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(I'm not happy with the end of this but if anyone can suggest something I will edit. After three days thinking on it I still have no answers)
“And they seem to see quitters more as deserters and will go out of their way just to catch up and hang them, so my next stop is going to be for a new collar and then a short sharp drop unless you help me.”
The three would be pirates recoiled from the bluntness of Clara’s words. Theo was the first to speak up “Well it’s not unheard of in some of the stricter posts but it hasn’t happened for a while as far as I know”
“You see that is why I need you to take me on already. I’ve thrown my lot in with you now and have to wait for the dice to fall. The least you could do is tip the scales a little.” Pulling out both of her long knuckle duster blades Clara put both of them on the table in front of Carp. “Ok little Fish, I need you to look after these for me and give them back to me later.”
“Look my name is Carp, and why would I want your knives?” Leaning forward Carp picks up one of the blades and looking down it in the light checks for and notches and then runs her thumb over the edge of the blade. “Well at least they are sharp and have very few major notches. I could use these in the kitchen if it weren’t for the shape.”
Listening to Carp complement her blades Clara leans back a little in her chair. “Thanks, I have always kept them sharp. Means I won’ become carless with them. You’re always going to be more careful with a sharp knife than a blunt one. Just look after them for me, I want them back when we get on the Maid”
The room quiets for a second as shadows cross the windows. Most of the other customers stop talking and start paying more attention to their drinks in front of them keeping their eyes down.
The door crashes down on the floor and marines bust into the room guns leveled scanning the room. They quickly spread out and all have their guns trained on Clara’s back. A sergeant speaks up “Miko Clara, by the order of the lord Captain, you are hereby under arrest for desertion.”
Shrinking into her seat Clara is grabbed by the two closest marines and hauled to her feet and placed in shackles.
Recovering from his shock Theo stands up and confronts the sergeant “I am Lieutenant Commander Theodore Duncan and I demand that you release my navigator at once. She has been re-assigned to my command and is no longer punishable by your Lord Captain.”
Snapping him a salute the Sergeant turns to him “I’m sorry sir but my orders are to bring her to the Lord Captain.”
“That is unacceptable Sergeant. I demand that you release her into my custody and I will go and see your Captain myself”
“I’m sorry sir but orders are to bring Miss Miko in unharmed. I suggest that you go to the Lard Captains’ headquarters at the central docks.” Turning to address his men “Marines FALL OUT.” He faces Theo again and snaps a salute at him and marches out of the bar with Clara in tow.
“Wait a minute, you’re not a Marine,” Jerome pointed out.
“Well, it was worth a shot. Come on, we’ve got to go,” Theo replied. The captain hastily stood up and bolted after the group of Marines.
A waiter stood in his path and asked in irritation, “Will you be paying for you drink, at least?”
“Nope,” Theo answered, roughly shoving him out of the way. He burst through the doors of the Cannon and slid onto the streets. The group of 5 Marines and Clara turned to acknowledge him. There was a small crowd that had parted to accommodate the armed Marines. “All right, this is your last warning; free her or I’ll have to free her myself.” Theo drew a pair of axes, twirling them before taking a few steps forward. In response to the possibility of violence, the crowd began to scatter.
“Lieutenant Commander! You’re violating direct orders from a superior officer! If you insist on freeing this prisoner, I’ll ensure your expulsion from the Marines!” yelled the Sergeant.
Theo waited a beat before bursting into laughter. “Oh, the irony!” He heard Carp and Jerome exit the building behind him. The Marines wore looks of confusion. “So is that a no?”
“Don’t ignore me, Lieutenant Commander!” replied the Sergeant. Behind him, two Marines aimed their rifles at Theo. The pirate responded with a “Reindeer Hunt!” sending his axes at the two. One axe split into a rifle, embedding itself firmly and rendering the weapon useless. The other axe hit the other gunman in the shoulder, drawing a spurt of blood and sending him down for the count.
“Duncan! You couldn’t have handled this diplomatically?” Jerome protested.
