Disclaimer: I do not own WordGirl, or PBS, or any affiliated parties. Nor am I trying to steal audience from the show with my fanfics.
A PIRATE'S LIFE FOR ME!
Narrator: Look for the words 'Captive' and 'Mutiny.'
It was a dark and stormy night... the brave and bold crew of the 'Collector's Jewels' , with Becky Botsford (a.k.a. WordGirl) at the helm, set out on a daring voyage to-
"Um, excuse me?" cut in Becky as she leaned against the railing of the ship, with Bob at her side: "Are you sure you got the right script there? It's not dark or stormy, and I'm not at the ship's helm, as it were, and we're not really setting off on a 'daring voyage'; we're just having an offshore party on this ship, hosted by my Mom to celebrate her re-election to District Attorney!" As she finished she pointed to the cabin behind her, where there were party decorations all over the entrance, and a banner saying 'Congratulations Sally Botsford.'
I'm really sorry, but I really felt we needed to add some more drama to this show! I heard somewhere that we would have a mutiny if we didn't!
Becky responded to the Narrator with: "Really? If we start filming an episode, that means a criminal's broken out of jail again, and I'm going to encounter him soon! We already have all the drama we need right now!"
Oh yeah. Right. Carry on, then.
As if the Narrator hadn't interrupted her, Becky leaned deeper into the railing, and she said: "Ahhh, there's nothing like taking in the scenery, right T.J.?"
After a few seconds of no response, she turned her head around and asked: "T.J.?" as she did, she saw her little brother leaning over the railing, sporting a noticeable green tint on his face. He weakly looked at Becky, and said: "Brownies...and seasickness...don't mix!" before continuing to moan over the side of the ship.
Not particularly interested in seeing seasickness up close, Becky decided to head back inside...where her mother picked her up and gave her a twirling bear hug as she shouted "I DID IT!" over and over in excitement.
As soon as she could, Becky desperately begged her mom to put her down, which she did, embarrassed.
"It's OK, mom. You're excited, I can tell. It was just... getting a little uncomfortable as your captive." Becky quickly said, cheering her mother up.
"Oh, don't worry about that, Becky. All too often, very few people ever want to be somebody's captive." sympathized her mother.
Both mother and daughter said 'Thanks,' and hugged each other. Then, Becky said "Now, wanna head back to the party?" to which Mrs. Botsford replied with an enthusiastic "YES!" before dashing off.
As Becky followed, she said to herself: "Ahh, a perfectly planned party, with no crime to fight today! What could possibly go wrong?
*(one scene transition later)*
Unknown to Becky, the Collector's Jewels was in the telescope of an eyepatch-wearing person with a hook for a hand.
"Arr," the person said, "There's sure to be lots of valuable treasures aboard yon ship!"
Uh oh. Looks like Captain Tangent's escaped from jail, and on the hunt.
"Aye, thar be the truth!" exclaimed the scatterbrained swashbuckler. "And it not just be me this time; I've got me very own pirate crew this time!" And to emphasize his point, he gestured behind him, revealing a dozen people dressed in authentic pirate fashions!
Yikes! That's a lot of evil minions!
"Tis me Pirate crew!" Captain Tangent insisted, before pointing downwards: "And me very own pirate ship too!"
Sure enough, Captain Tangent was standing at the prow of an 18th century-style large sailing vessel, with a name inscribed along the front: Doubloon Drifter.
"And I know yer gonna ask, 'how long did it take to get all of this, ye fearsome pirate?' well, it all started when I escaped from jail..."
"...'twas a dark night, an' the guards were busy settlin' the Butcher back into his old cell. And I remember them sayin' how long it took ta' wash all the Barbeque sauce off his prison robes...which reminds me of the time I was at that one Barbecue, and Oscar (my parrot, in case ye were wonderin') got his feathers all covered in watermelon seeds...
This is why he's called Captain Tangent, readers. He has a hard time staying on a particular subject.
"...of course, I was a lad back then, and he would never let a kid a' my size on such a ride-"
"Focus, Captain. Focus." said a nearby pirate with a peg on his right leg.
"Oh. Thanks, Peg-leg Percy!" said Captain Tangent. "Now ye see why I picked you as first mate!"
"It's Percival." said Peg-leg Percival, annoyed.
"Oh, sorry." the captain apologized. Then, he cleared his throat and shouted up to the crow's nest: "Long John Copper! What colors be they flying?"
"What kind of flag do they have? Seriously, did anyone pay attention when I taught them pirate-speak?"
