To Be a Pirate

By @Curon6364
To Be a Pirate

A short story about a kid who wishes to be more than what his life gives him. He ventures out with an unusual gang to become a pirate.

Chapter 1

Beyond the cracked sidewalk, and the telephone pole with layers of flyers in a rainbow of colors, and the patch of dry brown grass there stood a ten-foot high concrete block wall, caked with dozens of coats of paint. One word of graffiti filled the wall, red letters on a gold background: Rejoice!

A couple walked by the wall. The old man glanced at the word. He let out an exhale of disgust.

“ What is it?” Asked his wife.

“ I don’t get why these pirate folk think it’s okay to slander the public walls with their business!” The old man said. The wife thought for a moment, looking at the colorful wall.

“ Oh, I dunno. Maybe they feel as if they can’t use normal news sources to pass down their ideas and announcements?” She said.

“ Still ruining our good town. We don’t need to be like those other islands and their ravenous ways.” The old man said. He pulled his wife along and they continued pass the wall. A bicycle was a few feet behind them. The kid manning it raced along. The air breezed by his yellow hair. His orange eyes elated with the sensation of speed. He slowed down to a stop next to the wall. Breathing heavily he uncapped his water bottle and drank. Putting it back in the holder of his bike, he noticed the word on the wall. He thought about it for a moment. Rejoice, in such crude writing. Only one group of people could’ve placed it there. If he was correct, then he’d know exactly where to find them, and his day was going to get a lot more interesting. He quickly rode off down the street. Blazing past the old couple and turning onto another street, the boy made his way to an abandoned manufacturing house.

A few people came by here, but only for a moment. This building was once used for cars, but has since been left to rot as the company who owned it moved to a different island for better finances. A place perfect for secret pirate meetings. As the boy rode up to its desolate parking lot, he saw two folks entering through a back door. Their clothes were torn, and they had leather tunics and belts. The door shut. He knew from that short sight that this was it. Excitement forming in him, he locked his bike on the side of the building and got off. The boy looked around nervously. He wanted to make sure no one would see him.

If he was honest with himself, not many people would care if they did see him entering this place. As most of the people who lived here on island of Lenore were Normie. Meaning they lived simpler lives, and followed the government’s laws. They didn’t cause any harm, usually. But the boy knew that inside of this very building, there were the other kind of people in this world. The Pirates. Men and women who despised the government’s laws and wished to live on their own accord. There were just as many pirates as normies, if you were to consider every island in the world. On Lenore, not too many pirates showed their faces. The boy always guessed it was because Lenore didn’t have too much treasure to share. Simple buildings, simple cars, simple people with simple living environments. Nothing a true pirate would be interested in. That was why the boy didn’t like living here. Ignore that his parents always worked, and therefore the boy was left alone all too often. But he also had done too much deep diving of the internet. This boy knew what a pirate was, and knew how life could be for him if he could just be one himself.

Feeling sure no one was watching, the boy opened the door, and slipped in. It was dark inside of the old car factory and it was dimly lit, as to make sure it didn’t draw attention to itself. This was an illegal meeting. The boy carefully walked past a decrepit waiting room, with a decaying office desk and a door to a backroom missing. He went down ripped up gray halls. The connecting rooms scattered with papers and fallen photos. Anything left here for this long couldn’t be salvaged. After some minutes the boy heard talking, and chairs moving. His ears perked up, and went towards the noise. Through a set of double steel doors, came the main constructure room. Over head various assembly lines lead to a pinnacle point at the other end of the room. The gears were fried and left over car pieces were still lying on the lines. The boy was almost afraid one would fall on him. But that was no matter, as the real interest was right in front of him.

Someone had setup a large table in the center of the room, with thirteen chairs surrounding it. Filling those chairs were people dressed in ragged, disgusting wear. Stained leather tunics, gauntlets, shorts, caps. Some had their faces covered, and weapons slung over their backs and hips. Small bags jingled with what sounded like money and possibly credit cards. To any normie, this would’ve been a place of pure sin. But to the boy, it was magical. The man at the head of the table, a plump man, with a large, gray, scruffy beard falling around his face. He had one of those classical black rounded pirate hats on.

“ Ok, now that we’re all here, let’s discuss the treasure of the month.” He was saying. The Captain of the group, as the boy called him, talked to the other twelve pirates for a while. The boy stood by the door, concealed by the dark. He wasn’t sure if he should step out and say something, or if that might interrupt the meeting. If a pirate is angered, they may attack without remorse. That was amongst their ways.

The boy ended up waiting longer than anticipated. He had sat on the ground, head on his hand and dozing off. Most of what had been said flew over him, for he was too sleepy to understand it. He only remembered one word, Milatia. He was woken when he heard chairs moving and steps on the ground. He looked up to see the meeting had adjourned. The pirates exited the building via a backdoor in groups of four, except the Captain, who walked out himself. The boy shot up quickly, and ran towards the door. He wasn’t sure where they were going, but he now had an opportunity he’d wished of since three years ago. To join a crew. As he came back into the daylight, he saw the pirates start to hop onto motorcycles and drive away. Where had those been kept? Other drivers on the street stopped short and cussed at the pirates, but they did nothing else. The final four were about to drive away. The boy made his decision.

He hastily unlocked his bike and followed the four pirates down the streets. He was lucky that there was so many cars out right now. The pirates couldn’t move fast enough to be lost easily. Still the boy had to put much effort into following them. He trailed them down to the docks of the island. Where ships come in and out, and business is done and people rejoice. The boy, tired and panting, saw the crew he was after boarding a metallic grey ship with a large gun symbol on the side in red. A pirate ship. In the distance he could see two others just like it sailing away. The boy rode up to the sidewalk, and posted his bike up against a news stand. He wasn’t worried if it would get stolen or not, his mind was set. He ran as fast as his tired legs would carry him towards the retracting bridge that led to the ship. Just as he reached the edge of the dock, he lept and grabbed onto the side of the ship. His heart racing the boy pulled himself aboard and stood up.

The boy looked around. The ship was moving, and there was no one on the deck. He saw a trapdoor, some seats and tables, an upper engine room. The four members must’ve been downstairs. What now? Should he introduce himself? They would be mad at him most likely. The boy had a plan. If they were close enough to the island of Lenore, then they could simply throw him off the ship. But if he waited till they were out at sea, away from any land; then they wouldn’t have a choice….. Hopefully. The boy smirked at his intelligence. All he needed now was to wait for a day or so, and a place to do that in. He heard the trap door creaking open. Anxiously he darted for the engine room.

After closing the steel door behind him, the boy took in the scene. Large tubes extending out from a central machine. It was covered with buttons and small screens. He had no idea what they did. He took refuge behind the machine, and laid down. He was tired. Hoping no one would find him out, the boy closed his eyes and fell asleep.

A few hours later, the boy opened his eyes. As soon as his view stopped blurring, he saw a silver object looking at him. There was a man standing over him, pointing a pistol at his face. The man was scarred, and wearing leather.

“ Who the hell are you?” He asked in a low voice. The boy froze. He wasn’t sure what to do. “ Well, are ya gonna say somethin’ or not?”

“ I-I…” The boy couldn’t muster up anything. Another voice was heard from the entrance of the room.

“ Jacob! Are ya done? Breakfast is ready and you don’t wanna miss it! Willow actually made a good set of eggs this time!” The man stared at the boy. He squeezed his gun, then his grip softened.

