And heeeere's the second chapter. Warning, gore and violence ahead. *cough* I'm a sadist, that I am.
Yossi swung her sabre around in a fast half-arc, slashing the man who was sneaking up behind her across the chest, even as she simultaneously ducked a clumsy axe stroke from a burly sailor off to her side. Not stopping in her motion, she turned and swiftly decked the sneaking sailor she had just injured, sending him stumbling back and toppling over the railing and into the shark-infested sea below. She barely spared the man she just definitely condemned to death a second glance, reversing her sabre and deflecting the path of the descending axe with the crossguard of her sabre, before leaning back slightly and kicking the large man before her between the legs all in one motion. The man doubled over with a howl of pain, dropping his axe...on his own foot, which made him howl even louder as he toppled to the blood-slick deck.
The battle-hardened pirate slashed down, a precise stroke slitting the throat, ending the life of her opponent in an instant.
A whoosh as something flew narrowly past her head made her jump, but the solid thunk of metal meeting flesh behind alerted her. She turned to look quizzically at the enemy sailor who had been terminated in mid-jump, his cutlass raised over his head, apparently about to cleave Yossi in half from behind. She calmly stepped aside as the now dead man collapsed where she had been standing not too long ago, the hilt of a dagger protruding from his forehead making a sharp rap as it came down on the weathered planks.
"Well thank you for saving your life too!" Miki called out from the other end of the ship, even as the other pirate casually backhanded a crewman sneaking up behind her, before reversing her long knife and unerringly slipping the keen edge between the man's ribs, finding the heart and twisting the knife, all without even bothering to turn around. Yossi pulled a mocking salute at her fellow pirate in acknowledgement, before looking around to see how the battle was going.
There wasn't anyone else left to fight. After the initial charge with Miki and Reina by her side, they had pretty much slaughtered their way through the ranks that stood before them. Miki was a devil in battle, closing in fast and hard, without giving her opponents any chance to retaliate before she ended their lives with her daggers. Reina too, who brandished a harpoon taller than herself, watched her and Miki's back by making sure no one got close enough to them without getting skewered like a fish kebab.
Yossi herself was the only one who had undergone professional sword training in her youth, and was the only sabre-using pirate among the crew, which was a sort of a rarity since such a weapon was usually seen only in the military corps, or amongst the higher ranking warrior families. She was one of the most skilled fighters they had, and the years onboard Yuko's ship had honed her battle awareness to a fine edge.
Turning her attention to the person coming up to her, she recognised immediately the blood-splattered form of her friend and shipmate, the First Mate Yaguchi Mari, the pint-sized pirate who resented it when people made fun of her height, or lack thereof. Not that her height was any real impediment to her fighting prowress though, since Mari was so fast on her feet and skilled with a cutlass that she practically danced around all those hulking sailors trying to stab her, toying with them before finishing them off.
"Are you hurt?" Yossi found herself asking automatically, since all that blood on her friend was a bit disturbing. She was sure that she didn't look any better herself, but it didn't hurt to ask. Mari raised an eyebrow and chuckled reflexively, reaching for a piece of cloth to wipe the blood off her blade.
"All theirs." She gestured at the fallen on the deck. "Bunch of wusses. Not even worth fighting." She shrugged, and Yossi found herself agreeing, even as she wiped off her own sabre before sheathing it in one smooth motion.
Miki came stalking over, her eyes alight from the rush of fighting. She moved like a great panther, as if there were a kind of vicious energy barely restrained within her body. Miki relished the fights they got into, especially on this kind of ship. She had bad memories of slave ships in general, since she had once been captured aboard one, freed only when Yuko and her crew had boarded and raided it. She joined the crew then, a kind of seething rage about her, and Yuko had seen the potential for greatness within the raw young teen then, all ready to be channelled and unleashed on unsuspecting victims.
