I had my suspicions, however I could not have imagined the raging wildfire caused by one spark of curiosity. Although the following information is immensely important to the story of Israel Dereveux, (me), I will not bore you with the climax of my story. You must know what I have had to do in order to survive up until this point, but let us start at the beginning.
Gandry and Boochbeard saved me from that Armada ship that faithful day, however they had no idea how much of a bounty was suspended over my head for my crimes against those clockworks. Unlike your regular pirate, I was held captive in one of the Armada’s most elite gunships, equipped with more cannons and battle angels you would believe. I was imprisoned inside of a cell, inside of another giant cell, inside of another giant cell, so monstrous that it occupied an entire floor. You might say I was under maximum maximum security. Yes I said maximum twice. You know why? Because without assistance, escape was humanly impossible. I can not speak for the other species in the Spiral, however for a human, there was no escape. Don’t ask me how the Dastardly Duo got in, because I don’t even think they know. All I can say is that we made it out alive. Barely, but we made it.
If you wish to know what I did to deserve maximum maximum security on an elite Armada gunship, gain my trust, and I can tell you.
Now back to the story. When Gandry and Boochbeard delivered me to Avery, I walked right up to the thief and spat “Where is the ship my parents left for me?” Avery feigned confusion. “I have no idea what you are talking about, who your parents are or who you are! I suspect you are the one who was recently rescued from a clockwork gunship, and that you seek employment. Formalities first, or you will leave Skull Island very unhappy. Now, you obviously know who I am, so who are you?!” I let his words hang there as I scowled with distaste. I finally managed to say two words through the bitter taste in my mouth: “Israel Dereveux.”
Avery’s eyes widened in disbelief. “But that’s impossible. Your entire family was killed years ago, when the Armada attacked your home. There were no survivors.”
“Wrong. There was one.”
“Now where is the ship? I know you know where it is!” my voice cracked from desperation. “Tell Me!”
That terrible pirate had the nerve to say no. I drew my blades, a family heirloom, the gloom tracker blades and nearly whispered “I would hate to start a battle.” Avery watched in horror as I threw one at that annoying eagle on a podium. He didn’t take the time to realize that I spun it and only knocked the artifact off with the hilt of the blade.
He finally broke. He knew what I was capable of and agreed to give me the ship, but only if I helped him. I blew through the Troggies, (I may have stolen a hand cannon or two) and cut straight through Livsey’s cage. But instead of running straight up to the Cutthroats as soon as possible, I began to wonder. Livsey felt no compassion, no sympathy towards the Troggies, even though they were both frogs. So many questions crossed my mind that moment that I still have no idea how it happened. Fate? Destiny? Or just simply the insatiable curiosity that drives humans to know everything? Yes I did find Sheppard, yes I put Fin in his place, however the question of the Froggies and the Troggies continued to nag at me.
Before returning to the fiend with a beard that’s disproportional to the rest of his face, I explored the Troggy settlement. All hope was basically lost, for I had done nothing except defeat Troggies and attempt to decipher glowing Troggy hieroglyphs inscribed in and inside of trees when I found something. I was inside of the last hollowed out tree, which was most likely the Troggy Shaman’s hut, and fount a parchment. Now I had seen many of these, however they were all in glow-writing. What struck me about this one was that I saw Human writing on it. Not only human writing, but also glow-writing with arrows pointing to real letters! I flipped over the paper and found a story. I had not deciphered it yet, however I knew it was significant from the illustrations.
I brought the parchment back to my home, and realized something new about it. It was not written in the Troggy language. None of the glyphs or symbols showed any resemblance to the ones I had seen before. At first I decided not to question the origin of this document. I assumed it was special code for the Shamans. After I read the first bit, I withheld all guesses about the paper until I had confirmed them. The first paragraph stated: “Congratulations! If you are reading this, that means you are humanoid and survived the outbreak! It also means you have defeated a strong Tree Frog, in Survivor jargon, ‘Troggy.’ Those evil creatures have fueled the downfall of civilization! Oh, if you are a Troggy and somehow are reading this, now you know what Grandpa did for a living. He helped consume the entire Spiral, wipe out entire civilizations and destroy all that has not been ‘changed.’ That is if a Troggy has managed to read this. If not, everything except the part about destroying everything. They will almost have, but not entirely.”
Then, I knew that it was written by an ancient civilization. Not the Troggies, no. They do not know human tongue, hopefully never will. I only know a few ancient civilizations, and there are probably lots I don’t know to this day, however at the time I only knew one that has completely died out: Azteca.
Although I had no way of being sure, I knew one person who might know if my theory was correct: Howard Argleston. I knew of his past as a librarian, and how he now resides in Cool Ranch.
I returned to the court of the Tyrant of Treachery and paid a visit to the nearest Transportaler. Now, you must never speak of what I did next to anyone, lest I will find you before they find me, I can guarantee you that. I removed one of my blades from my belt and slowly began tracing an old- fashioned scale in the sand at me feet. Then, I pointed my blade at Mr. Transportalater and a huge cloud of sand gathered around him and hit him in the face. I sprinted for the portal and jumped right into it. But right as I jumped, I barely saw that Krok’s glowing eyes, open just a millimeter, watching me in wonder and fear at the same time. I fell face-first out of the portal then found Argleston at the saloon but before I speak the events consequential to that, I must address a matter of extreme urgency.
Now that I have shared one of my powers with you, there is no turning back. I better be able to trust you, or else. You wish to know one of my greatest secrets? The thing that separated my parents from all other pirates? The reason I am so dangerous that the Armada attempted to wipe out my entire line? Well you seem trustable enough. Not really, that’s just a formality, because if word of any of the following information gets out, I will kill you.
I did not live my entire life in the perilous land of the Skyways, the world conquered by the Navy. My parents, who lived longer than I have so far were just like me, but just lived in our island longer home longer than the place of my origin. I was born and raised in Wizard City.
Now that that is off my chest, I believe I will be able to share more of my secrets with you. However, if I burden you with too much dangerous information too quickly, that could be damaging to your sanity. I promise I will share everything, but for now I just need to think.
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