“ Ok kid…” He sheathed the weapon. “ I’ll have all of us decide what to do with ya. After you talk to us.” The man seized the boy by the shirt and hauled him up. “ Come with me downstairs. Or you can jump off ship.” The boy followed the man.

The inside of the ship was bigger than the outside said. There was a section for beds, for a kitchen, and storage. The other three members were sitting at a small table in the kitchen. The smell of scrambled eggs filled the boys nose. The man, Jacob, walked up to the table.

“ Hey, seems like it could be edible this time.” He said.

“ Aye, shut up.” Said a member. She had a black mask that hung around her neck. Brown hair fell around her shoulders. She was talking with her mouth full. “ You knew I could make somethin’ like this ya fag.”

“ Yeah, been knowin’ for about fifteen days since you claimed you could.” A man said. He had black hair and black cap.

“ Glad someone else here can cook besides me.” Said the fourth crew member. She had blonde hair, short, with a long cut going down her cheek. The boy watched them bicker, unsure of what to do. He jumped when Jacob pointed to him. “ Reason why I was late to comin’. This kid snuck in yesterday.” The four looked at the boy. He tried to stand strong. He could feel his arms shake.

“ H-hi.” He mumbled. For a few seconds there was but silence. Then one pirate stood up.

“ Heh, so. Ya think you can just come on in here and stay with us? What’re you even tryin’ to do?”

“ I…. Want to join you.” The boy said.

“ Join us?” Said one of the women. “ How old are ya?”

“ Sixteen.”

“ And you’re a normie right?” Said Jacob. The boy nodded. Jacob laughed. “ Man I shoulda killed you…”

“ Killed? Jacob where’d you find ‘em?” Asked the other woman.

“ Like I said, in the engine room. Why would you stow away onto our ship to try and be one of us kid?” Jacob and the others watched him intently. The boy could feel sweat drip down him.

“ I’ve been watching p-pirates for such a while and….” They watched him. “ I saw the message, rejoice, and knew where to look….”

“ See this is exactly why I told the Captain to paint that somewhere else.” Said the other man. “ But he kept saying ‘ Oh no Iggy it’s fine. Only a true pirate will understand it!’ Bullshit. Look what we have on us now.”

“ Hm.” One of the woman, who the boy thought to be Willow, seemed thoughtful. “ Well if so we aren’t going to just toss ‘em.”

“ You’re…Not?” The boy asked.

“ Unless you want us to.” Said the other woman. Willow elbowed her.

“ No, that’s not what we do. Least, not yet.”

“ We haven’t had much experience with stowaways.” Said Iggy. “ But we made a vow early on to be a bit more nice than other pirates.”

“ That way we aren’t as wanted as everyone else.” Said Jacob.

“ And besides, a member as small and unknown as you could help.” Said the fourth member. “ Perhaps he could get into the fort.”

“ He may be too scared for that job Flora.” Willow said.

“ Would he?” Jacob stepped closer to the boy. “ IF we decided to let you live and stay with us, would you return the favor and help us?”

The boy immediately said yes. There was no turning back now. Jacob nodded.

“ Alright, he’s in. Is that agreed upon by all of us?”

“ Sure, if it helps get that blade.” Iggy says with a shrug.

“ I don’t mind, but I’ll have to watch him for any signs of traitorism.” Flora says, eyeing the boy.

“ I don’t assume he’d betray us, right kid?” Asked Iggy. The boy nodded vigorously.

“ I never heard of a normie wanting to join the pirates.” Said Willow.

“ Yeah, you ok in the head kid?” Jacob asked.

“ I think I am, sir.” The boy said.

“ Heh, well ya won’t be after we’re done.” Iggy swallowed more of his egg. “ No one is healthy in pirate business.”

“ I’d take this more than any other life, God knows it’s more interestin’.” Said Flora.

“ Yup, kid we can show you why this is so much more free than bein’ a normie.” Willow said.

“ That’s why I wanted to come!” The boy said. “ I’ve grown tired of being a normal kid.” The pirates laughed at this.

“ Ohhh man, this one!” Said Iggy. “ Tell us you’re lyin’ kid.”

“ N-no..?” The kid was a little afraid at their humor. He wasn’t sure how to win points with them. Were they laughing to be mean? “ I’m honest…”

“ What’s yer name?” Asked Willow. She drank some juice casually.

“ D-Devin.” The boy said. “ Devin-”

“ Don’t worry about your last name, we don’t give a crap about those.” Jacob said, sitting down. He ate some egg. “ We just go by firsts and that’s enough. Would probably be too complicated otherwise.”

“ We used to have last names, courtesy of our parents.” Flora said. “ But that was a loooong time ago.”

“ Yeah, I’ve actually forgotten my parents by now.” Said Iggy. “ What were they… Samanthas?”

“ Mhm, still a girl ass name by the way.” Jacob said.

“ I’ll whoop your ass if you say that one more time.” Iggy pointed his fork at Jacob. Jacob acted like he was gonna die. The women rolled their eyes.

“ Why the hell did we have to join you.” Willow said.

“ I-if you don’t like them… Why do you stay with them?” Devin asked. He was still huddled against the steps that led to the trap door. He wasn’t about to risk moving.

“ Cause if we didn’t, who knows what would happen to us.” Willow said. “ Thing that most of ya normies don’t know about us pirates is that we aren’t all evil.”

“ Ye, a portion a us actually know what morale is and being nice to get things done easier.” Flora said, and got up. She began to clean up the dishes. Jacob leaned back in his chair.

“ Certainly. I’d rather be an all boys crew. But having some nice titties to look at every now and then ain’t so bad, right Iggy?”

“ Definitely.” Iggy agreed. Flora threw a pan at them. It missed and clattered on the ground. Devin jumped a little.

A few minutes later, Devin was back on the deck of the ship, at one of the tables. He had a plate of eggs and a glass of orange juice. Willow was sitting across from him, looking out into the open sea. The other three had gone to sleep for the night, but Willow persisted on watching Devin, to make sure he didn’t do anything. Devin had wanted to tell her that he wasn’t going to do anything, that he wouldn’t sabotage his own crew ( hopefully his crew at some point) but his fear had the best of him. While he ate, he studied the pirate lady. Her white cloth tunic blew faintly in the night wind. Her hair tails jumped slightly, and her eyes darted back and forth, as if looking for something. Her hand was resting on a pistol in her belt, and the other was gripping the side of her chair. She looked…Worried? Apprehensive? Devin racked his brain for anything that a pirate might be on the lookout for. Maybe treasure?

“ Devin, right?” Willow gave him a side look. He nodded, finishing his food. “ You understand why you’re still here right?”

“ No?”

“ Well first thing is ya haven’t attacked us yet. Most other people who wanna come aboard ship are attackers. You’re the first we’ve had that isn’t aggressive.” She inspected him. “ By the looks of it ya couldn’t even if ya wanted to.”

“ I know I can’t attack anybody.” Devin said.

“ Cause you’re a normie?”

“ Yeah.” Devin said. Willow shifted in her seat.

“ Look, you don’t understand what you’re gettin’ into to, tryin’ be a pirate. You have no clue what it’s like do you?”

“ Sorta. I’ve seen pirates before.”

“ How?”

“ Internet! My parents…Are never home really. So, I had a lot of time to myself…And well, I figured the stories and myths I’d heard about pirates were interesting enough, so I did some research. Had no idea how much there was on you guys!” Devin paused. Willow nodded for him to continue. “ And uh… Well I guess I convinced myself after sometime that I wanted to be one, if I would be anything. Earlier today when I found that rejoice message on the wall….”

