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Old June 6th, 2013, 12:46 AM
Ray Maverick's Avatar
Ray Maverick
You. Yes, YOU! You are DEAD!
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Age: 18
Gender: Male
Nature: Lonely
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Thank you kindly, friends, for the reviews! :D It's been so hard, writing all this stuff without the opinion of seconds to direct me.

Tristana will forgive Shango, surely. She has seen him kill countless times in the past; they've known each other for a long time, she knows how he rolls.
Though I don't know how much of a good pirate he'd make. He doesn't know jackcrap about sailing.

As for the Shedinja, yeah, he was inspired from a pirate parrot.

Regarding the image, I made it in some sort of paint program. None of it is actually mine as it is a fusion of two images (the Feraligatr and the background) found on devianart. Credit for those images goes to Twarda8 & Miggs69.

Aaand I present to you the second chapter. The search for the Gem starts as soon as possible, and there is some action with a theme I included (hoping it cuts it fairly). Enjoy, me hearties.


Chapter 2: Bar Fight


Shango

The crew was sitting on a long table inside the hall of the ship, with him on the far end. "I'm looking for something special," he said. The hat of the previous captain was on his head, sinking deep, just above his green eyes. "Something that will make us so rich, we will have enough gold for a thousand lavish lifetimes." As he was saying those words, he realized his desire was not infinite riches; his desire lay elsewhere. Happiness can't be bought, he would often think, but for six silver berries, I'll let a woman make me happy, and he would grin at the thought.

"Legend names it the Colorful Gem," he continued. Their expression shifted as they recognized the name of the treasure. "Have you heard anything of the sort?"

"The legendary crystal that's said to grant wishes?" the Octillery asked, his round yellow eyes shining greedily. "Aye! Sandor Morrigan held it, I know. Most fearsome pirate of Carajol, he was, till he decided to call it quits. Hah! That old fool must've been outta his mind. He commanded an entire pirate fleet, I know, biggest of the Union. Even the Union was afraid of him, his own fellas!

"What became of him?"

"Mates say he wrecked his ship with all his riches on purpose, to die on the bottom of the ocean, clutching 'is favorite treasure. Nobody knows where Sandor's shipwreck is, though."

"Aye, heard o' that tale," the Tyrogue said, leaning back on his chair with his feet on the table. "There's one thing, though. The Colorful Gem ain't truly colorful, rather it changes color."

"Depending on the mood of whoever wields it," the Magnezone added. "The Navy has been searching for it for quite a while, if I recall correctly."

"Ya," the Octillery agreed, "
many've tried'na find it, but alas, the ocean is vast, and the dark beneath it makes the search impossible."

Shango leaned forward on his elbow, scratching his chin thoughtfully with his other hand. "Regardless, the Naval Army possesses underwater forces," he concluded, "water types can search the ocean, I bet. The Navy will be on the track of the Gem. We'll find it first. Where to begin, though? Do you know anybody who would give us any leads regarding the Colorful Gem?"

"I know of somebody," Nicholas spoke at last, "but he ain't like to help us. He's old and afraid if he speaks to anybody, the Navy'll have 'is head off."

Shango nodded in understanding, smiling confidently without paying much attention and then asked, "what's his name, and where can we find him?"

The Grovyle seemed reluctant at first, staring at Shango, as if judging him. "Jarvis Murrows. He worked for the Navy, once, but then he turned to piracy. He's travelled all around Carajol and me thinks he knew old Sandor in person, too. We met in a tavern, where he 'as fuming about how he was cheated on a card game by another pirate captain, Tylor Grubas. Years later, he went ahead and got 'imself captured from the Navy while scavengin'. He's a lucky bastard, though, got 'is parole and then settl'd down to die in a hut. Hah," Nicholas rasped, "guess the gallows deter'd him from playin' hero any longer."

"And where's that hut?"

"Mimbletonia."

"Mimbletonia is a merchant island," the Magnezone said, "I would not go anywhere near it on a ship sailing under the black flag, captain. Its perimeter is crawling with ships of the Naval Army, who attack anything that doesn't bear their flag or the merchant one."

Shango got up, smiling at his crew. Mentally, he was rubbing his hands. "Best we keep the Navy's flag, then, mates, but change the sails." With that blood on them, they're like raise questions. "Set course for Mimbletonia, lads."


***


Two days sailing northwest through the Novayas got them to Mimbletonia. The island was the center of all merchant ship lines in Carajol Sea. Every pirate crazy enough to want to score some serious booty would raid the galleys coming and going, but naturally, the Navy had heavy presence on these waters. Shango wouldn't risk anyone to find out about the mutiny so early, so Humming Jackdaw had to hide in a cove of the island, as to not be seen.

