The Swashbuckler and her Crew by Fair Zoe Nightingale
A long time ago somewhere in the Spiral
A man and his wife stood on the main deck. They were shooting down another ship. But their attempt was futile.
The wife looked sadly into her husband’s eyes. “It’s no use,” she said quietly. “We’ll never escape them, much less bring them down.”
The man nodded grimly. “We’ll never see her again. Hopefully Gaspard will somehow run into our daughter and remind her of us.”
The woman frowned. “We should never have joined the rebels. Then perhaps we would not be in this situation.” He scowled. “If we had not joined, we would’ve died years ago. Might as well go down fighting.”
They kissed one last time as the enemy’s cannons wrecked their ship and the couple fell together, blasted out of the sky.
I sat on the bench that juts out from the wall and stared at the skeleton chained right in front of me. Then I stared at the cup that was beside me.
A dark liquid swirled inside. I took the cup and poured its contents out the window. I could hear the splash as the murky water hit the sea far far below the ship.
Then I sat down at the bench again, kicking the skeleton on my way. I was a prisoner of the Armada, and I hated every moment of it.
I laid down and stared at the ceiling for a very long time. Just when I was about to let out a sob, the ship rumbled, tossing my off the bench.
“What the?” I yelled. “Can’t a girl have a moment anymore?” Of course, later on I’d be grateful for the interruption.
Down the hallway, I heard two men come down the stairs. I hid my face in fear of seeing another one of Deacon’s soldiers.
Maybe I should rewind a bit back in time so you understand why I was in this situation. You see, I wasn’t always a prisoner.
When I was 13, I had a great family. I had my mom and dad, Sylvia and Daniel Nightingale. For most of my life, I didn’t even know what the Armada was. But that changed.
One day, my parents sailed to Krokotopia and took me to an old friend of theirs. Of course, it was a Krok. They then said they had to go meet a customer. You see, they were merchants.
So I said my good byes and watched as they left. Little did I know, I would never see them again.
A day later, a young boy of about my age came by. He was a poor child making a living as a messenger. Anyways, he told me that my parents were dead, shot down by the Armada.
I cried for three days and didn’t come out until the boy forced me too. We became good friends. I found out his name was Alex Spencer. So I was raised in Krokotopia.
Three years later, Alex went into the market. I went with him. I told him to buy a basket of apples while I got some water. When I came back, someone was accusing him of stealing one extra apple.
In a rage, I attacked the man. Alex tried to stop me, but it was too late. The Armada soldiers arrested both of us, which brings me to my problem now.
I heard a funny-voiced guy ask his companion something: “Is this the prisoner we’re looking for?” I looked up and saw an old pirate and a… was that a monkey man?
“Can’t be sure,” the old captain replied. “Hey pirate, what’s yer name?” I stared at them, then jumped up and back away.
“You heard the captain! Tell him your name!” the monkey man demanded. “My- my name is… is Zoe Nightingale,” I stuttered.
The monkey smiled. “She is the one!” he cried out. The captain nodded. “Why were you arrested?” I told them about what had happened at the market.
He broke into a smile. “A natural swashbuckler she is! What’s your title?” I gave both of them a funny look. “Excuse me?”
“You don’t have one,” the monkey said disdainfully. He looked at the captain. “We’ll just have to give her one,” he said. “How about ‘Fair’. It suits her just fine!” I blushed.
“Who are you?” I finally asked. The old man laughed. “Why, we forgot to introduce ourselves! I’m Captain Boochbeard and this is Mr. Gandry. There’s no need to be afraid of us. We’ll let you out and take you somewhere safe.”
They opened the door to my cell and I stepped out. The monkey man (Sorry, Mr. Gandry) took two beautiful daggers from a bag and handed them to me. “These are a swashbuckler’s weapons. They now belong to you.” he said.
We were about to run up onto the main deck when I heard a voice call out to me. I turned and saw a horse barbarian. He had been in the cell across from me for a long time.
I opened his door and he bowed. “My name is Subodai. I am grateful for your help. I will pay my debt by joining you crew. Will you accept me?” he questioned. I could only nod.
Mr. Gandry took my hand and pulled me to the main deck. Subodai followed me instantly.
Upstairs wasn’t any better than it had been downstairs. Deacon and all his troops were lined up in front of us. “You will not escape,” he stated. I stared into his blank mask.
With rage filling my mind, I lunged forward. This fight would change my life forever.
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