“ You figured it was your chance?” Willow said. Devin nodded.

Willow looked out over the sea again. In the horizon another ship sailed by. It seemed to be of a blue color, unlike this boat’s grey.

“ Well kid. If you were harmful we would’ve detected it already. Pirates tend to know when something’s off. And takin’ care of you if you DO go wild, will be easy.” She smirked. Devin shivered, and not just from the cold.

“ I promise I won’t.” He said.

“ I don’t care what you do, but you two need to come in!” Said a voice behind him. Iggy was poking out from the trapdoor. “ I ain’t havin’ frozen bodies tomorrow morning. Move!”

“ Iggy when the hell do you go to sleep?” Willow said. She got up. “ Devin, get down there, we have a spare bed I guess you’ll use. Just remember, this is a light chance ya have with us. Don’t mess it up.”

“ I won’t!” Devin said. He went down the stairs. He was stopped by the pirates in their beds, sleeping soundly. They aren’t as bad as everyone says they are, are they? His bed wasn’t as comfortable as the one he had at home, but then again it was more exciting.

Would his parents find out? Would they be mad? Would they care? He had not a phone or anything to be contacted by. It wouldn’t matter. His parents barely had a large effect on his life anyway. He was gonna be a pirate, now, just like he had always dreamed he would be. Whatever was gonna happen to him in the near future was fine, this is what he wanted. He fell asleep aloft the sailing boat at midnight.

It was late, and Iggy was woken up by Flora.

“ Huh? What’re ya doin’?” Iggy sat up in his bed, rubbed his eyes, and looked around. The others were still asleep, the boy was here. Flora was sitting on the edge of his bed.

“ Sorry, but it’s about him.” She pointed to Devin.

“ Him? He’s worrying you?”

“ Well, no. He can’t do shit to us.” Flora said. “ But, why did we let him in? Exactly? I’ve been thinking about it and I can’t sleep.” Iggy rubbed his eyes and laid down again. He looked at the ceiling.

“ Ah. Welp, probably cause like we were sayin’. The kid obviously has spirit, else he wouldn’t have risked coming.”

“ Can he be trusted?”

“ Who cares? We’re in the beginnings of a cool mission, and he’ll help us. He wants to join us, and would then do anythin’ we ask of him. No?”

“ Are ya making comparisons between him and Jona?” Flora crossed her arms, remembering. Iggy coughed.

“ I am. We can end his small life just like hers if he does the same thing she did.”

“ Okay, but like I said then, that makes us no better than the rest of them.” Flora said. Iggy looked up at her.

“ Come on, don’t act like this again. We settled it with the fact that we didn’t torture or rape her. She could’ve had it a hell of a lot worse. God knows Jacob wanted to.”

“ Yes, we only shot her. But the more we do it to innocents the more the Captain, and other factions may hear.” Flora said anxiously. Iggy rolled over on his side.

“ I know I know. You’re always the worrier!”

“ So?! I can’t help it and some of us have to worry in order to stay out of trouble! You’re saying we don’t all worry?” Flora said, standing up.

“ I know that, but Flora relax. It’ll be fine, He’ll help us get the Blade, and that’s that.”

“ Fine…We’ll see.” Flora went back over to her bed. “ I just want to kill in better circumstances.”

In the morning, Devin awoke to the sound of weapons being sheathed. As his eyes unblurred, he saw Flora cleaning up breakfast as Iggy and Jacob suited up for something. Iggy slung a sniper over his back and Jacob grabbed a submachine gun. Iggy saw Devin.

“ Hey kid, ya know how to fight?”

“ N-no.” He said.

“ Alright then you’ll have to watch and learn, since we don’t have time to teach ya right now.”

“ What’s-” Devin was interrupted by Willow coming downstairs.

“ The ship is nearing us!”

“ Have they said anything?” Jacob asked.

“ Yes, that they’re going to apprehend us if we don’t surrender.”

“ Haha, these Milatia soldiers are stupid.” Jacob said. He fixed his belt. “ We ready to hijack ‘em?” Flora came over.

“ Yeah, can’t wait to pop some heads.” She held up a shotgun gun. Devin wasn’t sure if he should move off the bed or no.

“ What about me?”

“ Just stay here, we’ll come back for you when the other ship is cleared.” Willow said, taking out two pistols. “ Shouldn’t be long.”

“ What are you-”

“ And don’t try and help us, you’ll die painfully.” Jacob said. Devin heard shouting up above.

“ Let’s go Carriers.” Said Iggy. The four pirates raced up the steps, arms ready.

Devin waited for some time. Lying flat on his bed, he heard gunshots and shouting coming from up above. Were they being invaded? Or was someone else being invaded? What was this for? Was he supposed to know, and would he ever know? These questions lingered in his mind, and wouldn’t dissipate. He had to see what was happening. Not joining the fight, but just spectating. He carefully creeped up the steps towards the trapdoor, every bullet sound making him stop. He eased the door open, and peeped his head out. There was another ship right next to his. It was green. On the main deck the four pirates, the Carriers he guessed, were fighting military soldiers. The Milatia? The name he’d heard before? Devin watched as Iggy shot a man down, and Jacob smashed the back of another, and Willow kicked a woman off of the side, and Flora fired into two more. They easily beat them. This is why pirates were feared. Devin wasn’t sure what to do once the fight was over. Go to them? He made eye contact with Iggy. He quickly shrank back down and waited. A minute later, and Iggy opened the door.

“ Damn it kid, ya could’ve been shot. But come on, ya oughta come with us. We might need you to sneak in.” He offered Devin his hand.

“ Sneak?”

“ Mhm, we’ll explain, but come on, we need to move.”

“ What about this ship?”

“ It don’t matter, we always get new ones. Besides, a military one has more comfort. Come on!” Devin followed Iggy to the other ship. He almost didn’t make the jump across the decks.

It kinda sickened Devin to see the bodies of the dead soldiers, their vestments stained with red. Once he helped drop them off the side of the deck, and dump the government transmit signalling device, he went downstairs with Willow and Flora. Flora messed around with the kitchen ingredients while Willow explained the mission to him.

“ We’re tryin’ to get somethin’ called the ThunderBlade. That’s what our Captain was briefing us on at the meeting on yer island. It’s being held in a highly militarized fort on the island Milatia. During last night we set our ship to sail towards it, so today we’re in proximity to it. This ship here was a scout ship. Now that we have it, we can sail right towards ‘em.”

“ Didn’t we just trash the transmitter?” Devin asked.

“ Yeah, but they won’t notice that till later, gov’s too busy. The lookouts at the turrets only check for ship type. So we can go right on up and storm the place!”

“ Devin, ya want some toast?” Flora asked from the kitchen. He nodded.

“ You sure that’s gonna work?” He asked. Iggy and Jacob came downstairs. He felt the ship start to move.

“ Kid, sure it will. We’re strong, we’ve raided a decent number of places.” Iggy said. “ I mean sure, that was a few weeks ago, but still. We got this!”

“ And plus, if this don’t work, then we simply reroute and try again.” Jacob said. He sat down on a chair. “ We have a few minutes till we hit the island. Then, it’s play time!”

While they waited, Devin ate his toast and wondered.

“ How do you guys survive?”

“ Well that’s a big question ain’t it?” Willow said. “ Simply put, we sneak around, steal as much as we can, murder when we have to, and keep doing that.”

“ Isn’t that hard?”