Finally understanding his captain, the man named Long John Copper looked carefully at the ship, and shouted back: "They've got no flag!"
Captain Tangent stamped his foot in disappointment...but then Long John Copper shouted again: "Wait...they're raising one right now!"
Back on the Collector's Jewels, blissfully unaware of the pirates on their tail...
"...and now, we raise this flag in honor of Sally Botsford!" shouted a party-goer, as he pointed to the nearby flagpole. Everyone watched...and saw...
"...Why is the flag all white?" asked Becky, who was answered by her father: "We...accidentally put too much bleach in the wash."
"Oh. Oh well, who's gonna see it?"
*(one scene transition later)*
"The flag's all white, Captain!"
"Perfect!" exclaimed Captian Tangent, "that means they're surrendering! Now we'll go and take the ship and her crew members captive, and raid all the valuable doubloons from their stashes!"
"And the other gold and jewelry too?" asked Peg-leg Percival, knowing that modern coins have hardly any value.
"You can have them if you want them, but the doubloons are mine!" exclaimed the captain, earning a sigh of relief from the 1st mate. Then, the captain barked out: "Lift anchor an' hoist the Jolly Roger, boys! We've got ourselves some plunderin' to do!" earning a collective "AYE AYE, CAPTAIN!" from the rest of the crew.
*(one scene transition later)*
T.J. looked up from his seasickness-induced moaning, and saw... "Whoa! A real life pirate ship! I gotta show Mom!" He ran off to alert his mother, who came accompanied with Becky, Bob, and her husband. However, when he got back...
"That's strange. It's closer than it was a minute ago." T.J. noted, as the 18th-century style ship moved in closer.
Becky put a hand over her eyes, and used her Lexiconian vision to zoom in...and she saw Captain Tangent at the helm of the incoming ship! Not realizing that there were people around, she exclaimed: "Captain Tangent? What's he doing here?"
Bob quickly reminded her (in his monkey screeching) that not everyone can see as far as she can. Embarrassed, she looked around, and saw her family (and several other partygoers who were attracted by the news about a pirate ship) looking at her strangely.
"Eh heh heh... Of course, there are other pirates besides Captain Tangent around. I mean, what's the likelihood he's escaped from jail?"
As if in answer, everyone heard a loud voice shouting at them from the pirate ship through a megaphone: "AVAST, YE LANDLUBBERS! PREPARE TO BE BOARDED BY THE CREW OF CAPTAIN TANGENT!"
Luckily for Becky, the immediate reaction of the attendees wasn't to call her out on her uncanny accuracy; instead, they panicked, and started running all over aimlessly.
Meanwhile, Becky took Bob, and desperately searched for a spot to change into WordGirl...only to find that there was no spot that wasn't full of frightened civilians! "Oh no!" she exclaimed to Bob, "If I can't change into WordGirl, I can't stop Captain Tangent! What can we do?"
Bob, in reply, screeched as he pointed at the pilothouse (the spot where the captain drives the boat), to which Becky responded: "Of course! We don't have to stop him...we just have to outrun him! Good idea, Bob!" and they rushed inside.
When they got there, they found the captain listening to the radio, completely oblivious to the happenings outside. That is, until Becky burst in and exclaimed: "Captain, there's a pirate ship heading straight for us! We need to get back to shore!"
The captain completely ignored her, still intent on listening to his music. Becky called to him again…and again….and then she said: "Oh, whatever. I give up." And she left, slamming the door behind her, the captain still blissfully unaware of the pirate ship just outside his window….
*(one scene transition later)*
"I guess we're going to have to stop them after all, Bob! Keep looking for a place to-*gasp!*" Becky said as she suddenly saw the pirate ship perfectly alongside the party vessel.
She looked on helplessly, gasping in horror, as a few of the pirates grabbed their grappling hooks, tied them off, and threw them...a few feet over the side of their ship before they plunged into the water, dangling by their ropes..
Umm...what just happened?
"They disgraced all the great pirates, that's what!" shouted an infuriated Captain Tangent. "All the pirates of the golden age o' piracy knew how to throw a grappling hook! It's really just like throwin' a baseball...which reminds me o' me old pal Curtis, a pitcher for a star baseball team, until he and the batters organized a mutiny against their bossy coach-"
"Focus, Captain. Focus." said Peg-Leg Percival, noticing a few of the other pirates starting to groan.
"Thanks..." Captain Tangent said, embarrassed, before continuing: "Anyhoo, mateys, let's pull the grapplin' hooks back up and get the job done right this time! Thar be captives to take, and Doubloons to loot!"
