The sky had gone from a clear midday, to a dark foggy gloom that sent eerie chills down the spine as the Black Pawkeet came closer to its destination. The place called the Ship Graveyard was a large cove filled with treacherous rocks. It had claimed many a vessel on dark, stormy nights, for out of the gloom of this place, would come strange lights, lights that were mistaken for lighthouses, but in truth were ghost lights, beckoning sailors to their doom.
Garin couldn't suppress a shudder as his men scrambled to set anchor near the entrance to the cove. The eerie feeling of this place, and the dampness from the fog sent chills up and down his spine, he hated it! And what was worse he did not know where Hannah could be in this maze of half sunken ships. He let out a quiet hiss through his teeth and walked down to the main deck to peer down closer into the murky waters. It would be impossible to sail into the cove, given how shallow he estimated it to be, but that also meant that Scarblade might not have been able to enter it either.
"Garin, come here!" Jacques called from the bow of the ship. Garin looked up from the water and ran to him, his friend handing him a telescope when he reached him. "You'd better take a look at this."
Garin followed Jacques pointing hand and lifted the telescope to his eye. What he found was the Revenge, sitting on the other side of the entrance to the cover. Her lamps had been all but doused, though even in the gloom the blood red letters of her name stood out like a flame. Garin's lip curled into a snarl as he stared at the name, but he couldn't help but be puzzled by the way his enemy just sat there. Garin lowered the telescope from his eye.
"They're not on board the ship," he said. "Scarblade must have taken them into the cove itself!"
"They could be anywhere!" Havenworth said.
"We'll find them, we have to!" Garin said, closing up the telescope into a more compact size. "Scarblade wants me to go in there
He's been planning this for awhile."
"Captain, look!" Sam called from halfway up the ratlines. Garin looked up.
"What's up little mate?" he asked. Sam pointed.
"Over there! I can see a pinpoint of light in the dark!" he shouted.
"Its probably one of those ghost lights!" one of the crew whispered fearfully as they gathered to the side. Garin squinted through the fog and Havenworth hissed. Jacques put one hand over his brow to adjust the light to allow him to see a little better.
"If that's a ghost light then I'm the king of Meridell," he said. "That's a lantern light! I can see the candle flickering from here!"
"He's right, I see it too!"
"Look! Another one!" Talak said, pointing as well.
"So that's it
" Garin said, fiddling with the hilt of his dagger under his vest. "He's literally lighting the way to them through that mess." The crew fell quiet, save a few murmurs of fear about going into that cove. "Bill, lower the skiff! Jacques, stay here with the rest of the men."
"What?" Jacques asked. "You're not going in there alone are you?!"
"I am." Garin replied as his orders were carried out.
"Like it or not, I'm coming with you Garin," said Havenworth. "Scarblade's got my little girl in there somewhere!"
"Sorry Cap but I can't let you." Garin replied. Havenworth opened his mouth to protest, but Garin glared. "I said, no!" he snapped, catching even Jacques by surprise. "I'm going in alone, that's just the way Scarblade wants it. Besides, if I don't come out
well, it'll give you all something to want revenge for, right?"
Garin turned to the side of the ship and climbed down into the skiff. He grabbed up the oars and leaned back, starting to row out into the gloom, nodding to Jacques as he watched his crew bid him good luck. Garin would need it too, if the stories about this place were true, and if Scarblade had laid a good enough trap. Soon, the fog had swallowed him enough to where he couldn't see his ship anymore, the only thing he could was the first lantern light. He stopped rowing for a moment and let the skiff float up to it, looking around, when a hand shot up from the water and grabbed the edge of the skiff. Garin gasped in shock and fell over onto his rump, glancing up as Stephano pulled himself aboard.
"Wha? What do you think you're doing?" Garin asked, standing up. "I told everyone to stay behind!"
Stephano replied by growling crossly at Garin and grabbing him by the scruff of his vest, catching the young male Usul by surprise. Stephano glared straight into his face, telling him we wasn't going to leave, which Garin understood, since it was his duty to guard Giselle. He sighed.