“ Can be, but hell if it ain’t liberatin’.” Jacob said. “ There’s nothin’ like going around and doing whatever the hell ya want.”

“ How’d you meet each other?”

“ Devin I wouldn’t be asking so many question if I were you, never know when we might kill you.” Flora said. “ Would make it less painful for us if we didn’t have to waste ya after spending the time to tell ya.”

Devin knew that they had made it to the island when the ship docked. They felt a small jolt, and then it stopped. Iggy told Devin to join with them in the initial fight to get inside. He handed him the smallest they had. Devin was unsure of how to use a gun, but Jacob assured him that you learn from experience. He followed the pirate crew to the deck of the ship. They hopped onto the island Milatia. Devin stood back on the ship and took in the surroundings. It was a fairly small island, with only a big light green fort dominating it. That and the dock leading up to it they were at. The four pirate members charged at the front double doors. The searcher men saw them and called in for backup. As the Carriers reached the doors, they swung open and more soldiers flooded out. Devin watched the fight. He attempted to shoot, but missed. He was too afraid to try again. He saw the Carriers slowly losing. Well, more like retreating. They were being beat in an up close battle and were outnumbered. Devin inspected the fort itself. He saw some vent openings they could crawl through and looking down below the dock, there was a piping system opening.

“ Hey! What if we-” He was pulled back by Flora as the Carriers, his pirate crew, boarded their ship again. Jacob went to the engine room as him and the other three fled back downstairs. “ What’s happening?”

“ We’re leaving early. I know when we can’t win.” Willow says, she was wincing from cuts.

“ Damn guys surrounded us, thank god they didn’t use projectiles.” Iggy said, grabbing a medical pack. “ We’re leavin’.”

“ Not very pirate like…?” Devin said.

“ Yeah so? Some of us know strategy.” Flora said. The ship began to boost away. Devin heard gunshots hitting the wall.

“ Are they gonna hit us?” He asked.

“ They won’t the walls are metal, and by the time they get out their bombs, we should be too far away.” Jacob came down, limping. “ We’ll have to get to safer waters and think of a new plan.”

The Carriers spent the next bit of time using the ship’s supplies to patch themselves up. Devin was forced to help out, giving out bandages and creams. After that they sat around, to think of a new plan. Around a table, eating some ham sandwiches. Devin wasn’t complaining, he was hungry. He could still feel the ship plowing its way through the ocean.

“ So.” Flora swallowed. “ What’s happening?”

“ Well, we know that just bargin’ in won’t be an option.” Iggy said.

“ Yeah, shoulda figured that from the start. Why do we listen to you?” Jacob said.

“ It was your fault for following me.” Iggy eyed him. “ But anyway. If a frontal assault won’t work, then we should figure out a different way.”

“ Somethin’ not as noticeable?” Willow said.

“ I may know.” Devin spoke up. The pirates looked at him.

“ Do ya?” Flora asked.

“ W-well…What exactly are we looking for?”

“ Right.” Willow says. “ Just so you’re on the same page. The ThunderBlade. The thing that’s being kept in there. A weapon that can summon lighting to the wielder and strike anything. It’s kept in the armory, far as we know anyway, among other weapons and stuff.”

“ Yeah, Captain gave us details during the meeting.” Said Jacob. “ The armory is the main point of this island, and so it’s hard to get to. Only other thing it’s used for is shipping out weapons.”

“ And where is this Blade located? Like where in the armory?” Devin asked.

“ From he said, just somewhere in the deeper section of it. So not the easiest task.” Jacob said.

“ Right, well if it’s that deep to get in… Then I saw some alternate passages into the fort we could’ve use.” Devin said.

“ While you weren’t fighting with us?” Flora asked, touching her scar. Devin winced.

“ Y-yeah…Sorry. But the vents, we can crawl through those maybe? And I saw a sewer system entrance just below where we were docked!” Iggy leaned forward.

“ Didja? Show us and we won’t kill ya.”

“ Iggy!” Flora said.

“ I know, I know, kidding! Mostly, anyway.” Iggy shrugged. “ Well it don’t matter right now. We can’t get close, they’ll have even more scouts out than before. We’d have to sneak in some how where they couldn’t see us.”

“ What if you could go invisible or something?” Devin said.

“ Wait… Actually that brings up a good idea.” Willow said with a finger snap.

Devin had never been outside of his island. Lenore had been the only land he had ever known. That just made this next stop even more exciting for him. The island of Markets. Devin’s father had once been to the island in order to get some more ‘exotic’ foods. It was a place of shopping, of searching for that one kind of item you couldn’t find in your normal island shops. It had hundreds of shops covering the whole land of it. As the Carriers’ ship docked, he saw just what that meant. Buildings, stations, and stands all selling various kinds of toys, trinkets, clothing, and more. The only issue was the amount of customers. It took so long to actually buy something that some people thought it wasn’t worth it.

“ So guys, we cuttin’ the lines?” Jacob asked. He looked out over the deck of the ship at the island along with Devin. Flora came up from below.

“ We shouldn’t but we may want to to save time.”

“ I ain’t waitin’ in those lines.” Iggy said, putting his foot on the side of the deck. “ Afterall we’ll just head to one of the clothing shops and ask about stealth suits.”

“ We’re really doin’ that?” Flora asked. “ Might think we’re crazy.” Willow came up behind them.

“ In terms of saving time, we should ask, since we don’t know where else to look. Could give us some kinda lead as to what to do.”

“ Are they afraid of pirates?” Devin asked.

“ Naw, been here enough times to know that they take anyone willin’ to spend money.” Iggy said. “ But we won’t be spendin’.”

“ Not like we have the money anyway.” Said Flora. “ Who’s going down?”

Devin was chosen along side Willow to go looking. Iggy was too lazy and Jacob wanted to stay on deck with Flora in case something happened. When Devin asked they simply said you never know when another crew may come and try to steal your ship, or a government ship may try to arrest yours. It happens enough to where being secure isn’t unheard of in pirate life. That was fair enough for him. What wasn’t fair was the amount of walking space neither him nor Willow had. There were at least a hundred or more people in every aisle, checking out all the different shopping options. He heard couples arguing about what kinda clothes to buy, what color mattresses to get, what kinda jewelry the wife prefers and what sporting caps the husband prefers. Kids formulated next to game stores to pick out the next edition of their favorite series and books and comics. Someone didn’t have enough money even though they said they were absolutely sure they did on the trip here, and the whole squad was upset at them. A wife bought a man she wasn’t married to a ring, and secretly decided to be together behind the real husband’s back. She left with the new man. Willow had to quickly move Devin out of the way of a passage where a separate pirate crew was walking.

“ They’re part of our faction.” She said.

“ Then why’re we avoiding them?” Devin asked, watching them go. The outfits they had were donned with newly bought trinkets.

“ Cause, they don’t know about you, and I don’t wanna deal with their shit if they find out.” Willow continued on. Devin wasn’t sure what that meant, was it illegal for them to be taking care of him? He followed the woman onward.

After some more minutes they came to a clothing shop that was probably the most populated of them all. It was on the top of a hill, looking out over the rest of the island. The sign read: Military and HiTech Suiting. There was a line to get in.

“ Do we seriously have to wait this?” Devin asked.

“ Well, we aren’t buyin’ anything. We should be able to go up to the register to ask a question once we get inside.” Willow said.

“ And the amount of time that’ll take?”

“ Don’t get impatient kiddo. I still have a gun that can enter your forehead.” And Devin thought women were nice. Not pirate ones.

