So. I was reading through this trilogy here. And I decided to give it a little rehaul to try some different ideas. For those of you new to this trilogy, I urge you not to read the one already available. It is many years old. The only reason I am not deleting it is because I'd rather not delete what others have favorited. Those of you who liked it already, you're in for a treat. Not only am I revamping the story, I'm revamping the content. Things will not be quite the same.
For reference sake: Sheik and Tetra, etc are all separate entities.
As always, enjoy and leave a review if you liked. ~Sakume
The smell of the sea's salty air entered the room through the portside window, cool and clean. He inhaled deeply; the aroma soothed his aching soul. This moment was one of those few times when he treasured the gift of being alone with his thoughts. It was often difficult to find a moment to yourself when you were on such a crowded vessel in the middle of the sea for days, weeks on end. He intended to lavish every moment of the rare opportunity.
At least, such was his intention, until he was interrupted by a deep, yet hesitant voice. "Excuse me, Captain. We have some news." The man did not move, his anger building.
The first mate shifted closer to his captain. It was only moments before a vase was thrown full throttle at the pirate. He ducked at the last moment, barely dodging the shards that flew apart as it smashed on the wall. The captain kept his back turned from the first mate, voice dripping in murderous intent, dark and brooding.
"I said I wanted to be left alone! What part of that did you not understand!" he yelled, his voice increasing in volume. The first mate grimaced and replied.
"I apologize, Captain. I just thought you should know we're coming up on something." He retreated up the stairs; leaving the captain to his quarters and to debate the next course of action alone. The man smirked to himself in a grim satisfaction. A new target was coming up, eh? A new target for his ship, The White Wolfos. No one could ever escape his ship. It was the symbol of death, for everyone in its path. Soon, these people would know it, too.
He winced at the title he had been assigned in displeasure. "Captain Link." What a terrible sounding title. Just plain "Captain" would do fine. He did not like to hear his name with that title affixed…not since it reminded him of things he'd much rather forget. He sighed. Best to ignore whatever he still remembered of the years past... it was best to focus on the here and now. He was the youngest ever to become a captain of this ship…yet it was worth every sacrifice. No one dared oppose his rule. The last one who had challenged him had lost his footing on board and lost himself to the open wasteland of the sea. As would any other who dared to repeat the challenge.
Without thinking, he glanced into the mirror before he left his room. The reflection that stared back was so…dreary, so dark and desolate in every sense of the word.
It was perfect.
Both ears were pierced with small, silver hoop earrings. Dirty blonde hair stuck out unevenly underneath his faded rumpled, feathered crimson hat. The simple tunic that he donned was also dingy and banged up, torn in many places and crimson as the hat he wore, though perhaps not purposefully. His teeth were slightly yellow, his eyes void of any emotion, cold and cruel as the sea itself. He was Captain Link, the ruler of the seas.
No, no, just Captain. Definitely just Captain.
No one could tell him what to do any more than they could tell him what he would be called. He wandered where he wished; doing as he pleased. He was commander of three ships: The White Wolfos, The Dead Hand, and The Redead. He was most fond of The White Wolfos, for good reason. His present, his riches, all had come to be because of this ship. It was simply bad form (and bad luck) to leave such a beauty without thanking her somehow, and so he stayed aboard this one, always. Yes, he decided as he sighed and turned away from the mirror, the time had come. The next victim to the White Wolfos would soon fall.
As he swung open the ship's door, all his crew saluted smartly. He nodded to them and walked over to his first mate. "Sheik. What's the news?" the name rolled off his tongue with a spark of bitterness clinging to it, still frustrated from being disturbed earlier.
The man wearing an eyepatch and bandaging over his skin handed the captain a telescope. "Twenty degrees west." He accepted the offering cautiously and peered through at the bearings he was given, face set in a grim determination. At first, he saw nothing. Finally; oozing from the fog like blood from a wound, a ship appeared out of the misty dawn. He leaned back and whistled, returning the telescope to its owner. "Well?" Sheik asked, expecting a response. His captain looked relatively pleased, a rare sight for the crew.
"A Merchant Ship!" Link exclaimed, whistling again, though this time to himself, and softer. "It should have some nice goods on it. Let's go!" His smile curved into a greedy grin, a faint sense of pleasure filling his mind like a strange heady haze. More plunder for him.
Sheik turned to the rest of the crew standing about the deck, watching and waiting for orders while silence hung in the air tight as the ropes holding the sails. "Alright, you heard the captain! Let's get this heap of wood turned about! We're going in for a kill, mates!" With a booming cheer, the ship instantly sprang to life. Members of the crew moved to let sails down; unfurling the taut ropes that tied them down; and attended to the helm to steer them in the right direction. Link slunk away from the action, toward the bow, watching the ship in the distance, a smile as cocky as a peacock's feathers unfurling on his demented face. They were getting closer already. No one would sleep. It was forbidden to sleep when they were coming up on a ship. The crew knew this, and they obediently stayed awake throughout the whole night; watching and waiting for the right moment to strike.