"Where are the twins?" Was the first thing that slipped out of the usually grouchy pirate's mouth. Yossi and Mari shared a quick, knowing glance. Miki might be all grumpy and threatening to people, especially the troublesome duo, but deep down she cared for the crew she sailed with, almost like a kind of family that had replaced the one she had lost when the slavers came. She watched out a lot for the twins, since those two could get into more trouble in mere minutes by accident than most people could on purpose in a whole year. They all did, really. It was a perpetual question: Where are those two and what are they up to?
"Over there, I think." Mari gestured towards the barrels lining the back of the ship. They all paused to listen. Sure enough, they heard loud splashing noises, gurgled pleas, and racuous girly laughter. All three wondered briefly what sort of horrors they were inflicting on someone, then decided they really didn't need to know in detail.
Yossi watched as Miki walked over to a corpse and rolled it around with her foot. It was the man she had knifed earlier from a distance. Miki leant down and tried pulling the lodged dagger out, but it wouldn't budge easily. Scowling, she planted a foot on the chest of the corpse, and used both hands to yank at the hilt. It finally freed itself as Miki staggered back, holding up her precious dagger and inspecting it with a frown.
"I'll have to polish and sharpen it again..." She mourned briefly, then kicked the corpse from which she had retrieved her newly blunted blade.
"Where are Makoto and Reina?" Yossi asked Mari, who seemed quite well-informed about everybody's whereabouts. Miki had sat down on a nearby barrel and was cleaning her many knives which she pulled from various places on her body. Yossi still didn't know where she hid all of them, and how she did it, really. She wasn't going to risk it by asking, either.
"Down below, probably freeing the slaves. They went under after we took care most of the slavers and the mercs." Mari was wiping her bloody hands absently on her bloodstained shirt. "The Captain came aboard too." The pint-sized First Mate added almost as an afterthought.
Yossi stopped in midstep and gaped. "She what?"
Mari smirked, a strange expression. "Drunk as usual too." Yossi clapped a hand to her forehead. Mari chuckled. "Don't worry, our dear captain fights better when drunk, you know that."
Yossi smiled weakly. Oh yes, Yuko's Drunken Sword style was a legend in itself. A broadsword in one hand, a rum bottle in the other. Yuko would be drinking and swinging that huge sword around like nobody's business. An untrained eye would think that she was just flailing about wildly and without discipline, but Yossi had since learned through observation that the seemingly off-balance and quirky sword movements were actually the core of Yuko's technique, the sheer unpredictability of her attacks giving her leverage and keeping the enemy off-balance. It was very clever, really. Nobody expects a drunk female pirate captain to be able to fight at all, and dropping one's guard was probably the worst, and probably last, thing they would do.
"So what's Yuko doing onboard?" Miki asked as she carefully put away her knives again. "I thought Kei was keeping an eye on her."
"And since when has Kei really been able to stop our captain when she wants to do something?" Mari shrugged, putting up her hands helplessly. Miki snorted in agreement as Yossi grinned. Mari walked over to the open hatch leading below decks, sidestepping the corpses in the process.
Poking her head in, she called out. "Oy Tanakacchi, Mako-chan! Everyone ok?"
A muffled reply came up, but whatever Mari heard must have satisfied her. She straightened up. "They're done cutting the chains and stuff. Most of the slaves seem sort of ok, so they''ll be fine as long as we leave them enough food and water for the trip to the nearest land."
"Basically, same old, same old, huh?" Yossi remarked, coming over to join Mari. "And we still don't know what Yuko is doing." The boyish pirate noted.
"She went straight for the big cheese. You know how she hates slavers." Mari shrugged again. "Let's go see how they did." She suggested.
"I'll go check on the twins." Miki said gruffly, getting up. Mari watched her go, an amused expression on her face.
"She really is nicer than she seems, eh?" Yossie smiled. Of course Miki was. Sort of, anyway.
The two ship's officers made their way over to the captain's cabin on board the dark slaver's ship, sure that they would find their own wayward captain in there. Sure enough, she was, with a rather bemused Kei standing at the side watching Yuko threaten the slave master of the ship. The poor man, fat and potbellied, was sweating profusely and begging for his life, with Yuko sneering dementedly and holding the sword distressingly close to certain...parts of the slave master, who looked like he was about to wet himself.
