Barkeep Flopsy, or One-Eyed Jack turned his nose up at the sound of a large party. He wasn't used to so many coming in at once. Through the door came a few familiar faces. The Black Spot only had the chatter of a pirate with a professor, and something coming from the cellar. It was none of his business. It was a relief to see more than two or three pirates appear in the doorway. Jack's only problem was that two of them walked as if their knees hadn't grown in, another was practically unconscious, and that Destiny Devereaux was still a tad weak at the sides.
"Devereaux and company, eh? How's that eye?"
"Yum for six, Jack," Destiny sighed, "You know I'm not in the mood for conversation." Destiny sat down on a barstool and laid her head down on the bar, taking deep breaths. "Just had a fight, we did." Jack exhaled.
"Ah, I see. You poor, tired pirates – here's a deal..."
"No more deals - especially from you!" Destiny growled.
"Calm your nerves, I was meaning that I'd give you Yum for free." The crew joined Destiny and awaited the bottles.
"Nonsense." Delaney gasped. "Put it on my tab. The Sky's Ransom."
"I know you," Jack muttered as he flipped through a binder. "The Sky's Ransom."
"That sounds interesting," Remmy noted, clenching his calves. "Where'd it come from?" Delaney shook her head and took a swig of Yum. Her eyes drooped, and Destiny smiled casually for a second before mumbling in thought.
"I was out for four days. Four days!" Destiny stood up shakily. "One day I was selling, the next day I got captured, and that's six with capture, plus three for Delaney, and..."
"Ten! Time's up, Devereaux." Destiny stood her ground before Captain Avery. He nodded and looked down at the captain, taking confident strides across the tavern. Destiny sighed. "You didn't free any of the prisoners, did you?" Jack clicked his tongue a few times, checked his pocketwatch, and walked out of the room behind a curtain.
"Not only have you failed with doing that, but you have also teamed up with an old nemesis of mine. Hello, Fin." Fin grunted and stood up behind Destiny.
"Leave, Devereaux. I'll turn Morgan against you if I have to. She still knows the Grand Shadowdance." Destiny looked back at Fin and her newfound crew.
"Delaney. Remmy. Fuel the Ransom. Sarah, Juan. Set a course." Destiny waved her crewmates off.
"Where?" Sarah whispered.
"Anywhere but here. Fin, be near." Destiny waited for the rest of her crew to leave, and Avery took the first line.
"You are not to harbor or dock anywhere in the Skull Island Skyways, and you'd best stay out of Flotsam and Tradewinds. Get windstones and get out of here," avery said. Destiny stayed silent.
"And if we do happen to flounce past?" Fin grunted.
"If I even hear about your crew near Skull Island, I will send my best out until they have your heads." Avery stared into Destiny's eyes. "Only because you took down a fleet are you exiled. Get out of my sight." Destiny nodded to Fin and they filed out silently, Destiny waving to the curtain.
Flotsam was beautiful that Summer day. The sun shined on Destiny's skin and a warm breeze lifted her hair a bit.
"I'm going to miss the Black Spot. Jack gave me free Yum," Fin chuckled and pointed to the green sails of The Sky's Ransom. He didn't like leaving, either. Skull Island had been his home for as long as he could remember, and leaving was like taking your sharpest sword and giving it to a rat squirt. Destiny didn't look all too well, either. Fin could notice how much the blood scarred her, how she cringed at it like a merchant or a waiter.The crew approached The Sky's Ransom. Delaney sat down on the deck, and Remmy leaned on the rail. Sarah and Juan were at the wheel, conversing. Destiny joined Remmy and Fin decided to take a peek at the cabins.
The wind stung Destiny's face. She was sitting with Remmy and Delaney, like apprentices during a break back in her childhood memories – Grizzleheim, in a place called Savarstaad pass – little bears would sit in a circle and chat when they got a break from hunting and training. Destiny didn't ever recall joining them. Delaney had her eyes slightly closed in the wind, and her hair enveloped her face. Remmy didn't have quite as much hair, but he had pulled his knees closer in the breeze, a meager coat keeping his warmth contained. Destiny's hair didn't flow as much, nor was she cold. Her eye, the bad one, hurt. She had probably strained it during the battle. Destiny didn't like the feeling that her vision was cut.
From the sky, a blue and yellow ball of feathers tumbled down. Squawking, it landed on Juan's helmet.
"That's the Admiral." Destiny explained. "Admiral Midnight – he can carry messages to Skull Island, but what's the use?" The Admiral kept squawking until Sarah investigated.
"Look, captain! A letter from One-Eyed Jack," Sarah pointed out, unrolling a note that simply read, So sad to see you go, Devereaux. Yum's on me if you bring back stories. -Jack
"THAT will definitely get us somewhere." Destiny sighed. "Where's our first stop?"
"There's a lightouse up ahead." Juan suggested, and Destiny shrugged. "A forest, too."
"No. Undead, mainly." The monkey shrugged.
"Wonderful." Destiny sighed. She rested her chin on the railing and looked out into the setting sun. "Exiled, day one. Wouldn't Jack like to hear about this?"
"Thank you, Admiral." One-Eyed Jack sent the skarakeet into the sky, and he sighed at the setting sun. He didn't like knowing that his common customers were shunned from landing in his docks, but maybe they would stop by – but maybe Devereaux and company had another adventure to embark on and conquer. The Black Spot was fairly quiet over the rest of the evening; a few dog pirates stumbled in to play cards, and another group teed off for the cellar, but hardly any Yum was sold and dust landed on the tables.
"Good evening, Morgan!" Jack leaned over his bar and nodded to the swashbuckler as he uncorked a Yum bottle. "Did you hear about -"
"Word is all over Skull Island." She sighed. "The best swashbuckler, another victim to Avery's deals." She flicked her tail and sipped the Yum haphazardly. "She got twisted by Karo, no?"
"Lucky, lucky pirate." Jack murmured in agreement. He dusted the table off. "I wonder where she's heading."
"Probably the lighthouse. It's abandoned and the forest should have resources." Morgan closed her eyes and thought. The lighthouse was in serious disrepair, but there was a life fountain and the forest could provide shelter, mind that Destiny got around the undead. She didn't worry about her. Like Destiny, she had scaled ships, avoided capture, and been in interesting situations – of course, Destiny and Morgan LaFitte were two different beings entirely, except for their love of swords.
Gazing out the window, Morgan tried to make out the old lighthouse, tried to make out whatever ship Destiny was boarding, and how her crew was holding up.
Jack sat down at the same window and wondered something similar – would Devereaux and Co be back soon enough? How would they fare without Skull Island?
"You know, Morgan? She's a feisty one. Stood up to Deacon and didn't shed a tear." Morgan didn't reply. "The kid went through bloody situations, stole like a professional, and even got rich quick – just look at her now! They grow up so fast."
"Stop it, Jack," Morgan sighed, "She still has a lot to learn."
At this point, Destiny and her crew gathered around a life fountain, taking sips and cleaning their faces. The smooth rock shined in the dusk.
"We're a crew now, aren't we?" Remmy asked, and Destiny laughed. "We're The Sky's Ransom. We're stuck with the windlanes, and maybe we can deflect the terrors from the Spiral."
"Fat chance," Delaney chuckled.
"It's a good day to be alive, isn't it?" Fin said, replacing his goggles before the crew could notice his eyes. Destiny took off her patch and splashed her face with the cool water, making sure to scrub behind her neck and rub off the remainder of the blood.
"It's only the first night, Fin." Destiny whispered, "Many more lie ahead."
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