"SQUAAAAK! Get the captives! Get the gold!" exclaimed the parrot on Captain Tangent's shoulder, Oscar, as his master extended his hook-hand…and with it's magnetic powers, lifted all the fallen grappling hooks back up out of the water!
Becky, who had only just recently breathed a sigh of relief at the pirates' incompetence, gasped again as the hooks (controlled by Tangent's hook) attached themselves to the railing of the ship she was on.
The rest of the pirates, after a second to catch their breath, quickly scrambled back to the ropes that the grappling hooks were attached to, and pulled. In seconds, the Doubloon Drifter collided with the Collector's Jewels with a resounding 'thump.'
The pirates wasted no time. They were soon all aboard the other vessel, and all the crew and party-goers (except for the captain, who had gone back to listening to his music) were surrounded.
"Alrighty then!" exclaimed Captain Tangent, "Ye all are now my captives!"
"Captive is another word for 'prisoner', or 'people or a person who have been captured by another and are being held, often against their will," explained Becky.
After they thanked this helpful little girl, the patrons of Sally Botsford's party started panicking. Amidst the hubbub, Becky looked at Captain Tangent and asked "But…why us? We didn't do anything to you!"
Tangent raised an eyebrow in confusion, and said: "What? Ye surrendered to us! Why else would yer ship hoist a white flag?" as his hook pointed to the over-bleached celebratory flag.
Becky followed the pirate's hook, and quickly deduced what he thought he saw… "Oh…" and quickly crouched so she could whisper to Bob: "He mistook the flag for a sign of surrender! We've got to take him down before this screw-up gets people hurt!"
Before Bob could screech in approval, a nearby pirate tapped her shoulder, and threateningly asked: "What's so important you have to hide it from the captain?"
"Uhhh….I uhh…" Becky stammered, her mind desperately searching for an answer to the menacing figure before her…when Bob (who had silently been doing the same thing) whispered something in her ear, giving her an idea.
"Ummm…I mean…" Becky suddenly threw herself at the pirate's feet, summoning as many tears to her eyes as she could as she wailed: "Oh please please, Mr. Pirate, please let us go! It was an accident! We didn't mean to get in your way! Just please let us go back home, pleeeeeeeeeeeeease!"
Taken aback by the sudden outburst, the Pirate searched desperately for an appropriate response; but then, Becky turned her head upwards, her (crocodile) tear-filled eyes gazing directly into her captor's. And for extra impact, she quivered her lip slightly.
It worked. He just couldn't bear to see a kid as young as she was so upset. Unable to think of another way to comfort her, he walked up to the captain, and said: "Hey, boss-"
"You will address me as Captain, mister!"
"Aye aye, Captain!... hey, why not we cut these guys some slack? The poor kid's crying!"
Captain Tangent looked at Becky (who quickly resumed her fake crying), sighed, and said: "Ah, all right, Salty Sam. I suppose I'll let them go…"
"Phew!" sighed Becky…
"….As soon as I gather up all the gold doubloons aboard this ship!" Tangent suddenly proclaimed, to the shock of everyone involved (except Tangent, of course). "Till then, round up the captives inside, and make sure they don't escape!"
"(gulp) a..Aye aye, sir." And with that, Salty Sam reluctantly led Becky, Bob, and several other people inside the main party room, disapproval on his face.
As she was being led away, Becky used her Super-hearing to listen in on Captain Tangent:
"Alright. Now, Peg-Leg Percy-"
"Oops! Uhh…Sorry, Peg-Leg Percy…val…Anyho, take Lefty Larry and Right Hand Randy, an' search the ship for the treasure chest! When ye find it, haul it off to the Doubloon Drifter."
"Sure, but…what if we don't find one?"
"Oh, nonsense! All ships have a treasure chest! Where else'd they put their treasure if there weren't a chest?"
"Ah-ah-ah, Percy! Pirate rule number one: The Captain is always right! Now go an' find the treasure chest!"
"Good. Shirtless Sean, Long John Copper, take some o' the deckhands n' haul off the cargo that ain't treasure, so ye can load it aboard the Doubloon Drifter. And the rest, guard the captives!"
Becky (as she settled into the corner where the other captives were being herded) whispered to Bob: "I'd hate to say it, Bob…but we're out of options! I can't change into WordGirl, the Captain's probably still unaware of the pirates-
The captain of the Collector's Jewels sat in his cabin, listening to music just as Becky left him, and still blissfully unaware of the pirates just outside his window.