Once their ship was safely hidden, Shango opened the chest under his bed, to pull out his black cloak with the hood, along with the steel braces that he kept hidden beneath the cloak, the red sash that he fastened around his waist and belt across his chest, to help keep the cloak in place. And of course, his black leather boots that were especially made for his feet. Inside the garments, his person was entirely concealed. If you looked at him, you wouldn't be able to tell his species. Tristana seemed somewhat happy to see him in the cloak.

"You haven't put that on for a while," she said, looking at him dreamily. He could see she had been crying, but he didn't understand what the big deal was; Tristana had seen him kill many times in the past. She knew precisely who he was, and what he did. She would disapprove every one of his murders. Yet, she remained.

"There was no need," Shango smiled, fastening the red sash around his waist. "In hindsight, stay on the ship while I go fetch that Jarvis. I don't trust my crew just yet. Burn the ship down if they try anything funny."

But there was no cause for such concern. Shango's crew stayed to guard Humming Jackdaw while him and Nicholas set off for the port. It seemed to promise of gold would drive the normal Pokemon as far as it took from morals. Crime did pay, after all.

***

Shango and Nicholas were walking in the streets of the great port of Mimbletonia, where all the merchant galleys had docked in for the night. The waters around the island were crawling with dangerous pirates who moved underwater, but they only dare come out at night, when the dark offered them the perfect cover. If they attacked at daytime, the galley's defenders would see them and fire their fishing nets to subdue and kill them.

The galleys had to stay in port by night if they didn't want to be attacked. It was night, now, the moon shining on a cloudless sky, the taverns of the town bustling with drunken songs, and the merchant galleys rocking calmly with the waves, wood screeching every now and then. Shango inhaled the sea's breeze and thought that it was a mistake he never lived much too close to the sea.

"Tell me, cap'n," Nicholas said quietly, "why's it that you wear a hood?"

"It provides the stealth I need and I've grown used to it. Knowing your enemy is the first step to mastering them," Shango replied, without specifying who he meant with enemy. "I'd rather remain hidden. Now, Nicholas, lead me to that storyteller lad Jarvis. We ought to have acquired the information we seek before the sun comes up."

He glanced sideways at Nicholas, to see him not satisfied with the answer he'd gotten. Finally, the Grovyle said, "well, last I heard, he hangs around here's."

Nicholas took him to a tavern named 'the Filthy Raticate'. Shango's nostrils twitched at the smell of alcohol. Last time he had drunk alcohol, he had done so to please a very special lady. Since then, he'd vowed to never drink again without her. Walking into the tavern, he smelled the grog's distinctive scent coming from all the tankards, along with the smells of each Pokemon in there. Drunken merchants, that's all, he identified them, his eyes skimming warily through the crowded tavern. No one of note. The place was too fussy for his liking, even though it was mostly merchants and old seafarers that sat there. Nobody really paid them much attention as they swung past the crowded tavern to the bar, but Shango did note the presence of a couple of very interesting ladies. For six pence I'll love them, he sang to himself, his half smile hidden in the darkness of his hood.

"Ahoy, Jarvis," Nicholas greeted an aged male Swanna, sitting by the bar. He looked at him strangely at first, then recognized him. Shango thought they had found him too easily. Adventure always twists. I wonder what will complicate things.

"Nicholas," the Swanna said wearily, "pleased to see you again, it's been a long time." Then, his eyes drifted onto the hooded stranger next to the Grovyle, with a hint of suspicion and worry in them.

"He's my captain," Nicholas said, patting the Swanna reassuringly on the wing, who didn't look much comforted.

They took a seat to the bar next to the Swanna and the bartender came asking. Nicholas looked through the various bottles presented on the bar then ordered a tankard of grog.

"Are you with the Navy?" Jarvis asked Shango warily, who shook his head negatively. That seemed to relieve the Swanna a lot.

"Oh, thank Arceus," he said, "the Navy's been bugging me as of late."

"The Navy will have trouble with us if they bug you now," Shango laughed out loud. He then chewed on a stick he'd grabbed from the bar, while examining Jarvis quietly. He wondered if that person knew valuable information of the Colorful Gem. Either way, he'd best let Nicholas do the talking.

"Why's the Navy buggin' ye?" Nicholas asked him.

"I don't know..." he answered, his head dropping, but he didn't convince Shango. His ears knew to separate lie from truth. He knows why.

"So, what brings you to Mimbletonia?" Jarvis asked Nicholas.

"The promise of gold, friend. What do you know of the Colorful Gem?"

The Swanna looked in distress. "Not so loud!" he whispered worriedly. "Are you mad, lad?!"