“This is my special version of diplomacy,” Theo answered. Jerome brought his hand to his forehead and sighed. The Sergeant and the conscious gunner Marine drew swords and charged, while the other two stood guard over Clara. “Carp! Get Clara!” Theo ordered.
Carp ran into the battlefield, and one of the two sword marines rushed at her. Theo drew Predator and Prey, quickly sending one of the seastone blades at the Marine, which cut into his arm and dropped him. Carp smiled in thanks as the Sergeant bore in on Theo.
Theo yanked the axe back just as the Sergeant got into melee range. “ Emergency Provisions: Pudu Hunt!” Using the axes like a pair of melee weapons, Theo blocked the blade with one of his axes. The Sergeant swung again, but found Theo’s other axe heading for his side. The stunned Sergeant was unable to block the second strike, and fell without anther word.
Theo let out a sigh of fatigue, “Whew, these guys were pretty weak.” He looked over at Carp to see that she had handily dispatched the two Marines and was working on freeing Clara. “Man, you work fast.”
Theo turned to see Jerome trying to patch up one of the Marines. “Jerome, we don’t have time!”
“No ‘buts’; they’ve got medics, and we’ve got to get out of here as soon as we can.” Jerome grumbled under his breath but complied. “All right people, we’re heading back to the Maid!”
Close to the end of West Blue. A place with lots of activity, but usually not that much pirate activity, the leader of the local marines being of the... strict variety.
Today, things were different.
And today, a marine battleship from the headquarters had anchored there. The commanding officer of which being none other than a certain Joshua Greatwind - one of the most skilled swordsmen in the marines. Standing almost two meters tall, he had long black hair, a ragged armless marine jacket and a red headband. His hands were wrapped in white fabric.
They were part of the West Blue patrol, currently heading for Endport. Joshua had once studied under the commander of the Mullein Island marines while at the academy, so he wanted to stop by and talk to his old teacher.
"You've gotten far... I don't remember you as being an especially good student, though..."
"You taught me much. It's thanks to you that I am where I am today."
"On a patrol ship in West Blue, far away from the Headquarters where everything important happens?"
"I was talking about being the commander of a battleship."
"Of course. So, who's this lovely young lady? Your-"
"This is my second in command, my most trusted Ensign. She's young, but was at the top of her class. Maryg-"
Suddenly, a marine soldier rushed into the room.
"What's the commotion about? Have you brought the little deserter here?"
"There's been... complications."
"There were people helping her... we're not sure if they're pirates, but they attacked the squad..."
"...how is this... hmph. Seems as if I will have to show who's in charge here. Why don't you come along, and show us what you can do with that sword arm of yours..."
"Certainly, sir." Joshua stood up and put a hand on his sword. It was a straight blade of impressive size. It would surely take a highly skilled swordsman to use it effectively. "Ensign."
"Yes, sir?" The young girl accompanying Joshua looked at her captain. She looked not a day above 18. She had short yellow hair and green eyes, a custom white, green, and yellow marine uniform and golden gloves on her hands.
"You go back to the ship and alert the men. If they're going to attempt leaving the island, we'll not let them."
"Yes, sir!" She rushed out, setting course for their ship.
"Energetic girl, that. What did you say her name was?"
"Yellowflower. Marygold Yellowflower."
The two marine commanders left the room, heading for the entrance of the docks to meet the troublemakers...
The Wild Edge Pirates, complete with their new navigator, headed full speed to the docks. After a few minutes, Carp spoke up, “Oh yeah, Clara, I know you said give them back later, but I think you need them more now,” Carp said as she returned Clara’s knuckle dusters. Clara hastily put them on with a smile.
Jerome cried out, “We have company! Behind us!” Theo glanced behind them; looking past his crew to see armed Marines giving chase.
“Just keep going! We need to move right now!” Theo ordered. Just as he finished the sentence, the sound of gunfire rang out just as the crew rounded a corner, coming into view of the harbor.
“Where’s your ship?” Clara asked.
