This is actually one of my newer ideas. I started it spur of the moment. All of the Treasure Planet and its characters belong to Disney. The OC's are mine.
Chapter One: Your past catches up to you
John Silver was, admittedly, a little apprehensive. A few years since his last run, criminally speaking. That was the trip that was supposed to change, to fufill, his life. In a way, it had. But the problem was that, even if you change, the choices you made still have their consequences that will be played out for the rest of your life. Sworn off his old criminal enterprises, he had been surprised when he had received a message from Almeda herself.
Almeda was one of the most feared and respected names in piratical organized crime. Achieving her feared standing at a young age, the capable criminal was known for being cold, merciless, and penetratingly intelligent. Silver had never gone in for the hiring of "experts" like those in her class, just hiring aquaintences, pirates who'd proved themselves in a fight by his side. He was mystified as to the nature of the meeting. But he figured it didn't bode well for him. People like Almeda didn't look you up for tea and a chat.
Almeda sat in the Spyglass, at a long table to the side. She smiled quietly and toyed with a band around her arm, the light coming in through the large windows, pale through the snow. She'd waited a long time for this, her smile turned hard.
The door opened. She recognized him on sight. She had to fight to keep a sneer from forming on her lips as she took in the large cyborg. Oh yes, somewhat changed since the last time she'd seen him. But that had been over fifteen years ago. No, she would never forget that day. There had been snow then, too. But that snow what specked with dirt and stained with blood. She shook her head as the man looked around.
She exhaled. Apparently he didn't recognize her. Didn't even recognize her. His image had been ingrained into her mind for years. She shook her head and raised her arm in a small wave. The man walked towards her. She gave a slight, sardonic smile at his confused and apprehensive expression.
"Nervous? I'll give you something to be nervous about," she thought.
Silver had reached her table.
"Sit down?" Almeda asked in her smooth alto, gesturing at the bench opposite her. He sat, still looking around, out of the corners of his eyes.
She leaned her elbows on the table, steepled her fingers, and leaned over.
"Eh, hem," she cleared her throat. "Eyes this way," she said. "Don't worry, this inn is most definitely not surrounded by a score of my hit men," she said, smiling. He couldn't tell if that was a joke or serious.
Almeda rolled her eyes and let her finger trace along the grain of the table. Normally, she was known for being calm and contained. "Keep it under control," she thought.
"Do you know," she asked, glancing up from under her brows, "Do you have the faintest idea why I've asked you here?"
His puzzled look answered the question. She sighed, slightly over-dramatic.
"You don't remember me," she said, in mock-petulent tones. Silver raised his eyebrows. He most certainly did not.
She smiled, looked like a cat when she did, human as she was. "You came to my home-planet once, Orual? Oh try and remember," she said, her tone dripping with overexaggerated friendliness. "There was this little town I was from? Oh, you remember, Torren," she said. She glanced up to see if this made an impression. She could tell he was thinking.
"Well good," she thought. "Nice to see some wheels turning."
"It wasn't that slick," she said, leaning backwards. "Small, a tad run-down. Houses on stilts for the spring floods, at least, in the part near the mud flats. But you know? It was winter when you were there last."
There was something going on behind his eyes. Oh yes, coming back now?
"I think you had friends with you, oh yes, a whole group of you," she said, exaggerated enthusiasm sprinkled in.
Oh, he finally had an idea where this was going. But why this criminal queen was bringing it up . . . ?
"They were a rowdy bunch," she said, shaking her head. "They got a bit, out of hand? Oh, no! You were in charge of them, a captain." She shook her head. "And a captain, by all accounts, who is feared and obeyed without question. Or have I heard wrong?" She tilted her head. "No? Thought not."
"Why?" he asked. "What about the Torren trip?"
"Right to the point, are we?" she asked. "The Torren trip, is it? Sounds so simple. A small matter for your kind, eh? Well, unfortunately, it wasn't so insignificant for the inhabitants."
"Let me make this plain," Silver said quickly. "I don't know what you're playing at. Since when does a "Proffestional" like yourself care about the welfare of backwater peasants. And that was over fifteen years ago!"
Almeda's eyes had flashed when he'd started his outburst. But now she was calm, her usual self.
"Just how long do you think I've been in this business? A "Professional.""
Almeda glanced up and saw, with satisfaction, the realization creeping in.
"You know," she said, her voice colder. "I knew a lot of those people there. It was strange, being a mere child not sixteen, you know, seeing all of them, meaningless peasants, cut down at random. Cut down, you know, for these small articles, household things. Oh, they didn't seem little at the time. But now? For pirates? It was a small haul. But not too small, apparently, but that it warranted for that slaughter." Almeda looked up, eyes cold.