They ended up in line for a half hour just trying to get in from outside. Devin’s hardest goal was not falling asleep. Willow read a small book that was apparently kept in her pouch. Devin asked where she got it from but she said she didn’t remember, that it had been a long time ago. She hadn’t had much time to read it and now was a better time than any. He wasn’t getting anymore info after that. He wondered what would happen if he tried to run. Would Willow shoot him? Or would she not want to risk losing her spot in line? He decided he still wanted to be a pirate and stayed, boring as it was right now.

Finally they made it in. Then it was a faster process. Willow went straight up to the front desk, and asked for anything that would be a stealth suit, used for sneaking into places. Good thing they didn’t ask for details. Devin had heard that this island didn’t care about what you wanted to use its items for, as long as you pay for it. One of the things his old school friend James didn’t like about it. The woman at the register told Willow that they had some black designed suits that had just been sold to a pack of pirates two hours ago, and so they were out of it for a while. An annoyed Willow stormed out of the store. Devin wasn’t sure what to do, and people were looking at him confused. He stepped out of the store.

As he made his way down the hill, he heard someone shouting. To his left, he saw a crew of four pirates trying to raid a shop. It was a soup shop, and they wanted all the ingredients they could get. But they weren’t going to wait in line, they had better things to do. Devin realized it was the same crew he’d almost encountered before, when Willow pulled him aside. They had the same brownish leather on as his team the Carriers had. But they were all boys. One was holding a sniper, forcing the surrounding people to move back. A second was searching through the bags in the front of the shop while the third and fourth checked the back of the station for what they were after. The shop owner was on the ground, unconscious. Devin stood there, terrified. What should he do? Where was Willow? Or any kind of security? Were there any? He felt the back of his pants. He still had his pistol from earlier.

He got a little closer. There was a wave of citizens before him, and the pirate with a sniper past them. He took out his gun and shakily made his way to the front of the people. He wasn’t sure what he was doing. As soon as the sniper saw him, he smiled.

“ A brave one eh? Ya even know how to use that?” He motioned to Devin’s pistol with the butt of his gun.

“ S-stop.” Devin muttered. The sniper let out a chuckle and aimed at him.

“ We’ll see what stops after I fire this bullet. Me, or you.” Devin raised his gun with trembling hands. He was certain he wouldn’t win this standoff. But he tried anyway. He put the barrel of the gun in the general direction of the sniper, and closed his eyes, and fired. A second shot went off at the same time. Devin winced, preparing for his gut to be penetrated. But he felt nothing. He stood still, and nothing around him made any noise. What had happened?

“ AYE! You’re stupid as hell aren’t ya?!” He opened his eyes. The sniper was on the ground, a pool of blood expanding around him. A figure was running towards him. “ If you wanna be a damn pirate so badly at least don’t do somethin’ so stupid. Come on!” Willow grabbed his arm and dragged him down the aisle. He saw people running away screaming. The other pirates had come out of the shop, and were attempting to chase them. Devin held onto his gun and Willow’s hand, running faster. They didn’t stop until they were on their ship again sailing away.

Devin had to endure a talking to after that. Willow went on for sometime about it. Jacob eventually quieted her down. Later on, during dinner, Iggy sat with him on the deck, away from Willow who was downstairs with the others.

“ Why’s she so mad about what I did?” Devin asked, sipping some soup.

“ Eh, probably because she sees in ya somethin’.” Iggy said.

“ Sees?”

“ Yeah, and not cause you’re special. She said that about… Her also.”

“ Who?”

“ Just another kid who wanted to help us, but she betrayed us later. Willow wanted to protect her a bit also, her reason being that this world could use more pirates, and if she can help make a new one, that’s good.” Iggy sipped his water.

“ She thinks I can be one?” Devin asked.

“ I guess. I mean I won’t argue. Ya could be. If you’re tough enough and don’t betray us.”

“ Is that what happened to the first..?” Devin asked, and Iggy nodded. A minute later, Flora came up from below.

“ Aye Iggy, and you kid. We figured out what we’ll do.” She came over, and sat down on the floorboard, back against the railing. “ We can try to search another shopping island and try again.”

“ Is that all y’all came up with?” Iggy asked. Flora nodded.

“ Any better ideas genius?”

“ Yeah, we go in and storm the place, this time using the paths that the kid found, supposedly.”

“ Damn it Iggy we’ll get killed if we do that, and ya know it. So shut.” Flora said. Devin let out a laugh. Iggy gave him a death stare.

“ So…Where we headin’ then?”

“ East.” Flora said.

They sailed for four days. Gave Devin time to get more used to the ship he was on. It was small at first, and it still was, but it wasn’t so bad to him now. Sure, the house he’d had back on Lenore was bigger with two floors, but there he was alone, and with no one to talk to. Here, he had what he considered to be real life movie characters right here alongside with him. He saw Iggy swimming in the ice cold water, somehow not frozen by it. He watched Jacob fiddle with the ship’s controls. He watched Willow keep a lookout, occasionally reading her book. He watched Flora work wonders with the military’s food supply, creating dishes he’d never even seen before, but was so happy to try out. Devin himself didn’t have much to do, and the Carriers had nothing to offer in terms of entertainment. He spent most of the time just looking out at the sea. Seeing islands, ships, boats, bodies float by. It got cold, and it got hot. Even though he was just sitting down, he was constantly moving on the best adventure of his life so far. Then the Hoarders came.

It was early morning, and Devin was eating beans for breakfast with the crew. It wasn’t the usual food, but it was good enough tasting he didn’t care. Something bumped the side of the ship, and somethings jumped onto the bridge. His crew sprang into action. Each grabbed a gun and sprinted up the stairs. Devin wanted to help out, so he picked up his pistol and joined them. Another pirate ship, a blue one, was stopped right next to his. The crew that was on it, had boarded the Carrier’s ship, and attempting to raid it. Once again shots were fired, a man fell over the side of the railing. A woman bashed Jacob upside the head, and he swung around, using his rifle to hit her in the stomach. She reeled back, and was shot in the head by Iggy. Iggy nearly missed a shot from an enemy woman who was then shot by Willow. Flora was holding up the final raider, a man. She dangled him over the edge of the ship.

“ What was your plan?”

“ To take your stuff! Add more to our c-collection!” He clawed at his throat.

“ What collection?” Willow asked.

“ I won’t tell!” The man said. Iggy trained his rifle on him.

“ Say it bud.” The man choked.

“ OK ok! All of us, about thirty. Island of Hoards, we separated to go out and get more! Just came back from a good buy at the Island Of Markets, suits or something-” His head flopped over, blood splashing out from the bullet Iggy implanted in him.

Devin learned that this so called island of Hoards is not a nice place.

“ The people who bought that island about three years ago desecrated it!” Iggy said. He was pacing back and forth on the deck of their ship, that was heading towards the island of Hoards. “ That thirty people the other was talkin’ about, jesus…”

“ Since when did they expand to thirty damn pirates?” Jacob asked. He was sitting at a table.

“ Probably so the original owners could keep the idea of the place goin’ after their deaths.” Willow said. She brushed hair away from her face, while leaning against the side of the engine room.

“ Did they die?” Devin asked. He was just standing in place, amidst the Carrier crew. Flora came up, eating a piece of bread.

“ Are we actually going there?”

“ Yup, and yes.” Willow said. “ The owners passed of old age, started, well, keeping stuff at that island when they were around their eighties, too late. I guess they hired more people to bring stuff there. May have the kinda suits we’re lookin’ for.”