"Alright, alright, I give!" Garin said, raising his hands. Stephano grunted and released him. Garin scowled, then sighed. "C'mon big fella, help me row this heap of splinters."
Stephano nodded with a grunt, and grabbed both oars instead. Garin shrugged and looked around for the next light as Stephano began to row. He didn't have to worry about Stephano being the chatty type, him being mute and all, all he did have to worry about was where Scarblade's men were hiding, and if these stories about ghosts were true
Stephano stopped rowing as an eerie sound suddenly echoed amongst the rotting wooden hulls around them. Garin drew his dagger as a strange glow appeared ahead of them, only to vanish into the fog seconds later, the sound, however, continued. Garin and Stephano looked at each other as it finally faded into the night, both unsure of what to make of it.
"W-Was that what I think it was?" Garin asked. Stephano shrugged openly before picking up the oars again and rowing onward. Garin shuddered and sheathed his dagger as they moved on through the fog.
Soon, the lights that lead them on stopped at a large vessel at the very heart of the cove. Garin and Stephano disembarked the skiff and tied it off to a spire of broken wood before climbing up the large structure, which was turned partially on its side. Garin looked around as they arrived up on the main deck, though there were many gaping holes in the wood, and all three masts were snapped in half and fallen over. And that eerie sound in the distance again made Garin shudder. He took a step forward to begin searching, only to feel Stephano grab his arm. Garin looked at him.
"What?" he asked. Stephano pointed to his nose, and inhaled. He nodded at Garin to the same, and he did, instantly catching a whiff of a faint flowery smell, one that didn't belong. Garin blinked.
"Perfume?" he asked, then snapped his fingers. "Of course! Giselle wears perfume!" Stephano nodded, then headed off towards a hole at the bow of the ship, with Garin following. The two lowered themselves down the hole carefully, before finding themselves in the gloom of the old ship. Stephano let out a growl, clearly not liking his surroundings of darkness, old seaweed and barnacles. Garin looked around, dagger drawn.
"I here ya," he said as he stepped over a skeleton. "Come on, let's find the girls and get out of here." Stephano nodded and followed Garin through the mess of wreckage. It was very dark, and several times both of them had walked right into something. Garin cursed aloud as he rubbed his nose after walking into yet another wall.
"You'd think we'd run into bigger trouble than this buggering blackness!" he grumbled.
No sooner than he spoke than did the large ship lurch suddenly, tossing them both to one side and into the wall. The wood was so rotted that they both nearly fell straight through, Garin managed to grab hold of Stephano, and Stephano in turn stabbed one of his scimitars into the floor. Garin grunted and looked down at the water, finding that it was slowly. His eyes widened and he grit his teeth.
"Of course, the tide! Stephano! Get us up, quick!" he said, and the Lutari complied. Garin grunted as he arrived back on level ground. "I should have guessed! Scarblade didn't leave any guards because once the tide rises, this whole ship will be under water!"
Stephano let out a grunt and yanked his arm. "Right, lets go! We've gotta find the girls before the water rises!" With that, the two ran onward through the wreckage, careful not to trip and fall. The water was rising fast, so fast that it was already beginning to pool around their shins when they reached a large door.
"Hannah? Giselle? Are you in there?!" Garin asked, pressing his ear to the door. He heard a muffled shrieking, and nodded.
"Stephano, break the door in!" he said. Stephano let out a raspy chuckle, before moving back and charging the door. Garin moved out of the way as the massive Lutari broke through the rotting wood, leaving a gaping hole for Garin to crawl through. He ran up to Giselle, who was tied by her hands to a large hook in the ceiling, with a thick gag in her mouth. Garin removed the gag and cut her free with his dagger, giving a shocked grunt as she suddenly embraced him and started to sob. He couldn't keep from rolling his eyes, then pushed her off, holding her steady as the ship swayed a bit more.
"Where's Hannah?" he asked. Giselle sniffled and wiped away her tears, trying to catch her breath.