"…and, the pirates won't respond to begging and pleading!"
Has WordGirl been defeated? Will she and her family be captives of Captain Tangent's crew forever? For the answers to these questions, Tune in to the next-
"Hey, Wait! Stop! This isn't a two-parter, remember?"
Oh, yeah, right. Slipped up again! (ahem) for the answers to these questions….keep watching, I guess…
Just then, her super-hearing caught one of the nearby pirates grumbling to himself: "What does that Tangent guy think he is, anyway? Pirates don't exist anymore! I signed up to rob banks, not mop a ship!"
As Becky listened to this, she suddenly got an idea; She turned to Bob and said: "Bob, I take back what I said earlier: We still have an option!"
She casually walked over to the pirate, tapped him on the shoulder, and said: "Excuse me, mister pirate?"
"HEY! What're you doing here? Shouldn't you be-"
"In the corner with the others?" Becky interrupted, "Yeah, I was there…when I suddenly heard you talking to yourself about Captain Tangent."
The pirate looked at Becky for a second, wondering (out loud) how she heard…and then said "Oh well. Yeah, I'm no pirate. And neither is that idiot Captain Tangent! All that talk about 'the Spanish Main' and 'Doubloons', and all that 'arr' and 'ahoy', is just driving me nuts!"
"And…what about his…you know…tangents?"
"Oh, yeah, those…" at this point the pirate groaned, as he remembered the time Captain Tangent spent two hours describing how to be a pirate…and only talking about pirates for the first ten minutes.
"Well aren't you gonna tell him about it?"
"I would, but he'll go into another rant about how the captain's always right, and it'll probably be full of all kinds of tangents as well!"
Here, Becky decided, was where conditions were just right for her plan. "You know, you could always organize a mutiny against him."
"A what now?"
"A mutiny! It's an act of open defiance against authority! If you get your friends together, and organize a mutiny, you can force Captain Tangent to listen to your complaints! Either that, or replace him with a new captain!"
The pirate thought about her idea…and said: "Kid, you're on to somethin' there! You know what, I'll get my buddies together, and we'll do somethin' like that!"
"Yeah that's the spirit!"
"Come on boys!" shouted the pirate to the others: "We've got ourselves a mutiny to get started!" And with that, he led the other pirates out of the room…leaving the party-goers alone! One realized this and said: "Hey everyone! We're not being watched now; we can make an escape! Anyone who doesn't want to stay these guys' captives, let's go!"
Within minutes, everyone was heading out, with Mrs. Botsford taking charge of the escaping. When most of the guests had made it to the lifeboats (dodging the pirates, who were one-by-one learning about the oncoming mutiny, and walking right by the captain's cabin, where he was still blissfully unaware of what was going on), Sally turned to her daughter, and said: "You were brilliant back there, Becky!"
"Thanks Mom!" replied Becky, hugging her Mom…before Bob reminded her of something in his usual monkey screeches.
"Oh, yeah…Mom, I don't think I can hold it for the boat trip…could I go to the bathroom real quick?"
"Hmm…" her mother mulled it over, thinking about the risks…and then said: "Okay, Becky! We'll wait for you!"
Becky nodded, dashed back towards a nearby corner with Bob in tow…and then shouted "WOOOORRRD UP!"
Meanwhile, near the Doubloon Drifter…
Captain Tangent tapped his foot against the deck, as he wondered aloud: "What could the rest o' the crew be doin? We should've gotten the treasure, and set sail by now!"
"SQUAAAAK! Maybe they're planning a mutiny!"
"What're ye talkin' about, Oscar? My crew love me, don't they?"
As if in response to that question, Peg-Leg Percival's voice came from around a corner, and said: "Captain? You there?"
"Ahoy there! What be the news then, mateys?" Captain Tangent shouted back, expecting a reply…
…and instead getting surrounded by his own crew, angry looks in their eyes. Tangent nervously asked: "Uhhh…what be goin' down?"
"Captain Tangent, this is a mutiny."
Captain Tangent gasped, and Oscar squawked: "SQUAAAAK! I told you so!"
After a little nervous stammering, Tangent turned to his First Mate, and asked: "What be wrong, Peg-Leg Percy?"
"For starters, 'Captain,' you never get my name right! I keep telling you, it's PERCIVAL!" Percival shouted, several days of frustration venting outwards all at once.
Salty Sam walked up, and followed off on where Percival started: "Also, I thought the way you treated that little girl was just mean!"
