurt a fellow pirate, unless that pirate had wronged the Pirate Union.

Tristana came to the masthead to meet him, her eyes blurry from crying. "You lied," she uttered, "you promised you won't kill anyone..."

He shook his head, his green eyes touched with a hint of sadness. "I made no promise, Tristy. My promise is to find the Colorful Gem. I have a goal here, and I cannot set it aside by granting lives that would keep me from it." The image of the Colorful Gem swum on his mind. Now that he had gotten a ship and a crew of his own, he was able to scour the Carajol sea to find it. If he had to be a pirate on his way to getting the Gem, so be it. He tilted his head on his side and brought his hand to stroke her cheek smoothly. "The Naval Army are killers. The pirates are killers." After a pause, he said, "I am a killer. The wild beast hunting in the forest or under the water is a killer. The world is made of killers." He patted her head, but she pushed his hand and turned away.

"That's not an excuse for being relentless!"

Shango's mouth tightened, cold anger swept past his face for an instant, but then it vanished into an impassive expression. "The perfect killer has no conscience. Only objectives. Have I not told you how important the Colorful Gem is? It's not about you or me, or the captain, it's about the whole world we live in. I have to find it... the sacrifice of a few lives, in return for so many, is a cost I have to pay."
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Last edited by The Prince of Sweet Sorrow; June 5th, 2013 at 06:26 AM.
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