“It’s still there, I see it,” Jerome replied.
“Great lets get going.” The crew continued to the Maid at full speed. The sound of fired bullets followed them.
“Go on! I’ll take them out,” Theo finally decided after a bullet nearly took his ear.
“That’s an order!”
Theo halted and let the others run past, ripping his great axe off of his back. He blocked a bullet with it’s head, then held it as if to swing. “Muntjac…” Theo swung it, letting go at the perfect time, causing it to go flying toward the approaching Marines. ”Hunt!” The axe slammed into them, knocking them out for the count. Theo quickly retrieved it and ran to regroup.
As he approached the others he heard Jerome yell back to him, “Theo!”
“What? Er, nevermind. They got here first!”
Theo surveyed the scene, and Jerome was correct. In between the Maid and it’s crew was an armed contingent of marines. Carp and Clara faced them, weapons drawn, while Jerome had come back to get Theo. Theodore drew a pair of throwing axes and jumped in front of Carp and Clara. Jerome held back, but at least he drew his weapon.
One of the Marines stepped forward, noticeable by his armless Marine jacket, red headband, and black hair, began, “Hand over-“
“Let me guess, Hand over Clara and no one gets hurt?” Theo interrupted.
“Well, I was going to say that, at least until I found out you were pirates,” Joshua Greatwind drew his blade, flourishing it and barely hitting the nearby soldiers, appearing wild but actually in complete control.
“Well then, let’s get this over with.”
Joshua gave the pirate captain an odd look and queried, “You’re not intimidated? You’re brave-“
“Or foolish,” Theo finished.
“And annoying!” And irritated Joshua replied.
Theo spun his axes in his hands, “You’ll find I’m more than annoying.”
"Alright, Theo can deal with him... we should try to..." Carp was looking over the marines between themselves and the Maid. She herself wasn't that much of a fighter - especially not against this number of enemies. Jerome never seemed the type to be ready to do what might become necessary, and Clara... well, Clara did have her blades. And she wanted to get off the island more than anyone. Though if they tried to break through, she'd run the risk of being captured...
"We will only have one chance to escape..." Clara half-whispered to Carp.
"They're probably going to close the gates... and that battleship over there is preparing to move. We'll be trapped in here if we don't act quickly. They don't seem to know which ship is yours, which should buy us some time, as they would have seized it already otherwise..."
"Let's play a little trick, then... Jerome?"
"On my signal, jump onto the closest ship and cut the rope... Clara, you get on the ship on the other side of the Maid, and I get on the ship on this side of the Maid..."
"What do you have in mind?"
"No time to explain, since we're short on time." Carp pulled out a small bag from one of her pockets. "And you might wanna hold your breath." She grabbed some of the contents of the bag and threw it towards the marines. A cloud of some powder filled the air, the marines starting to choke. "NOW!"
The three of them dashed. Jerome vaulted up onto the ship next to them, slicing the rope with his spear. Carp and Clara made it through the marines, bumping a number of them into the water, before getting on the other two ships and cutting the ropes.
"They're getting away!" The marines watched as the ships started drifting away from the docks. "In the name of the marines, we take command of this vessel!" A handful of marines got on the Maid and removed the rope. The Maid moved closer to the three ships, which seemed to mainly drift. As the Maid reached the two that Carp and Clara had taken, most of the marines got off the Maid, onto the other ships. Then... they started drifting away. "What the-" The sole marine left on the Maid was soon blinded by someone putting a cloth over his face, and thrown overboard as Carp and Clara climbed up on the deck.
"Suckers." They moved up to Jerome.
"What about Theo?"
"Theo can handle himself... he's our captain. We should put our trust in him. Right now... we have to protect the ship and make sure we don't get cut off."
"We may be in way over our heads... the battleship is coming towards us." Indeed, the battleship was now moving in their direction, and the marines they had fooled were on their way back.
"Here they come. Clara, you take the helm... you know these waters. We must be ready to get away from the island the very moment Theo gets on board!"