Mari coughed loudly to get their attention. Yuko turned her head around to glance blearily at her First Mate, waving her bottle-holding hand in greeting. Mari sighed and turned to look at Kei instead.
"We're done clearing the outside, Makoto and Reina are attending to the slaves, and Miki is watching the twins." Mari reported to Kei, since Yuko probably wouldn't pay too much attention to her at the moment. Kei nodded in acknowledgement, before walking resolutely over to Yuko, who was taking delight in scaring the crap out of the gibbering slave master.
"Yuu-chan, we're done around here. Quit playing." Kei said almost gently to the other woman. Yuko looked almost disappointed at having been interrupted, pouting slightly before stepping backwards, but not before giving a good solid kick to the side of the man's head, stunning him.
"Let's keelhaul him." Yuko said almost offhandedly. Yossi smirked. "I'll go get Miki, she loves doing stuff like this." Miki hated slavers with a passion and would gladly peel the flesh off one of them slowly, bit by bit. Which was why the practice of keelhauling appealed so much to her, since the barnacles would do the exact same thing to the victim, turning the man into fish food, literally.
Miki was quite entertained by watching the twins torment one of the mercenary guards that had been hired to guard the slave ship. The two of them had tag-teamed the poor boy, barely more than eighteen judging by his features, and broken his arms and kneecaps so that he couldn't fight back or escape them. Currently, they were doing water torture on him by sticking his head into one of the water barrels and holding him down, but letting him up to get a breath before he drowned, and then repeating the process. It was all a bit sadistic, but Miki couldn't bear to spoil their fun. After all, if the twins let out their frustration by doing this, they were less likely to execute their worst pranks on their own crew. Besides, it was kinda fun to watch them play like this too.
"Ne Nono, this is boring. Anything else we can do?" Aibon commented cheerfully to her partner-in-crime as they pushed the gurgling man underwater again. Nono frowned, a thoughtful look on her face, even as she absently stomped on the boys ankle to make him stop squirming. A stream of bubbles erupted to the surface of the water barrel, even as the nearby Miki heard the audible crack when the boy's ankle caved in.
"You could just kill him you know." Miki offered, twirling a small dagger around on her palm as she leaned against the rail, glancing down at the seething waters of the ocean below. Already she could see the sharks circling around, obviously drawn by the bodies that had been knocked overboard earlier during their fight. An idea started forming at the back of her mind...
"But that's no fun~" The two chimed in unison, yanking the poor merc up for a quick breath before pushing him back down again. Miki chuckled, tucking away her dagger up her sleeve, smirking evilly as she cracked her knuckles.
"Wait until you hear my idea..."
Yossi rounded the cabin she had just emerged from, to the back of the ship. At the sight before her, she paused and raised an eyebrow. Miki and the devil twins were lowering something via a rope into the sea below. Curious, she walked over to see what they were doing.
"Oh hi Yossi!" Miki sounded more cheerful than she had in days. The Second Mate stared at them, then looked at the screaming merc that was begging for mercy as they lowered him slowly, feet first, down into the ocean. An ocean that was filled with circling sharks, drawn by the blood that was dripping off the injured merc, who was sadly still conscious. All too conscious of his own fate the moment he should hit the water.
"Do I dare to ask which of you came up with this?" Yossi shook her head with a shaky laugh. The twins giggled, and Miki smirked triumphiantly. The merc was going down inch by painful inch, the slow speed of which was quite deliberately set by the sadistic trio, the more to heighten the panic and fear of their captive.
"You two, get ready to tie the rope off." Miki ordered. They nodded, grinning maniacally. The young man was already hoarse from all the screaming, suspended about a foot above the surface. The sharks were already snapping at his feet, but Miki yanked the rope up a bit, teasing the vicious fish below.
