Destiny caringly rubbed her tender palms. Skull Island was foggy in
the mornings, and today was no exception. Destiny liked that;
something normal, for a change. She planted an oar on the docks and
leaped forward, making a shaky landing on the platform, her dark
complexion appearing pale against the nearly black troggywood. She
looked out, for whatever fifty yards she could see, and exhaled.
I lost Remmy.
Destiny pivoted in the other direction, and ran. She had run these
same docks maybe hundreds of times, skidding around corners and
sliding over dangling bridges. She slip-stepped before darting up a
staircase, and she seemingly ran through a pair of swinging wooden
doors. Stopping in the middle of the sand-laden square, Destiny
cautiously turned. The thought dawned upon her; she was no hero – she
had just escaped death a few times. People here had taken down forces
single-handedly, swordfought with too many at once. Again, Destiny
shrunk back to her child-like stance in awe. She took small steps into
the clothier's shop. She glanced to the walls, which were seemingly
decorated with weapons – a gleaming spear mounted on the wall seemed
to call out to Destiny. The floor was lined with tables of clothing,
mostly Skull-Island style; a great find would be practically anything
"Where have YOU been?" A young merchant coiled thread in a corner.
"Hello, Aedan. I got into somethin' that's none o' your business,
that's what." Aedan Bristol turned back to Destiny, and scowled.
"What do you want?" Destiny reached into a tattered pocket and removed
a decent handful of coins.
"What will this get?" She folded her hands on a table and leaned over
to support her weight with her shoulders. Aedan squeezed his chin and
pulled out a tattered apron. Destiny took a turn to scowl.
"How am I supposed to move around, draw a sword, in whatever you've
drawn in?" Destiny held a smart-looking coat at arm's length, not
pleased at all. "Is this a joke?"
"Buy it or leave, Devereaux. And get something to patch your eye,
it's...not going to get better." Destiny folded the apron and draped
it over a shoulder, as a blue scrap of cloth and a mundane ribbon
landed in her hand.
"I'll see you later, Aedan." Destiny silently left the shop.
Destiny wished that she had bought boots instead – the ground seemed
to be littered with shards of Yum-bottle and her soles were wearing
out. Sighing, she teed off towards Avery's Court – she had an aching
feeling in her side and that Avery would want to know that she was
back. Maybe he could even help find Remmy.
Vendor wagons were rare in Skull Island, and Destiny knew why. Of
course, it didn't stop her from pulling a shining Waponi spear from a
display. Looking back with her new find, Destiny saw the wagon
unmanned – it had probably just settled; five more minutes and it
would have been in splinters. She backpedaled a few steps and snatched
her fill of clothing – garments that (at least) smelled better than
what Aedan gave her. She also picked up a sturdy elastic band. Pawing
through rings, Destiny heard a shout.
"You, there – thief! What do you think you're doing!?" Destiny gasped
and took the box of rings, concealing it in her findings. She darted
away on her toes and crashed through the doors of Swashbuckler's Hall,
where Morgan Lafitte cleared her throat.
"And what do you think you're doing here, my prodigy?"
"Not getting caught? Nice to see you, Morgan." Destiny sheepishly smiled.
"You escaped again? Impossible – single-handedly, I suppose?"
"Well, not really. Listen, Morgan; I can't talk now. Not here, either. I need -"
"A place to stay?" Morgan stepped towards Destiny, beaming and
sheathing her swords. "I've heard rumor of a young buccaneer taking
control of a Troggy hut; unless you prefer-"
"No, that'll be great!" Destiny cut in and leaned on the wall, still
holding her wares under an arm. "How do I-"
"You'll need to talk to Mordekai. The pirate didn't want it." Destiny
bit her tongue for a second, then interjected.
"You didn't tell me that -"
"You get what you ask for, my prodigy. Now, run along." Destiny was on
the brink of dueling, or even laughing. She half-skipped out and
walked towards the Buccaneer's Den. She exhaled – Mordekai wasn't the
best with her, or perhaps it was the other way around...