Hours later, it was finally daybreak; they were only a few meters away, people swarming on the decks like ants to their retrospective colonies. As the merchant ship fired it cannons; Link laughed hoarsely, splintering wood deaf to his ears. It was futile to try and stop him. His predictions were pinpoint, and soon they were ready to take the ship for their own. When they got close enough, they boarded the ship by rope and planks, smooth and fluid as a river overtaking dirt. Link yelled back to his crew, a sadistic grin on his face. "Let's get them, mates! Take no prisoners! Leave nothing alive!"
One newer pirate, a man who'd been shanghied in the last plundering visit they'd made to a ship, turned to Link with a stunned expression. "But, captain, what about the woman and children?" he found himself grabbed by the collar and pulled into Link's face, to stare into the cold, deadest eyes.
"I said," he growled, "Take no prisoners." The crew member (whose name was Garth) scurried away on all fours.
"As you wish captain…" bloodcurdling screams filled the crisp air; conquering laughs and clanking of coins were heard by all. Link blew a piercing whistle with two fingers to signal the return; everyone reported back to the ship, the merchant's boat tied alongside as prisoner, now only a ferry to the dead. The crew were lucky to get so many good things; fine linens, gold, silver, jewels, anything they could ever want was theirs, stuffed in every nook and cranny of the ship's hold, all transferred to his cabin. Suffice to say, Link was in a good mood. "We'll rest here tonight, mates. In the morning, we'll return to our wanderings." He waited for the cheering to die down, drowning in it with hands raised, and turned back towards his personal cabin to go to sleep.
Garth yelled just before he reached the door. "I think we all deserve some of that booty. What's our share?"
Link smiled and gave a chuckle, keeping his back turned. "The water is below freezing tonight. It would be a bad time to go swimming." He turned towards the newer pirate, his boots thudding on the wood of the deck.. "Wouldn't you agree?" His posture stiff, he leaned in to stare into the new pirate's eyes. "That's the second time today you have questioned me. I would advise you not to do so again…" Without further warning he snatched the man up by his collar and slammed him against the wooden frame of the mast, hard and high. "Do I make myself clear!" he screamed. There was enveloping silence; no one heard anything except the whimpering of the man as he struggled against the Captain's stony grip.
"Yes sir! Whatever you say… just don't hurt me, Captain!" Link threw Garth against the floor and watched him cower under his shadow. Even it seemed to have some dark power over the men. He scoffed and sneered as he turned around to return to his quarters. It would have been a wasted effort. After all, he'd just had the cutlass cleaned. One by one, every spectator left Garth to his own vices; offering no help to the fallen pirate. Such was against the code, the code of pirates, mostly unspoken, but known instinctively by all who lived to follow it. The first rule of the code was "Never go against the captain."
Sheik followed Link back to his chambers, somewhat nervous in his actions, but determined to speak to him. Link groaned out loud, massaging his temples with a few fingers. "Do I ever have any rest from your constant bickering?" he spat out; showing a murderous glint in his eyes when he turned.
"Sorry to further disturb you, captain, I just wanted to know what the new name of our ship should be." Sheik knew the captain was tired, but he needed to know. Out of all people on board, he was particularly superstitious. It was bad luck to have a ship without a name.
Link looked confused just for a moment, then sniffed and made a shooing motion with his hand. "The merchant ship? Destroy it. I don't want any more ships now."
Sheik saluted; and made his way to the merchant ship's lower deck. Most of the goods would be transferred by now, but perhaps it would still be here. He looked around, until he spotted what he had been looking for. Gunpowder…enough of it to blow the ship sky high. He stepped over a dead body with a frown. Out of all the pirates, Sheik was not only the most superstitious but the most soft-hearted. Best to get it over with as soon as possible. Feeling a bit sorry for the former inhabitants of the ship, he lit a match and sparked the wick leading to it; knowing for sure that they were far enough away so that the blast would not affect their own ship.
He swung back over to The White Wolfos; plugging his ears. Link gave a wry smile when the deafening blast reached his hearing range and the ship shook with the impact zone. There was no need to worry. All was taken care of.
As he saw his bed, the dreaded reminder of what must happen reoccurred to him. He hated sleeping. In fact, he loathed it. He always seemed to have nightmares; it was inevitable. Oh well…there was nothing else to do. He lay back on the curtain-lined bed; fingering his favorite treasure, a golden ring. Why did he feel so unhappy? He had everything he ever wanted…so why did the world feel so empty? Pushing the despairing thoughts aside for the moment, he yawned and slowly let the comforting, yet uneasy darkness envelop him…