"A-At the other end of the ship," she said. Garin's eyes widened. The stern of the ship was already under more water than the bow.
"Oh no!" Garin took off running towards the other end of the ship. Giselle grabbed his sleeve.
"Garin, wait! Its too dangerous!" she said. Garin yanked his arm away.
"Get off me!" he yelled. "Stephano, get her back to the ship!!"
Stephano knew better than to argue, and despite Giselle's protest and insistence on helping Garin, he picked her up and carried her back to the skiff. Garin in the meantime was making his way through the interior of the ship, using his dagger to cut away anything in his path, trudging through water that was already up to his waist. He cursed at Scarblade's name, and at the same time prayed that he would find Hannah all right.
His ears pricked up at a loud cracking sound, and he looked up before quickly dodging forward as a loud explosion blew through the hull, sending more water rushing in and splinters flying everywhere. Garin sputtered as water splashed all over him, and wiped the stinging salt from his eyes as he heard more cannon shots ring out. One was obviously the Revenge, picking off this ship as a clear target, the other shots were his own ship, and most likely firing at Scarblade's to give Garin cover. Garin growled.
"Damn you, Scarblade!" he shouted angrily, before ducking as another shot rang out. He moved onward, despite the water level rising, occasionally calling out Hannah's name, and hoping she could hear him.
His heart leapt at the sound of a muffled cry, and he moved forward, finding an open door. Hannah was tied to one of the support beams that held up the ceiling, but by now the water was already up to her neck, and the angle of the stern didn't help either. Garin grit his teeth and pulled out his seaweed necklace, having to swim to her.
"Are you alright?!" he asked over the roar of rushing water, pulling her gag out of her mouth.
"S-So far!" Hannah said past chattering teeth. She had been in the cold water for a while, so it was no surprise she was shivering. Garin put his dagger in his teeth as the water rose up more and quickly swam behind her to cut her free. He took his dagger out of his teeth.
"Hang in there!" he said.
A loud crack and the sound of wood splintering then muffled sounds as water poured in faster, knocking Garin away from Hannah and under. His dagger slipped from his hands as the force of the water flowing in pushed him into the opposite wall. He grunted, once from the impact, then a second time from a pile of the rotting wood falling upon him. He let out a cry of pain as the wood crashed down on him, and tried to push it off of him, keeping his eyes on his dagger, which lay in the murk in front of him. Garin grunted, gritting his teeth together and sending a stream of bubbles from his mouth as he stretched his hand out to try and reach it. The pile atop him hindered his movement forward, yet it didn't stop him from trying, and finally, his fingers touched the hilt.
He grabbed it and slashed at one of the larger pieces that held him down, then pushed up on the rest, managing to kick free of it. He kicked for the surface, only to find that there was no surface left, and he panicked, worried for Hannah. He swam to her and took a deep breath, before looping his seaweed necklace around her neck quickly. He swam behind her quickly and cut through the chains, before grabbing up Hannah and swimming for the hole, ducking his head and holding her close to him as he heard a muffled explosion from another cannonball. Garin held his breath as he kicked for the surface, coming up near another wrecked vessel, one that was rammed into another. He pulled himself and Hannah on board, hugging her close to him as he did.
"Its okay, we made it!" he said to her
"Hannah?" Garin looked down at her. Her eyes were still closed, mouth opened partially, but with no breath traveling in or out of it. Garin froze as his eyes widened, quickly taking her face in his hands, leaning his head down to try and hear the sound of her breathing, however no such sound existed.
"Hannah!" he exclaimed, shaking her lightly. "Wake up! Breath!!" He shook her again, slowly starting to panic, as she remained motionless. His head spun, his chest tightened, and by pure instinct he held Hannah close to his body, rocking back and forth, trying to think of what he could do. He was normally a quick thinker, yet this feature eluded him now.
please, wake up!" he begged, tears beginning to stream down his face. He took a deep breath and pressed his mouth to hers, breathing in, then repeating the action several more times before his throat became choked up with fear, sorrow and panic.