Another pirate stepped forward: "Your never-ending tangents make you impossible to work with, as well!"
"And furthermore, the kind of pirate you want us to be haven't existed for at least a hundred years! We live in the present-day, and we thought we were signing up to be present-day criminals! Not silly-looking pirates!"
"In short, Captain Tangent, you must-" the pirate was suddenly interrupted by Tangent: "Who be guardin' the captives?"
The 'pirates' looked at him quizzically, and he followed up with: "If all o' me crew are here, then who be watchin the captives?"
"That would be me!" shouted an all-too familiar voice, as she and her sidekick zoomed into view. Captain Tangent was the first to respond: "Avast, it be WordGirl and Commodore Ratface!"
Captain Huggyface shook his fist at Captain Tangent in anger, as Peg-Leg Percival sighed in disappointment: "Can you get anybody's name right?"
"But pirates always give out nicknames!" Captain Tangent said defensively: "I meself tried on several different names before settlin' with plain ol' Captain Tangent. I even tried one on based on me magnetic hook…
WordGirl desperately tried to stop him, but he'd already gone off on a tangent. Everyone within the immediate vicinity groaned.
"….Y'see, All compasses point towards tha north because of a magnet! That's why they call the diff'rent ends of a magnet-"
"Focus, Captain. Focus." Peg-Leg Percival exclaimed, to everyone's surprise. Captain Tangent pointed this out: "Hey, I thought ye didn't want me t'be yer captain anymore!"
"Yeah, we're still all annoyed with you…but right now, I don't want WordGirl to throw us all in jail! We can have our mutiny later!"
A smile returned to Captain Tangent's face…and then he said: "Well, in that case...Get her, me hearties!" And with that, the pirates all rushed towards WordGirl…who quickly flew higher, out of their reach!
Before she could move towards Captain Tangent, Oscar the Parrot suddenly slammed into her face, blinding her! Thinking quickly, Captain Huggyface grabbed the parrot…but lost his grip on WordGirl as he did, and plunged towards the salty sea below!
"HUGGY!" WordGirl screamed, and she dived down to save him…only to find her hands tied to her sides by the metal railing, lifted into the air by Captain Tangent's magnetic hook! Thus restrained, she looked on as…Huggy clung to the side of Captain Tangent's pirate ship, with Oscar hanging on desperately!
Captain Tangent lowered WordGirl (still tied up in the metal railing) onto the deck, and proudly declared: "We've beaten ye, WordGirl! There's nothin' you an' yer monkey can do now!" And with that, Captain Tangent prepared to laugh a hearty pirate laugh…
…when he suddenly saw the shape of the Doubloon Drifter suddenly get smaller…and smaller…and smaller…and it didn't take him long to realize what was happening: Captain Huggyface had punched a hole below the waterline; and Captain Tangent, for some reason, needed to exclaim the result: "ME SHIP! SHE BE SINKIN'! NOOOOOOO!"
In his despair, Captain Tangent loosened the magnetic force surrounding the metal railing around WordGirl, which she quickly took advantage of: She escaped, rescued her companion (who was still busy punching holes), and wrapped the railing around Captain Tangent (making sure to relieve him of his hook again)!
"Well, Captain Tangent; it looks like your evil plans have been sunk under the sea of justice!" she exclaimed triumphantly…and after observing everybody's reactions, followed it up with: "That sounded better in my head!"
You got that right.
(Ahem) Anyway, later on:
Once the cops made sure that Captain Tangent was still wrapped up in railing, Oscar was in a birdcage, and the rest of the pirates were in handcuffs, the police boat carried them off to the mainland to be imprisoned.
Captain Tangent was still surprised they didn't make him walk the plank…until he remembered that they didn't have a plank, and that actually, using the 'plank' was quite dangerous back in the age of piracy, just like walking with your eyes shut…
"Focus, Cap….Oh, you know what, never mind."
*(one scene transition later)*
The party resumed, this time without fear of pirates. Becky was being thrown in the air, credited as the 'kid who saved the party' despite T.J.'s protests that it was WordGirl who kicked the pirates off the ship.
And the captain still continued listening to the radio, blissfully unaware of the danger that was on board his ship less than an hour ago.
And so, WordGirl (in both her forms) freed the captives of Captain Tangent, and saved the party.
Now, if the writers don't hold a mutiny first, then tune in next week for the next exciting adventure of WORDGIRL!
Phew! Done at last!
The concept for this story was stewing about in my head for a while; the idea first came to me after watching the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movie.
But does it still work? Review and let me know!