“This be where th’ first attack on me crew happened.” Captain Blackscuttle said to the Good Captain as they stepped through into a clearing less than ten feet wide.
The long line of crew all stopped, they were standing on the very edge of a clearing, trees to their backs and a dismal ten feet of barren land in front of them before the thick jungle of trees started again. How it happened no one was prepared to offer a suggestion but it looked like a ten foot wide torpedo had been fired through the forest leaving everything in it’s path decimated and everything to either side standing. Had it not been for the threats Captain Blackscuttle had spoken about it would have been the kind of awe inspiring picture that everyone was proud to see.
Captain Blackscutlle had been open and honest with the failures his previous party had succumbed too. The beasts they had crossed paths with in the initial stages of their journey may have varied somewhat to what the captain had seen many years previous but the attacks took place in the same place.
As the crew stood waiting their next order to advance Captain Blackscuttle suddenly lifted his hands to his head. Immediately the Good Captain turned in Captain Blackscuttle’s direction to see his two hands clamp his head tightly on either side. He was covering his ears, pushing his hands together hard as if unable to curb the sounds he was hearing.
Not another pirate along the entire line was doing the same thing as Captain Blackscuttle, his eyes were closed and his face contorted, tears began to dribble out from the corners of his eyes and his mouth was open as if releasing some kind of silent scream.
“Wha’ be it, Cap’n?” The Good Captain asked but his words seemed to go unheard.
He tried again. The second time before he spoke any words the Good Captain placed his right hand on Captain Blackscuttle’s shoulder trying to comfort the man and ease whatever it was that was paining him so badly.
“Th’ yellin’. Th’ screamin’.” Captain Blackscuttle uttered in nervous words the were led and followed by pained grunts. “I can hear th’ screams o’ me long slain crew. I can hear th’ gut retchin’ screeches o’ th’ men where they fell at me feet. I can hear every one o’ them ‘n it makes me blood curdle in me poor veins.”
The Good Captain knew there was little more he could do other than stand by his friend and support him until the images and memories passed. There was shamans and charlatans around the world who would claim different, claim that talking and sharing the images would be more help, but the Good Captain knew better. And he knew better because he had experienced the issue first hand and when the images dulled by themselves it took less time than having some magic man with a potion make them live for ever.
It only took a few minutes for Captain Blackscuttle to get hold of his own mind. In that time every pirate along the line of defence watched, waited and stood on the edge of the barren clearing. It was of course impossible to be ready for something they did not know was coming but nonetheless they did not waiver in stance. Even if they weren’t ready for what was coming they were not going to be attacked with their heads down.
“I could hear th’ bodies fallin’.” Captain Blackscuttle said as he regained his voice and stopped shaking. “They were fallin’ one at a time, hittin’ th’ ground wit’ a thud. I could hear each ‘n everyone o’ them as they screamed thar last breath. I could hear thar blood spurtin’ from thar dyin’ bodies ‘n splashin’ onto th’ ground like waves crashin’ against th’ rocks a roughened shoreline.”
As Captain Blackscuttle took a breath and the Good Captain stepped back and gave him space the rest of the crew stood waiting for their next command.
“I can hear th’ island screamin’ me name. Whatever gods or demons are here they know me name. They be doin’ it jus’ t’ drive me insane.”
“We wont be lettin’ that happen t’ ye Captain.” The Good Captain said after Captain Blackscuttle has been silence for a few moment. “We ‘ave two crews, yer knowledge ‘n we shall succeed where th’ brave fell afore us.”
“Aye, aye laddie. O’ course!” Captain Blackscuttle said. “Th’ multi-headed devilbeast can rise from th’ pits o’ hell. He can be wearin’ he greedy demon face grin thinkin’ that he’s got his treasures covered. But he shall be no match fer this crew o’ pirates.”
“Thar be right!” The Good Captain said proudly. “No Match!”
“He can curse th’ island, he can hide his loot ‘n he can protect his worth wit’ all manner o’ Davy Jones spawned creatures but we th’ crews o’ th’ Good Captain ‘n Captain Bildgepoole shall succeed where me owns crew failed.”
“Aye, we shall fight ‘n defend th’ honour o’ those that fell afore us.”
The two captains stood side by side. The Good Captain awaiting signs that Captain Blackscuttle was ready to proceed and Captain Blackscuttle shaking the last blasts whatever had over come him from his mind.
“Fore we move!” The Good Captain yelled a few moments later.
As the Good Captain drew his sword and pointed it forwards the entire line of pirates did the same thing, one after another, while at the same time screaming “Aye”.
One step at a time every pirate stepped away from the trees and into the barren waste land in front of them. The dry, hard sand crunched under the feet of the pirates as they stepped towards the next row of trees. Not one of them knew what they were going to see next but at the same time not one of the backing away.
Previous Pirate story here.