“ But if there’s around thirty of them, then how’re we supposed to get anything?” Flora asked.

“ Simple, we fight through ‘em.” Iggy said. Everyone looked at him.

“ No, we’ll wait till night. Either they won’t be there or they’ll be asleep.” Jacob said. The women nodded.

“ And if they wake up?” Devin asked.

“ Let’s hope they won’t ,or we’ll have some more murders on us.” Iggy said, smirking.

By the time they arrived at the island of Hoards it was already late at night. Flora was keeping watch, and notified the rest of the crew to wake up. Devin was fast asleep at that time, and having a good dream too. Iggy had to pick him up and slap him a few times to get him to wake up. “ Kid, for God’s sake stay with us when we call ya.”

“ Tired…” He moaned.

“ If you’re tired then I’ll drop ya in the ocean. Does well for gettin’ the sense up and firin’. If you don’t freeze unlike me.”

“ NO!” Devin was awake now.

“ Well we’re here, and we’re gonna venture out, hold onto your pistol. You need more practice anyway.” Iggy said. Devin followed him onto the island, pistol in hand. He wasn’t sure if he needed to use it or not, but he silently hoped he didn’t have to. The land itself was pretty small, at least when compared to the other ones they’d been to. There was a field of tall grass surrounding a single cubular structure. It’s walls were grey brick, cracked with some parts missing. It looked old, and like the current owners didn’t care of its condition as long as it housed what they needed it to hold. By the time Iggy and Devin made their way to the front door, Willow, Flora and Jacob had already done a quick check around, and found nothing. Jacob nodded to Iggy as he approached. Willow used the butt of her rifle to crack the lock on the door. She eased it open for the rest to get in. A snake slithered out from inside, and Devin jumped. Peering inside he saw that some torches were lit, giving light to a disorganized room.

The crew walked in, the door closing softly. They had never been here before, and no one knew where anything might be. What didn’t help was the amount of stolen items just laying around. A toy bear, pink and white colored, sitting against the wall. Some rabbits, dogs, and shark plushies laying around it. A corner piled with broken beautiful jewelry of diamonds sandstone silver lapis and more. An old, stuffed out sofa; clocks sitting in a row upon it. Each clock coming from a different time period. All ticking to a separate time zone. The floor they stepped across littered with royal paintings, paintings of men women children beasts and mythical adversaries. Some still could be seen properly, but others were already decaying, the form of the art slowly slipping away. Devin wasn’t sure what the point of all this was. Was it to be resold again? Perhaps these items were left to rot only to be sold once again as if they were new? Sold to people who knew no better? How many was it, twenty or so that were apart of the faction who collected these objects?

Willow picked up a stone carving of a fox skeleton, and held it to her chest, eyes closed as if remembering something from her childhood. A long forgotten pet she barely knew. Flora gazed upon the clocks, focusing on the various ticks and tocks. Iggy attempted to pick up a portrait, only for it to crack in half. Jacob took hold of a torch, carefully removing it from its holster on the wall. He entered a backroom, where more junk was. Clothing, this time. All kinds of styles, of all kinds of people, for all kinds of occasions. However, a new batch was lying close to the wall. Ten black suits outline in white. It covered the face hands and feet completely. On the backs were little battery packs, with a hatch to open and insert the power supply. As the others came in, Jacob put his torch closer to inspect it.

“ To activate use of Tribor copyright Stealth suits insert half of a normal eight inch length Phazon crystal into the battery pack. Then press red button attached to left hand while wearing suit.” He said to himself. “ Found it.”

“ Oh cool!” Devin said aloud. The pirates shushed him.

“ Do they have any kinda crystals here?” Willow whispered. From what the crew could see, none.

“ What other ideas?” Jacob asked, voice hushed.

“ Don’t they form in caves?” Devin asked.

“ Yeah, and the nearest island to have a cave like that would be…..” Iggy thought.

“ Lockhown?” Flora offered.

“ What is that?” Iggy asked.

“ Come on! We passed it once. I remember where it is. I don’t wanna stay here so can we move?” Flora said. Willow nodded in agreement.

No one argued with leaving the island of Hoards. Devin had no clue what Lockhown was, but he waited with the rest of the crew while Flora directed the ship there. She insisted it wasn’t too far away, or at least she was pretty sure. Devin thought that the others had agreed only to get out of that structure sooner. Even though they would have to come back. It didn’t take long to get there. It took the Carriers a while to even get onto the island dirt once they arrived. Willow kept saying this wasn’t the right island, since there was nothing on it except trees and trees. Iggy said that there didn’t have to be man made buildings for there to be caves. Jacob didn’t care and went to get something to eat. Flora wasn’t bothering with the discussion, and was willing to go down herself if she needed to. The others didn’t come because Iggy was also hungry and Willow decided to take a nap, thinking she wouldn’t miss anything. Devin wasn’t sure what to do so he went with Flora.

It was late afternoon and the weather was fairly chilly. Devin had only short clothing on, while Flora had a longer tunic on underneath the leather. She said that he needed to deal with weather if he wanted to learn to be stronger. He didn’t like it but it went with it. Mostly because he was too busy trying not to be utterly disemboweled by the wildlife inhabitants. Flora suggested they search for a hole in the ground large enough to be the entrance to a cave. She said it shouldn’t be too hard since it was a decently small place. Some trees and grassy patches were strewn about. The first few minutes nothing happened. Then they heard growling. Flora was first to draw her rifle. Devin took out his pistol with shaking hands. His nervousness didn’t calm down when the Hyenas showed themselves.

“ Pirates call these things Islenas.” Flora said. “ Won’t find this type of Hyena on any kind of mainland, same for most of the animals we’ll encounter here.” Four hyenas slowly circled them, snarling and exposing sword like teeth. “ It’s obvious what they’ll do to ya, so just do what we do.”

“ What is that?” Devin asked. He came eye to eye with one of them. Dark orange eyes like the piercing of solar light.

“ Shoot, and if they come at ya then dodge!” Flora said.

“ Wait what?!” Devin was still trying to process that when Flora shot. One hyena hit the ground, dead. The other three charged.

The pirate lady rolled to the side, narrowly avoiding a bite. Devin jumped to the side getting his back grazed. He whizzed around, and somehow managed to shoot another one. It fell to the ground, and the other two faced him. One charged, and the other ran around him. Devin tried to fire, but his hands shook too much. Flora shot one hyena just before it could lunge. The other did manage to jump at Devin. Devin quickly shoved his pistol in the animal’s mouth. It dropped to the ground, trying to get it out. Meanwhile Flora lodged a bullet in its head.

“ Not the cleanest way, but it works.” She said. “ Get your gun.”

“ From its mouth?” Devin asked.

“ Unless you wanna be armless.”

“ Oh…” He yanked the now slimey and wet pistol from the hyenas mouth. Devin tried not to be disgusted. Speaking of slimey, they next encountered the Golden Dart Frogs.

Seven of them were simply lying about on the soft, moist dirt. They were yellow with black spots covering their bodies. Devin thought they were harmless, being so small. Flora had little experience with these kinds of animals, but she kept wary.

“ Let’s just go around them.” She advised. As they walked around, one of the frogs stared at Flora. Flora aimed her rifle at it, and the frog stepped back a few feet. Now all of the frogs were watching them. They didn’t move or do anything else besides watch. Devin and Flora kept onward. After a few more minutes, Devin almost fell in a steep hole. Flora grabbed his shirt and hauled him back.