"Good afternoon," Destiny had hidden her wares near the Life Fountain
before walking in – she didn't exactly know what to expect..
"Devereaux, what do you need?" Destiny poked her head in.
"I heard about a troggy residence out for the taking." She folded her
arms, and Mordekai scratched his chin.
"Sure, go ahead. I don't need it." Destiny's back seemed to prickle a
little bit, but she swallowed her questions.
"Thanks." She filed out silently, and picked up her findings. She
trotted over the cobblestone towards the bridge to Skull Mountain. She
pried open the gate, and took her first step across -
"Stop right there!" Destiny whipped her head around to see Captain
Avery march out towards her. "You escaped?"
"Y-yessir!" Destiny stuttered and smiled, though she could feel one
side of her lip twitch. She tried to stand straighter. "Anything you
"You escaped? What about the barge?"
"The - "
"Rumor has it that there is a prison barge stranded in the middle of a
Stormgate, and I'm only curious of how THAT happened. Spill,
Devereaux. We can't sail something as big as that into Skull Island,
and we would only get attacked if we tried a mass pickup." Avery's
eyes pierced Destiny's, and she grew paler.
"I..I escaped with the help of one..I – I can't find him, and so - "
"And so you left maybe thousands of ours, mine, the inhabitants of
this very island – on that ship. They're going to die -"
"But what about-" Destiny held her belongings closer to her chest.
"Your friend can wait. You have ten days to get everyone back – and I
don't want any more shenanigans from you. One more slip up, and I
won't take it any longer."
Destiny refused to speak.
"If you can't get them back, then I don't want to know your face,
Devereaux. Ten days." Destiny gulped. She drew a short dagger from a
pocket and made a quick incision along a fate line on her left palm.
She theatrically waved her hand and balled it into a fist, letting one
ruby-red drop of blood land on the ground. Destiny stood tall.
"I was the one who gave you the amulet, wasn't I?"
Avery wasn't impressed.
"You have a captain's – a survivor's word. Deal with it." Destiny
exhaled, and her cheeks flushed pink. She backpedaled and faced Avery
until he was covered by fog and she was halfway over the bridge.
Turning tail, Destiny sprinted until the sound of troggies became
harmonious – or perhaps until she lost her mind. The clicks and chirps
of fog-shamans all fit together like a puzzle with a lot going on –
people were fighting, fires were burning, troggies were screaming;
Destiny could get used to this. She looked for something of the worst
condition – probably a hut splintered down to the foundation. She
gazed up into the green canopy – the leaves let in very little light,
but it made what did come through look oddly better than normal
through-the-clouds light. The only hut that didn't seem to be
inhibited was one without a ladder – well, of course there wasn't.
Destiny drooped her shoulders and fastened her two good daggers to get
shoes again. It would have to do.
Destiny still couldn't tell why Mordekai didn't want the hut, besides
its location. It was small, round, not bad at all. Destiny made a
ritual similar to the troggies – whether to be funny or not. She
dabbed her hand in oil (from her findings) and slapped it on the outer
wall of her new hut. She took a breath, almost yelled for victory, and
took the jump down. She retrieved her belongings and rushed towards
the town – towards the tavern. Someone there would know how to go
about rescuing a barge of pirates. Destiny was almost sure of it. She
looked down at herself, and took a double-take. If she were to flounce
into the Kraken Skulls saying that she escaped the Armada (again),
then she would need to wear something not spattered in blood and
water. Looking through her findings again, Destiny pulled out a long
(tattered; just her luck) trench coat and gold-trimmed stetson.
Staring down into a still puddle, Destiny tenderly poked at her eye.
She dipped her head and dropped her shoulders again at the loss of her
dominant eye's mobility. It was dead, and there was nothing that could
be done. Not for someone on a deadline and a last life, most
definitely. Destiny ground her foot in the crumbled dirt and kicked
some into the puddle, causing the image to ripple and tear. Destiny
turned and dragged her feet towards the bridge. It didn't help the
situation that rain began tap-tap-tapping on the brim of Destiny's
hat. Her pace didn't quicken, and her days were numbered.
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