The Island of gold was turning out to be a lot more than any pirate stepping over its haunted sands could have imagined but for all the horrors they were seeing none were suffering more than Captain Blackscuttle himself. The Island knew he’d been there before. The Island knew it had beaten him before and the Island was trying its darnedest to beat him again.
The thing was Captain Blackscuttle knew before he stepped foot on the island that he was in for the battle of his life. He knew that the island would remember him and try to do again what it once did many years before. But he also thought he was prepared for it.
Had the large tombstone been the last straw? Could Captain Blackscuttle continue to lead the band of pirates ahead just to get the treasures of the island? Could he retreat and still keep the crew alive, or would they die in punishment as they did last time? The truth was he didn’t know, but with the Good Captain saying they would not back down from the fight no matter what that fight was Captain Blackscuttle decided forward was better than retreat.
Another barren waste land, another jungle of trees, then as the crew could see the break of the trees ahead the Good Captain called out to the crew.
“Be ready me men fer wha’ lies beyond these trees. We know nah wha’ ’tis but we needs t’ be ready fer anythin’.”
A cheer went up among the men telling their captain they were ready to go forward and take on whatever their fate was about to deliver them.
Beyond the trees was another barren wasteland of nothingness for a good hundred feet, not a single sign of life stood between the pirate crew and the jungle of trees ahead. Then in a blink of an eye, no one knew whose eye, a stockade appeared half way across the dead land.
It appeared like it had grown from the ground and it stretched only as far as the pirate crew of the Privateer did. It was made of large grey timbers, all eight foot high and each one seemingly as thick as the mast that held their ship together. There was no openings, no drawbridges, no gates, no doors, it was one continuous fence from end to end.
Then in another blink of an eye, again no one knew whose eye, one by one from the very centre of the stockade wall men began to appear. Just like the stockade wall they appeared to simply grow from the ground, one by one left and right from the centre man until their line extended as far as the pirates line.
In matter of seconds, or blinks of the eye if you prefer, they had gone from a barren wasteland of nothing to a stockade wall guarded with a single man for every pirate.
“Advance slowly men. Let them be th’ first t’ make a move then take them down!” The Good Captain called.
As the crew tentatively advanced on the enemy a horrible fact was revealed, what stood before them was not hundred or more men preparing to battle to the death, it was a hundred or more of the same man preparing for battle. Every man before the pirate crew was identical in stance, in cloth, and in feature, whether they were preparing to fight to the death or they were already dead it was impossible to tell!
At less than fifty feet the row of identical men had not moved an inch. At forty feet they still had not moved. At thirty feet the pirate crew rightly began to wonder if their enemy was even real. Then at twenty feet a roar filled the air and the identical men all pointed their swords into the air. The scream they let out was not one of words, well at least not words any of the pirate crew could understand. At ten feet when the crews could easily reach out with their swords and touch the tips between them the roaring of the enemy stopped.
“Kill them!” the Good Pirate called out to his men
It was one in, all in as the crew of the privateer advanced with their swords drawn and prepared to fight.
The Good Captain was the first to strike and with his sword down and ready he stepped forward, drawing his long sword back then thrusting it forward as he advanced and plunged it into the chest of the man directly in front of him.
To some it might have appeared to be an unfair fight, the man standing before the Good Captain did not even lower his sword, there wasn’t time. But such was the penalty for not being prepared in a sword fight, especially with a swordsman like the Good Captain. However the rest of the crew were not all so lucky.
It was a mixed bag down the line of pirates. Those with pistols, flintlock and blunderbusses ready fired quickly each delivering a fatal shot to the chest before the enemy even lowered their sword. As the smoke from the firing weapons began to clear and the stink of gunpowder floated high above their heads the sword bearing pirates stepped forward. Those who weren’t as quick as the Good Captain found themselves jabbing, slashing and slicing at the air trying to gain the advantage over the man before them.
The clang of swords filled the air, ringing out at an almost deafen volume for those close to the fighting. Coats were slashed, some ripped beyond repair, some of the more unlucky pirates took hits that drew blood but not one of them gave up and as the numbers of enemy began to lessen, pirates began to help their mates. Two on one, three on one, whatever it took to kill each and every one of those identical men who stood before the stockade walls.
The fight was quick, the fight was loud and the fight was to the death, but like every fight they trained for the crew of the Privateer took out the enemy without a single causality and within ten minutes they were standing before a pile of dead bodies that stretched the entire length of their line, but not one of the pirates realised the most prominent of things missing from each one, blood!
Then before the eyes of every pirate the dead bodies, each and every one of them, disappeared in a puff of smoke. One second they were there, bloodless and lifeless, the next, they were gone, disappeared, not a single trace.
Previous Pirate story here.