“ Whoa kid. I think this is it.” She inspected the hole. There was a ladder going down, though it looked frail and weak. “ No one’s been here in ages.”

“ Is it safe?” Devin asked.

“ Ya have to ask something so obvious?” Flora said, shaking her head. “ Course not, but we’re goin’ down anyways. It’s safer than jumping down. Most pirates would just jump, but we’ll do it a bit safer.”

Devin was forced to go down first. It smelled like soggy earth to him, and the ladder raddled every step downward. The amount of times he thought he was gonna fall…He couldn’t count. Once he reached the bottom, the final six rungs snapped off, and he barely kept himself from landing flat on his back. Flora simply hopped down. The tunnel lead into a stone cave, where some kinds of crystals were forming. They all emanated a faint glow, creating half designs along the walls. Devin almost found it peaceful, even if it was cramped. He left it up to Flora to find the right kinda crystal they needed, since he knew his chances were less than zero. He’d only gotten a C in rock sciences. Luckily it didn’t take long. Flora cut off about three feet of a silvery stalk, and crawled back out with it.

“ We can cut this down when we return. Let’s just head back fast before anyone comes.”

“ Comes?” Devin asked. But Flora was already up the ladder. Devin jumped and grabbed hold, following suit.

The way back was tiring for them. A flock of Cassowary were waiting for them as they emerged from the hole. Large birds with sharp claws, good for slicing open human flesh. Flora said to run, and Devin had no issue with that. They had to book it back to the ship without stopping, as the running angered the birds even more. Nothing else tried to kill them thankfully. As Devin sprinted onto the deck, Iggy rolled up the plank.

“ God damn what happened?” He said, looking at the squawking birds on the island.

“ Explain later, just get the ship moving.” Flora said. “ I wanna get the suits without a pirate fight.”

As the Carriers re-entered the Hoarders structure, they were surprised to find that the place was still empty. Flora cut up the crystal stalk into five pieces. Jacob inserted them into five suits, and handed them out. Devin wasn’t sure how to put it on properly, and so he had to figure it out for himself. It took him about three minutes to figure it out, by which time the rest of the crew were waiting impatiently. The stealth suit itself felt weird. Soft, but also tight. Attached to his left hand, was a small red button, that when pressed, initiated the suits invisibility feature. He wanted to keep it active, but Willow made him not. She said it would be too easy for them to lose him and thus leave him to die. And they weren’t sure how much energy one crystal would give it. Best they waited till they got to the island of Milatia. Devin asked what they were gonna do with their normal clothing. Because he asked this, the Carriers made him hold all of their stuff. Normally Devin wouldn’t be okay with this, but he wanted to be a pirate, so he went along with it. Then the Hoarders opened the door.

Iggy cursed, he knew they’d taken too much time. Eight Hoarders, all equipped with weapons, and carrying newly found toys and items. As soon as one saw the Carriers, she screamed, dropping her stuff. The others were alerted by the scream, and came running inside. They too let go of their stolen gifts, training weapons on the Carriers. Devin’s team froze, simply looking at their enemies. Iggy went invisible. Jacob, Willow and Flora did the same. They began to run for the exit, firing off randomly. A couple of Hoarders were hit, and they too shot back. Devin leaned against the wall, turning himself clear. He was too afraid to run through the mob of firing pirates. The walls became wrecked with holes. The Hoarders ran outside, trying to shoot and hit one of the Carriers. After mentally pumping himself up for a few seconds, Devin walked out the door, not sure if he should run or not. He watched the eight savage men and women, firing aimlessly, hoping to hit their intruders. He thought for a moment that all of his crew had made it back to the ship safely. Devin realized he was wrong when Jacob screamed.

Where was he? He looked frantically, using his invisible nature to sneak around the enemy pirates carefully. He also saw the drawbridge was being reeled in. Devin had to get there now, but he also wanted to find Jacob. The Hoarders and invisibility made it impossible. Devin ran for the bridge, and leaped, climbing up just before the ship took off. He stood panting as he dropped the clothes, and pressed his suit’s button. As he returned visible the other three members of the crew also reappeared.

“ Where’s Jacob?” Willow asked.

“ I heard him yell, but I thought that meant he was on the ship or somethin’.” Iggy said.

“ No…I think he was hit.” Devin said.

“ Hit?” Flora asked. “ If we left him there then….”

“ No damn way…..” Iggy looked at the island of Hoards as it got smaller and smaller. “ Let’s go back.”

“ We can’t.” Willow said. “ I’m sure the Hoarders are goin’ to be comin’ after us. If we wanna complete the mission we’ll need to keep going.”

“ And let our bud DIE?” Iggy said.

“ Ignatius.” Flora said. “ I get it, but going back is suicide, or least the hard way.”

“ So?”

“ Point being we need to keep going! We’re close to actually gettin’ the blade now!”

Iggy looked distraught. Devin faced him.

“ Ignatius?” He looked at him. “ I… Look. I know I haven’t been with you guys long enough to say much, but I can tell that Jacob, and these other two women have been with you for a good while right?” They nodded. “ Well…Wouldn’t he, or Jacob, want us to do it for him?” Devin hoped they knew what he meant. Flora smiled a little bit.

“ Well, there’s one smart thing you’ve said kid. I think we all want the same things, at least us pirates.”

“ Yeah,” Willow agreed. “ That Thunderblade is ours and no death is gonna stop us.” Iggy looked out at the ocean, as if considering different options.

“ One rule I’ve learned bein’ a pirate, is that you never let things get to ya. Out here, it’s basically a lawless world.” Iggy said. Devin thought that maybe he was being addressed. “ Whether or not it’s gonna hurt that our boy Jacob is gone…I dunno.”

“ But right now that ThunderBlade is more important.” Willow said.

“ But isn’t that…Not nice?” Devin asked.

“ No,” Flora said. “ To a Normie maybe, but for us it’s more of a sign of respect. If Jacob died trying to get that treasure, then it’s in his honor that we finish the job and get it, not just for us and before anyone else gets it, but also for him.”

“ Oh…You think we can do it though?” Devin asked.

“ Kid, asking what could be thought is not the same as what could be done.” Iggy said. “ What can be done is that we use these fancy suits to sneak into that place and get what we want. Any other thoughts aren’t allowed.”

“ But…”

“ No buts Devin. So, you still wanna do this with us?” Devin was taken back by the use of his actual name.

“ Y-yeah…Seems like fun!”

The crew waited until nighttime before coming within close boundaries of Milatia island. Devin could see the silhouette of the fort itself, making a thick drawing in the stars around it. Iggy docked the boat next to a military one. The same docking station they were at before. This time things would be different, hopefully. Willow handed out small communications devices that she’d found in the storage of their ship. Each member inserted theirs into their ear. After a few test sessions of Iggy saying lewd things, they activated the stealth suits invisibility. Devin was thrown off at first, not seeing anyone and only hearing voices. He was supposed to lead the crew through one of the alternate passages he’d noticed before.

“ Guys, the other way was, down in the sewage pipe below the dock.” He whispered. They could talk low and still hear each other just fine.

“ Then we’ll have to hop down and go in.” Iggy said.

“ But…”

“ You worried about bein’ cold?” Willow asked. “ Get used to it, water takes up too much of this planet for you not to be ok with swimming in it.”