"I don't suppose you care to guess who was there?"
Silver swallowed, thinking.
"Everyone I knew was in that town. It was, unexpected, to say the least, to see neighbors being shot at for a chair here, a kettle there. It was . . . rather a shock to see my mother cut down by a saber, her blood staining that snow. It seemed unreal to see my brother go down while trying to get to her. It was all so . . . unreal. Unreal to see them die."
Her tone went back to mocking. But there was ice under it. "And now, now that I understand the business, it seems unreal to know that they died for something so small. So insignificant," she hissed.
Silver was thinking frantically, back to that time. Oh, he had admitted that it was an ill-fated trip. The ruffians had gotten out of hand. They had fought more than was expected, a mob really. But to know, that Almeda had been there? And now seeing her barely controlled rage, he worried. What would someone of her reputation do?
"I," she said, with barely controlled rage, "died that day. At least, that child died. I am someone else, now."
She sat back, obviously calming herself. "And," she said, pushing her dark hair back. "Did you know I have spent a great deal of time (dabbling here and there over the years) and made a rather concerted effort these past months to locate the captain of that crew? His ruffians, oh-all brainless louts, many already dead. But I've been looking for that leader." She spread her hands, mock-affable. "You see, I've got a score to settle."
Silver made to rise.
"Don't," Almeda said, losing all traces of affability under the ice. Then her tone went back to being more genial. "Did we forget that score of hit men we were talking about?"
Silver sat back, still unsure whether the hit-men were real or not.
"That's better," Almeda said, settling back herself. "You see, I don't plan on killing you." She shrugged. "Not here, not now. At least," here she smiled, "Not in the usual way."
She leaned forward as if telling a yarn over a friendly drink. "See, I spent a good deal of time and thought on how to settle the score. And I came to a decision. Not to just up and kill that captain. Oh no. You see, what hurts, what really hurts, is losing something important. If you're dead, you don't stick around to see that pain, you know?
I heard," she glanced at his cyborg arm, "That your obsession was Flint's trove. I even heard you found it. Or found something. (It's hard to find the truth in those tails). But, you see, I won't take that, though I see it's taken some of you.
I decided, that what hurts the worst is not losing something, but losing someone. Gold doesn't feel pain. And you don't feel near as much losing it as you do certain people. I decided, then, to find whoever it is that means something to you."
She smiled. "You obviously found mine."
Silver cleared his throat and said, carefully, "If you've been tracking me, you know I have no family. I don't know who you mean."
Almeda shrugged. "Oh, neither do I. And, of course, you say that. Anyone would deny whoever was close to them in your situation. But as you see, I'm good at tracking. And, another thing. I'm determined.
I don't know who it is. But you are as mortal as the rest of us. I am sure there is someone in the Etherium who means something to you."
Almeda rose. "And I will find them. I don't care how long it takes. I don't care how far I go. There is someone. I will find them. And when I do, I will kill them. Slowly. Painfully. Kill them."
Almeda turned towards the door. She turned around once she reached it and addressed Silver. "It's bound to work eventually. I'm good at hunting. And I figure I've still got forty years left in me. Ta." She turned and walked into the unstained snow.
Silver remained at the table. He'd had no idea. It was a lot in a little time. He had almost forgotten—had tried to forget—that trip, the Torren trip. And who knew, he thought ruefully, that the greatest hit woman in the Empire would come from there.
He shook himself. Jim. He hadn't even thought it when Almeda was there. But . . . no. Surely she couldn't connect them. It had been quite some time since he'd seen the lad. And how could she connect him, an old pirate spacer, to Jim, a lad half a world away in the Interstellar Academy, favorite of the famed Captain Smollet and rising star of the nave? He hoped not. But whether Jim was safe or no, Silver knew one thing: his past had caught up with him. And it had taken the unfortunate shape of a huntress, huntress come to haunt him.
Well, what do you think? I really did work on this one and really really really would love some input. Just one review would probably make my week. I'm not sure if the rating will go up or not; I'm not really good at choosing a rating.
There will be more chapters to come.
Thanks to Aud, who received my distress call when I so desperately needed a name for my hit-woman. The Spyglass, by the way, is the inn in the original Treasure Island that Long John Silver owned; just decided to borrow the name. The name of Almeda's home planet, I made up; it just sounded planetish. And her hometown Orual, is named after the lead character in C. S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces. I guess because Orual wasn't necessarily a bad person (in fact, she's worlds better than anyone else in the book). But because of numerous bad things that happened to her over her life she's also kind of psychologically and emotionally warped. Yup, that's about it. Thanks for reading!