He leaned in to Nicholas and Shango perked up his ears inside the hood to hear better. "I have heard tales of its powers. Oh, it's said to grant riches and power and fortune, though it might just be rumors..."

"You and Sandor knew each other, no?"

Jarvis let out a bitter screech that sounded like a laugh. "Aye, he once or twice tried to kill me, if that's what you mean by know."

"Well, d'ye know where Sandor died exactly? They say he died with the Colorful Gem in 'is hands."

"Hell if I know," Jarvis looked at him funnily, "you think I'd be standing here if I knew where it was, lad? Though..." he leaned even closer, speaking in a confidential tone, "friends o' mine keep blabbing of a Navy's mission in the jungle of Heavana, as of late. They've found where the old pirate lived 'fore he became a legend..." he paused, lowering his voice even more, "and that he's left a map that leads to his watery grave, where all his treasures are."

"I thought there was no such map," Nicholas said, confused. "Old Sandor killed all of his crew before he died, just t'keep the location of his treasure safe, then died with his gold... in't that true? He didn't want nobody touchin' 'is gold, that's for sure, you know how he was. Greedy bastard, lone wolf, trustin' nobody, ye know how he 'as. Why make a map to his gold, then?"

"'Course, I know there wasn't any map. I've... been in his house. I saw no map, but I'm tellin' you, old Sandor did leave something behind," Jarvis insisted, but his expression darkened before he could finish his sentence. His eyes were fixed on the door of the tavern. Three Pokemon entered the tavern, all of which bore the Navy's insignia. The golden Floatzel shone dully in the fire of the torches and candles.

It was a Hitmonlee, a Skuntank and a Gurdurr with a cutlass, and they were walking to them with determined looks. The tavern had suddenly gone silent.

"You, there, quit drinkin' our money away," the Gurdurr brute with the cutlass shouted, pointing it at Jarvis. "You owe us some. You're Jarvis Murrows, aren't you?" There we go, Shango thought with a smirk, money's what they're bugging him for.

"Who's asking?" Shango said, patting the Swanna's head, forcefully keeping him on his seat as he stood up between him and the Pokemon of the navy. The Navy's Pokemon stared at him to see his inviting smile on the lower part of his face that showed beneath the hood.





"Fool must be blind," the Hitmonlee concluded, "don't ya see our badges, mate?"

"No, I don't," Shango said, sounding genuinely confused. They looked down at their chests... Shango smashed a bottle of rum on the Gurdurr's head, making him drop his cutlass and fall. The Skuntank screamed and the tavern broke into chaos, everyone screaming drunkenly and headed for the door. The merchants weren't used to bar fights the pirates usually started.

"I want no bloodshed," the bartender was yelling behind him, gathering the bottles from the bar to hide them.

"Fine. No bloodshed," Shango replied with a slick smile. Nicholas quickly took Jarvis away before anyone was hurt.

The Hitmonlee spun a kick at him but he was faster. Before it hit him, he parried the blow with the brace under his cloak and grabbed his foot mid air, twisting it and making him scream. The Skuntank charged at him from the other side and he flung the subdued Hitmonlee at him. The two rolled over and crashed onto a table, chairs and wood rubble flying everywhere. Shango let out a laugh and slipped into his battle stance, bringing his arms up, readily inviting anyone. He could kill just as fine without his claws, but none of the Pokemon of the Navy seemed to know that; for them, he was just a strange, hooded somebody who moved too fast.

The Gurdurr was recovering from the blow on his head and grabbed his cutlass, trying to get up. Shango tilted his head. "I hate these awkward moments," Shango said as he waited for his opponent to get back on his feet. The Gurdurr seemed to hesitate. He had seen how fast he was. Shango pointed at his cutlass, one black claw protruding from his cloak. "Generally, they're made for swinging, yes?" He laughed charmingly, casually, as if they were playing chess.

The Gurdurr grunted angrily and charged at him, swinging the sword. Shango jumped back, just out of reach, then threw his chair at him. It hit the Gurdurr's feet, he flinched, but he recovered quickly. He swept in for another blow, a low one this time... Shango kicked his sword hand away with his boot, the cutlass falling on the floor in a steel sound. He gripped his other arm and swirled the Pokemon around, kicking the back of his knees to get him to kneel. Using only his hands, he twisted the Gurdurr's neck with a terrible sound of bones cracking and kicked him to the floor, turning to face the Hitmonlee with his hands in the same height as his head, as if measuring his opponent through his claws.

The Hitmonlee glanced at what had become of the Gurdurr, then eyed the hooded Pokemon with a hint of fear in his eyes. The Navy isn't paying them to deal with fighters, Shango reflected as he analyzed the stance of his opponent, who was probably used to fighting drunken pirates. The Skuntank had also gotten up, the tavern starting to smell too foul for anyone's liking. "Come now," Shango said, "there's only one of me."

