And So It Begins

[Well, I promised it, and here it is! The collaborative story I wrote with a friend a few years ago about a pirate and a ninja and their adventures.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. As of posting this first chapter, I’m still in the process of dividing it up into the rest of the chapters, but it looks like there are going to be around ten to twelve chapters, if I keep them around this length. I’ll post two or three chapters a week.  Since today is Friday, I’ll make Friday’s guaranteed chapter days. A few disclaimers before you continue.  This is a tale of adventure.  This is a tale about the rivalry between ninjas and pirates, with some bandits thrown in. There are battles. Some are mildly graphic in nature. Most were written by my friend, a young man who enjoys graphic novels, video games, fantasy books and horror/thriller movies. Just bear that in mind as you read those scenes.  So, without further ado, I give you the first chapter of The Adventures of Captain Leo and the Ninja Spaz.]

He was the greatest sailor to ever brave the high seas.  He had the best ship a captain could ask for and a fine crew of willing men and women.  They had been gathered from every port he’d visited during his first year of travels, nearly a decade ago. He was revered among them as the greatest pirate to have ever terrorized the open waters.  He was well-known in many port town taverns and garnered respect wherever he went.  He was Captain Leo Peaches, and he was also hopelessly lost.

The Captain was a formidable force among his crew.  Standing just under six feet tall, with eyes green as the sea and dark curly hair windswept and sprinkled with ocean salt, he was the anchor that held his shipmates fast to his magnificent vessel, The Eternity.  He surveyed the coast from his post with his golden spyglass.  He had long ago tuned his senses to pick up the slightest movement from the shore and the vast forests beyond.  He would not risk mooring his ship where there was any suggestion of an ambush from the shadows.

“Razlo!” he bellowed over the din of his crew busy at work.

A shriveled, bent man with silver-gray hair pulled back in a loose queue down his hunched back walked over to him. His stride was strong and quick and contradicted the weakened appearance of his body. “Aye, Cap’n?”

Leo swiftly put an arm around the old man and pulled him near. Looking around to be sure no one was eavesdropping on their impromptu private conversation, he asked in a whisper, “Do you have any idea where we are?”

Razlo shook his head. “Nay sir. Where we be?” he responded, eyes wide and expectant of a fantastic yarn or myth about this particular sea or the island in sight. He would be disappointed in the Captain’s answer.

“I have no goddamn clue! That’s why I was asking you!”  The Captain threw his hands up in exasperation before placing them on his hips and walking back over to the starboard side of his ship.  “I hate to admit it Razlo, but I think we’re lost.”

The old man followed him over and leaned against the railing. “Why don’t we go to that island and see if there are any locals who might give us some directions, Cap’n?” Razlo asked, shifting his gaze to the wooded landmass.

‘They’ll be waiting for us, that’s why,” the Captain curtly replied.

The old man cocked his head in bewilderment. “The locals?” he asked. “Isn’t that all the more reason to go?’

“No,” the Captain replied as he continued to stare at the island, “there aren’t any friendly villagers on those shores.” He gave the old man a pat on the back and squeezed his shoulder as he narrowed his gaze at the offending landmass.

“Cap’n!” A shout from behind startled him. “Cap’n! We’ve got a problem!”

“What is it, Cyril?” The Captain turned to see his medic running toward him.

Cyril had been on the ship as long as anyone else and he knew all there was to know about injuries and diseases. He had treated almost every member of the crew at least once, and every time they had made a solid recovery.

“It’s Phineas, he’s barely breathing!” Cyril choked.

Phineas was the first mate and the Captain’s closest friend. The blond-haired, blue-eyed man had been with him through everything and always had his back. A recent attack had left Phineas severely wounded.

They had been gathering supplies at a mainland port town and were enjoying some fine ales at the local tavern when they were ambushed. Two ninjas leapt from the darkness and came at the crew from either side. The Captain quickly assessed the situation.  “There are only two of them! They’re no match for us!” he shouted to his men.

The first ninja had launched himself over a few men and tucked into a roll. He spun around and snapped his arm out straight. Three pirates hit the ground, shuriken protruding from their chests.

The Captain charged straight for him. The ninja saw him coming and readied himself by drawing his katana. The Captain brought his sword down hard and fast. The ninja swung his blade up just in time to block the attack but the force knocked him to the ground. His speed was no match for the mighty pirate. The Captain gave a quick jab and blood began to spray from his throat.

Phineas had already engaged the second attacker. He was not the warrior his captain was, but he was by no means an unworthy adversary. The ninja had pulled out two blades and was unleashing a fury of blows upon the first mate. He defended himself as best he could, waiting for the moment to strike. After several more blows, he finally saw his opportunity. The ninja stopped for a moment and stepped back with his left leg. Phineas wasted no time in bringing his heel down onto the exposed right knee. The ninja dropped his weapons and buckled under the pain. He understood his defeat and tried to escape. He crawled as fast he could but was halted immediately. Phineas’ sword cleaved his assailant’s skull, leaving him lifeless on the ground.

Having seen the Captain defeat the other ninja, Phineas sheathed his sword and turned around. He was face to face with two more ninjas. The last thing he felt was the cold steel in his back, and the hard ground against his face. His eyes fluttered and everything faded to black.

The Captain shook his head to clear the memory from his mind. “You said he was going to be fine!” Cyril had tended to Phineas’s wounds the minute the battle was over. Rhea, one of Leo’s newer recruits, had helped him defeat the four ninjas and prevented them from killing Phineas. Despite being a woman, he was glad to have her on his ship.

“One of his wounds has reopened and seems to have become infected. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but there’s just one problem,” Cyril said, “We’re out of the supplies I need.”

“What do you mean?! You just stocked up not more than a week ago!” The Captain’s anger was rising but he kept himself composed. “What do we need to do?” He didn’t need to ask, as he knew what they had to do. They had to go to that island.

“We need to head to shore,” Cyril spoke the words Leo didn’t want to hear. “Presumably, I can get what I need in the forest.”

The Captain sighed in defeat. He glanced back at the island for a moment and then shouted over the ship. “Lucas!” Leo called for his second mate.

The young man came jogging over. “Yes, cap’n?”

“Gather me a group of men to go ashore. We need men who can fight.  We don’t know what’s out there.” he ordered.

“Aye, cap’n,” Lucas began to head towards the rest of the crew.

“Lucas,” the Captain halted him, “one other thing.” He turned back towards him. “Make sure Rhea’s with us. We’ll need her in case things get ugly.” Lucas nodded and set out to gather their forces.

A short while later, the Captain surveyed his men. Lucas had done a fine job of selecting them. “Alright men, listen up,” he commanded their attention. “We need to get to that island and get supplies for Cyril.” He began to pace back and forth. “I won’t lie to you, I know there’s danger out there. I can sense it. But we need to do this, for Phineas. Are you ready?” The men cheered in approval. “Well then quit wastin’ your time and prepare the landing boat!” the Captain ordered. His men immediately got to work and within minutes the boat was ready and Phineas was on board. They couldn’t waste time, so they had to bring him along and patch him up on land. The Captain couldn’t help the sense of foreboding that began to swell inside him, but he pushed it aside and set out for the island.

~ by Sara on May 4, 2012.

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