"Hey Yossi, a hand please." Miki huffed, and Yossi joined her to hold the rope in place as the twins fastened one end of the rope securely.The two dashed forward, task completed, and looked over the rail with eager anticipation. Miki and Yossi exchanged a look, and ignoring the panicked gibbering of their victim, they slowly let the rope go.
The merc hit the water feet first, the rope affixed to him preventing him from falling all the way in, only submerging him up to his waist. It was a deliberate move of course. The merc suddenly found his voice again and shrieked like a baboon having his balls ripped off. Which was what was quite literally happening. The water below raged, the white froth rapidly turning red. A chewed off leg floated briefly to the surface, before being swiftly snapped away by the great gleaming jaws of a huge shark.
The twins cheered and high-fived each other, before hurling themselves at an unsuspecting Miki and hugging her like a pair of koalas clinging to a tree. "Thank youuuu~" They exclaimed loudly in unison. Miki growled, trying to shake them off, but they had a death grip around her neck and were refusing to let go. She was beginning to get annoyed.
"Get off, or you're joining him down there." Miki snarled. The two immediately let go, still chuckling. Yossi shook her head, deciding to convey the captain's orders to Miki, who nodded, a ghastly gleam in her eye as she set off, the devil twins tagging along in eager anticipation.Yossi sighed and looked over the rail. The young man was sadly, still alive, not enough strength to scream, but the hoarse whimpers were clearly audible.
Feeling a moment of pity for the poor boy, Yossi drew her sabre and cut the rope in a quick move, ending his suffering in a few moments as the sharks converged...
Sighing again, Yossi sheathed her sabre, one hand still placed over the hilt of that proud weapon, the last remaining legacy of her line, along with her. She stared off in the horizon, her eyes distant for a moment. Shaking herself out of it, she turned to join her crewmates in the plunder.
A man sat at an ornate desk, the surface of which was strewn with documents and reports about the increasing rate of piracy in the eastern seas. The man looked to be in his late 40s, robust and energetic despite his age, and sat with a kind of regal military bearing. The uniform he wore gleamed, the medals and badges reflecting the light of the setting sun from the broad windows.
He was interrupted in his work by a sharp rap on the door. "Come in."
A familiar figure came in. A bit petite in size, but with a distinct military bearing that made the slim figure look taller. The man looked at the new arrival, his face still stern, but his eyes were gentle as he gazed at the serious face of his protege.
"Admiral." The voice was regulatory, standard military courtesy, the salute crisp and inch-perfect. The man, the Admiral, didn't know if he should be rueful that his own child looked so distant from him, or be proud of the fact that in front of him stood one of the youngest people to ever be promoted to be a captain of one of the Royal Navy's warships. Yes, his child was definitely of the proud seafaring lineage that they were descended from. His eldest, and his pride and joy.
"Glad you could make it, Captain." His own voice was strict and unemotional, a reflection of his own strict military bearing. He could never quite voice how proud of his child he was, the words never seeming to be able to come naturally. He only hoped that his child didn't blame him too much for being distant.
They got down into business immediately, the younger keen and alert as the Admiral explained the situation and the deployment. Sent to patrol the eastern seas, his eldest child would be helping to crack down on the damn pirates that infested those waters. He had absolute faith in the ability of the young Captain, and he said as much, noting as those clear eyes flashed with a certain kind of joy at the matter-of-fact praise.
As the Captain got up and saluted, preparing to leave, the Admiral couldn't help but awkwardly inject his sentiments as a father.
"Be careful out there." His voice was gruff, but affectionate. An awkward, almost shy smile beamed back at him, lighting up the room in the process.
The Admiral watched as the door closed. He didn't know why, but he felt that it would be the last time he would see his eldest daughter smile back that way at him again. He tried to ignore it, but the ominous feeling never left him that night...
And I'm done. Sorry I made them so vicious and bloodthirsty, but hey, they're pirates. Pirates are not really supposed to be nice people. Who are the new people? Well, we'll have to wait and see, won't we?
So tell me what you think people!