Then that sound again. That awful, eerie sound, carried in the fog around them. Garin's grip on Hannah instantly tightened and he looked up, spying that glow again. The spirits from this place had gathered, but he wasn't about to let them take her. He picked up his dagger and held it up in a threatening manner, though he was half blinded by tears.
"Go away!" he commanded, but the light remained. "Leave us alone!"
Still, it remained.
"You will not take her!" Garin growled through his sobs. "You hear me?! You will not take her! If you want her
then you'll have to get through me!!"
in?" Garin's head snapped down towards Hannah, who coughed slightly as she looked up at him. "What's
what's going on?"
"Hannah!!" Garin cried out joyously as he embraced her. "Thank Fyora! I-I thought I lost you!" Hannah coughed a bit more, sitting up with Garin's help.
"I think for a minute there, you did," she said. Garin couldn't hold back a smile as he kept her in his embrace. He sniffled and quickly wiped away his tears before he pulled back from her and looked at her.
"Come on, let's get out of here!" he said. Hannah sighed, resting her head on his shoulder.
"I'd like that
" she said. Garin picked her up carefully, then helped her into the water. He let her put her arms around his neck as he swam, keeping as low as he could as more cannon shots went off, though it was clear that the fog was low enough to hide them. Garin found the trail of lanterns again and started to follow them back to the ship, but about halfway down the trail, he noticed that he and Hannah were not alone
He ducked away into a small crack in one of the ships, and Hannah looked at him in bewilderment.
"Garin? What's the matter?" she asked.
"We've got company," he replied, growling at the glow that approached. Hannah gulped and moved one of her hands down towards his to clutch it. Garin gave her hand a squeeze, then bit his lip as the glow approached
and then suddenly moved away. Garin blinked as it came back, then moved away again, then came back as a second light joined it.
" he muttered, then thought for a moment. "Hannah, I'm going under for a moment, stay right there!" he said, then dove under, not waiting for her to reply.
"Garin!" she said, a bit unnerved by the strange lights. She jumped as Garin resurfaced, but before she could scold him, he started laughing.
"Ghosts! Ha!" he said, laughing. Hannah tilted her head.
"Huh?" she asked. Garin looked at her, still laughing.
"Here, I'll show you!" he said, then took a deep breath and dove under. Hannah blinked and waited, and a moment later, one of the glowing objects came closer. She stiffened, but then Garin came up again, but held tight in his hands was a long, slippery
"An eel?" Hannah asked in shock. Garin nodded, looking down at the thrashing, glowing creature.
"That explains why the lights move around," he said. "They're not ghost lights, they're just schools of eels!"
"But why is it glowing like this?" Hannah asked. Garin shrugged.
"Who knows? Nature is full of oddities," he replied, then tossed the eel back into the water. "Come on, let's get back to the others."
"Well there must be something you can do!" Giselle insisted to Jacques, who sighed.
"Garin told me to stay here and that's what I'm gonna do!" he said.
"But he's out there alone! He could be killed!" Giselle protested.
"You think I don't know that?!" Jacques snapped. "Sure I'm worried about him, but he's a big boy, he can take care of himself!"
"This, coming from the one who calls me crazy the most
I'm touched!" Jacques whirled around to find Garin climbing on board the ship, and then help Hannah climb on board. He laughed aloud and ran up as the crew all cheered.
"Are you two okay?" Jacques asked.
"Aye," Garin replied. Havenworth walked over with a blanket and wrapped it over Hannah's shoulders.
"We began to fear the worst!" he said. Garin wrapped an arm around Hannah's shoulder, and she smiled at him.
"Never doubt Garin," she said. "He may be crazy, but only he can do anything once he puts his mind to it!" Garin blushed and rubbed the back of his neck as Stephano stepped forward. Garin nodded to him.
"I see you got Giselle back safe," he said. Stephano nodded, then held out a large hand. Garin paused a moment, then smiled and shook hands with him. "You're welcome. And thanks for the help."
Stephano grinned as Giselle walked up. "I want to thank you too, Garin," she said. Garin waved a hand at her.