“ Yeah I do it all the time it’s fine!” Iggy said. He leaped over the side of the railing, splashing into the sea below. Devin heard him climb into the sewage pipe that was sticking out of the rock. “ Come on, lez not waste time.” Devin waited for Flora and Willow to go first. He hadn’t really seen much of girls climbing around in sewers, but these two did it just fine. He’d learn that being a pirate meant you were willing to do almost anything for the things you want. Anything.

After nearly freezing in the water and having Willow haul him up into the pipe, Devin followed the crew. It was about as gross as he expected. Waste consisting of food, gas, fuel, left over weapon parts and building parts laid scattered along the path they went through. Devin found it easier if he didn’t think about it too much. Instead there was a more prominent matter that the Carriers had to discuss.

“ Ideas?” Flora asked.

“ Well, it’ll be faster if we split up.” Iggy said. “ How about in pairs now that we have an even amount?”

“ What if we get caught?” Devin asked. “ Fight them or run?”

“ Whatever it takes, we don’t leave without the blade.” Iggy said.

“ Even if another one of us dies.” Willow said.

“ Even after…Him?” Devin said.

“ He wouldn’t want us to run like cowards.” Flora said.

“ Exactly.” Iggy stopped the crew just before a staircase that lead up to the main floor of the fort. “ Now or never. Use your comms if you found it or you’re leaving the premise. Or if anything else happens.”

Willow was crouched next to a wall. There were laser lines setup, walk through you get melted instantly. There were also cameras, but the suits prevented that from doing anything. As long as they didn’t get caught by anything else. It was too late for any other person to be up. Though Devin, who was right behind her, had a strange feeling that if things got too out of hand, then soldiers would come. Willow took a running start and leaped over the laser lines, while Devin just crawled under them. They moved on, slowly maneuvering around the variously placed lines.

Iggy was fascinated by the dozens of weapons being kept in thick militarized glass cases. Flora had to pull him along so he wasn’t stuck there all night. They came to locked doors. Simple fix, a bullet. Flora was wary of using such a process, but Iggy proved it was to work, after shooting down the locks and making his way through. However the good process didn’t last. Iggy was thinking a bit too much about what new weapons he’d wanna come back for, that he didn’t see the laser pointer. Flora pushed him out of the way too late. It went off and every laser in the facility went off.

Willow and Devin were stuck in between multiple lasers. Flora got a bit of her shin burned. Iggy tried to fight down embarrassment. Each of them stayed put.

“ Iggy the hell did you DO?!” Willow said through the comms.

“ I dunno! I didn’t see the things!” Iggy said back.

“ Can you pay a BIT more attention next time? This place isn’t for your fantasies!” Flora said.

“ Are the lasers going off any time soon?” Devin asked. Flora sighed.

“ Probably not until much later. They won’t go until we go.”

“ And we’re still not leaving.” Iggy said. Devin heard footsteps down the halls. Flora saw armed men enter the room. They yelled something, and went to turn off the lasers. Their bullets would burn otherwise.

“ Guys listen carefully.” Iggy said.

“ Should we?” Willow said.

“ Once those lasers go off we’re open for death, and if all of us go into the back room, we’ll more likely to die. Someone go and the others make distraction!” The lasers were taken down and the soldiers began to shoot.

Devin was confused when Willow pushed him towards the back room.

“ Go! You’re small and invisible, they can’t hit you so easily.”

“ I don’t where the blade is!” He argued. He couldn’t see the expression on her face.

“ If you wanna be a pirate, this is how kid.” He heard her run away. Devin’s brain told him to run away and get to safety. His heard told him to enter the room and find the ThunderBlade. He listened to his heart. His feet shuttered as he made his way down the hall into the unauthorized special weapons storage. Shots and screams rang out behind him. He desperately fought down what ifs and kept moving. He used his pistol’s last bullet to break open the lock on the storage door. Once inside he shut it. How long did he have till the soldiers checked back here? Devin looked around.

There was only one weapon there, sitting in an open box, perhaps being prepped for inspection and calibration the next day. The cameras didn’t pick up anything. Devin dropped his gun to the ground as he saw the blade. The ThunderBlade. Its hilt was brown with a gold outline. The blade itself was silver with small arcs of blue electricity going through it. At first he wasn’t willing to pick it up. Only the pressure of time made him do it. Holding the hilt in his hands, it felt lighter than he thought. He did some practice swings. The faster the blade moved the more it sparked. What would happen if he struck something with it? He wasn’t sure if he wanted to find out. Unfortunately, he’d have to. 

He didn’t realize that the arcs from the blade had disabled his cloaking. The cameras saw him and the soldiers burst into the room. Three of them trained their rifles on him.

“ Give us the sword kid, before you’re hurt.” Devin obeyed, walking up to one of them. The soldier reached out to take it. Just before giving it to him, Devin struck him in the leg. Not only did it pierce his skin, but it also sent lighting waves through the soldier’s body. Devin watched as the man writhed and jolted, and dropped to the ground. The other two men were stood staring. Devin smiled as he hit both of them with the sword, and ran out the door. He may have been lucky, but he’d take it. That’s a pirate after all, take what you can get, and run with it.

As he arrived back to the main rooms, he saw an uncloaked Iggy pressed against a wall.

“ Devin! Is that..?” Devin nodded. A bullet barely missed his head. “ We need to go, I think the girls already left. Mind if I see that thing?” Devin gave the Blade to Iggy. He swiftly tossed it around the corner of the wall, straight at the six men who were standing in their way of the exit. Devin felt an odd satisfaction as they climbed over the jumping electrocuted bodies. Good thing lightning can spread if you’re too close.

As more ships surged towards Milatia island, Devin and Iggy sprinted back to their vessel. A reappeared Flora and Willow closed the bridge as they made their way onto the deck. Iggy pumped the ship into high gear, practically stressing the thing as they took incoming fire. The women and Devin ducked into the second level of the ship for cover. Everything rattled as the ship flew away, heading towards Lenore island.

It was a goodbye a bit too quick for Devin. Once they arrived back Iggy said that they needed to head off soon or else the soldiers from Milatia would be on them.

“ But why can’t I come with you?” Devin pleaded.

“ Devin think of it this way.” Willow said, crouching down to his position. “ You’re sixteen right? And you can tell that all of us are older than you. And you didn’t really do much for us.”

“ More of a burden.” Iggy said.

“ But you did help us find a way into the base.” Flora said. “ And, it was kinda fun teaching someone else the ropes.”

“ Yeah,” Willow said. “ But again, this ain’t no kid’s job. Especially since you’ve been born a normie.”

“ But….” Devin watched the docks of his home island, and the bridge he’d walk down to return to it all. “ If I were to come back later?”

“ What, you mean when you’re older?” Iggy asked. Devin nodded.

“ Then, will you let me join for longer?” The crew considered this. They didn’t want Devin to betray them like before. However so far he did seem like a good possible candidate. They’d need someone to replace the one they lost. Iggy twirled the ThunderBlade in his hand.

“ Ya know…. We’ll think about it kid.” He handed Devin a comms earpiece. “ Keep this somewhere, and if we decide to have ya along, we’ll call.” Iggy looked to Flora and Willow, who nodded. “ Now we oughta go.”

“ Oh… Alright!” Devin looked at the earpiece in his hand. Maybe later. “ Thanks for everything!”

“ Don’t, just go.” Willow said.

Devin raced along the streets towards his house. His bike was still at the docks, and he wanted to get the comms piece to a safe and lonely place where his parents wouldn’t find it. He kept wondering when he’d get a call, if ever. Whenever the time was, he’d be ready. Ready to continue being a pirate. 

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