"Coward! Hiding behind those robes," the Hitmonlee snarled and charged hard at him in a close combat technique. Every one of his hits that wasn't dodged was parried, hitting the steel braces inside Shango's cloak; he let three seconds of the flurry of attacks pass, but seeing the Skuntank readying up his own attack, Shango kicked the Hitmonlee in the gut to double him up. He held him up as a shield against the flames the Skuntank shot; the Pokemon started screaming from pain, but he stopped when Shango dashed his head against the bar, sending him to sleep.

The Skuntank lost no time to retaliate. He released a venomous blast of black poison at him. His claws flashed and the blast was blocked in a detect technique; seeing his attack dissipate in front of him, the Skuntank made to run, but Shango pounced on him, stepping on his leg hard with his boot and smashing the Pokemon's jaw in an uppercut. He then swung in a wide arc, sending the Skuntank flying against a table.

The sounds of the tavern came back to his ears as he let his focus slip from the battle to his surroundings. His eyes travelled from the rubble on the floor of the empty tavern to the Azumarill bartender. His breathing and pulse had quickened, making his chest go up and down, but that didn't stop him from smiling. "Are you gonna make me pay for all this?" he asked him nicely, cleaning off his hands, steel sounds as his claws clashed together. He nodded negatively, even though he didn't seem afraid.

"Shango," he heard somebody call him from outside the tavern, "hurry up, they're comin'." It was Nicholas, he recognized him only by the accent. The Pokemon of Carajol and all its islands had a weird accent, he had concluded when he'd first arrived. No doubt they thought the same of his accent.

Shango grabbed a pearl from the inner pocket of his cloak and tossed it on the floor. "Sorry about that," he said apologetically. He walked out in the cold of the night, where Nicholas and Jarvis were waiting impatiently. "What's the hurry?" Shango asked casually, dusting off his cloak.

"The town guard's coming," Nicholas warned him, "we've gotta get outta here!
By the twelve seas," Nicholas cursed, breathing hard, "where'd you learn to fight like this?"

"It is a requirement for my profession and the way I was raised," Shango replied curtly, not paying much attention. "Any more questions?
"

"Aye," Jarvis interrupted, "what of me? These dogs won't give up, they'll find me, and I don't have a single dime... lost it all to that damned Tylor Grubas. I swear, the lad's never lost a card game! Been tryin'a caught him cheatin', but the bastard's too smart."

"Come with us, mister Jarvis," Shango glanced behind his shoulder, then started walking quickly off to the end of the town, where the street was dark. "You will join my crew, and you will lead us to Sandor's house. I want to know as much as possible of him."

"B-but," he stuttered, "I'm done with ships. Can't go to the open sea again..."

"You'll have to," Shango replied, nonchalant, "I hear you're quite the scavenger, is that true? Then you'd love to see a treasure such as the Colorful Gem up close. I intend to find this gem, no matter what. I offer you this opportunity."

"Aww..." Jarvis Murrows moaned, but in the end, he conceded.


***


Humming Jackdaw left the cove it was hiding by the first light of dawn, setting course for the island of Heavana. Jarvis had settled with joining the crew, only he had demanded the captain's cabin. Shango gave it up without hesitation - he was never a fun of luxury and riches. He had now made a hammock between the brails of the ship's main mast, where he could feel the wind and the refreshing cold through his fur. That's where he was now, watching the open sea in the horizon from above while enjoying the sensation. It seemed eternal. Such feeling made him feel immortal; as if he had felt it again in a previous life of his, and would feel it again in the next.

Tristana greeted him, waving lightly as she flew within his sight.

"Hey, lass," he greeted her back, inviting her with one of his easy smiles. The sad mood she'd put up ever since Shango's mutiny seemed to have diminished, somewhat. Over the years they had spent together, Shango had gotten to know how she felt and how easily she forgave him.

"Shango, you alright? Nicholas told me you got in a fight..."

He laughed softly. "Nicholas exaggerates. It was hardly a fight." He sat up on the swinging hammock. "I'm alright, see?" He knew how much she worried about him.

"You've changed," she told him, locking her cute eyes on his. His green ones were reflected on her blue ones, creating a darker color Shango had seen many times.

"I have," he agreed, after a moment. "I can't stay the same forever."

"Is it... because of... Claire?"

"Perhaps."

"You loved her..."

To that, he had no answer. He didn't know it was really possible to have a deeper connection with a lady that interested him, and what he had felt for Claire had left him confused. "Claire is gone," he said abruptly, smirking his eyebrows. "No point in talking about her."
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