"Please, don't mention it," he replied.
"But you saved my life!" Giselle said. "Really, it was very brave of you to come after me."
"And Hannah." Garin added, raising an eyebrow at her and holding Hannah close to him. Giselle's jaw tightened slightly, and Hannah tried to keep from smirking.
Sorry to spoil the moment all, but
" Sean started, pointing towards the stern. "Scarblade is turning his ugly nose this way!"
Garin turned to find that Sean was right; the Revenge was headed towards them. He grit his teeth as Hannah clung tight to his arm, but then he grinned and turned to Jacques.
"Run out the guns! Aim for that head of rock over by the starboard side!" he said. Jacques blinked.
"We're not gonna fire at the Revenge?" he asked.
"Nope. Trust me on this!" Garin replied. Jacques nodded.
"Of course!" he said, then turned to the crew. "You heard him! Fire at will!"
The crew obeyed their captain's command; aiming the starboard side cannons at the head of rock that Garin spoke about and began firing. Their shots broke the rock apart, releasing a few of the wrecks behind it, and because the tide was high, it allowed those wrecks to drift out with the rushing water and into the side of the Revenge. The crew cheered as the floating wrecks hit the massive ship, damaging it and blocking its path. Garin grinned as Jacques slapped him on the shoulder.
"That'll teach 'em, eh?" he asked, laughing. Garin nodded.
"Aye," he said, then turned to his men. "Alright, cease fire! Lets head for home! We've beat them enough for today!"
"Ah, home!" Giselle said with relief, sitting down on a small box beside her father. Hannah sighed and closed her eyes, laying her head on Garin's shoulder.
"For once, Giselle and I agree on something," she said. "Home, a good meal, and a nice warm bed."
"You're welcome to rest in my cabin if you need to." Garin offered. Hannah looked at him.
"Will you stay with me?"
"If you'd like me to."
Hannah kissed his cheek. "Very much."
Garin smiled and walked into the cabin with her, then closed the door behind them. He had a bed in his cabin that he didn't often sleep in, he usually slept in one of the hammocks that hung nearby, yet kept the bed just in case. Garin sat down on the bed, scooting over for Hannah, who curled up under the blankets and laid her head on one of the pillows. Garin curled up beside her, putting one arm around her protectively, and within moments, her eyes fell shut and she was sleeping soundly. Garin smiled and lightly kissed her on the nose, keeping still as she shifted lightly, cuddling deeper into the pillow and blankets. Garin closed his eyes, keeping her in a gentle embrace as his weary body began to welcome sleep as well, when his ears twitched at a quiet, yet nearby croaking noise. He opened one eye and found Blackie sitting over their heads on the headboard, swaying his head back and forth a bit and making quiet sounds. Garin narrowed his one open eye at his feathered companion.
"Wind your neck in," he said. Blackie let out a small croak, to which Garin just lightly waved a hand at, before closing his eye once more and finally drifting off into much needed sleep.
Hidden by Owner
Basically it means, "mind your own business".
Amy: Ah. So why was Blackie so interested anyway?
Well, Blackie and Garin are really closely bonded. So there are just weird antics/conversations between them.
Amy: Ah. LOL. Would Blackie be jealous of seeing someone else so close to Garin?
Yeah, that's how I picture it. When a bird preens someone, it means they see them as a "partner" or "mate", its an intimate act. Blackie preens Garin every chance he gets, and bites Jacques on the nose because he knows how close they are and it annoys him. Now, he's never bitten Hannah, because he can tell that Hannah is female and also can sense how much Garin cares for her, so he lets that slide.
With other members of the crew, even Sea Cat, Blackie is less tolerant. He will get jealous of them at times, but he also knows that Garin cares for them very much and will often act out to protect them if given the chance.
With other members of the crew, even Sea Cat, Blackie is less tolerant. He will get jealous of them at times, but he also knows that Garin cares for them very much and will often act out to protect them if given the chance.
YAY! Off to read the next chappie!