Episode One: The Stowaway
It was late at night on the Leaky Sue. Leon sighed in the crow's nest; he hated lookout duty. Its such an inconvenience! While he sat up in the nest, freezing, looking for danger that never came, the rest of the crew was sound asleep, warm in their beds. "I guess it cant be helped," he whispered to the night. "I'm just the new guy." Leon looked up at the sky. When he was younger, he imagined a far more romantic life on the ocean. When he was eight, he'd loiter about the docks talking to sailors that had just come in. Theyd always speak of wild adventures. They would speak of storms that rock the ship all the way onto its side. They'd speak of monsters that dragged ships down into the depths, and the narrow escape they made from it. They'd speak of a mysterious flying ship that would roam the seas. Theyd speak of beautiful, yet deadly sirens with songs to die for. But Leon had been aboard the Leaky Sue for almost two and a half months with not a single hint of this dangerous sea life! Where is the fun? Where is the danger? For two and a half months Leon has had smooth sailing. All Leon had to do was take his four hours of sleep when his shift was over in the morning. Then he would clean the decks, eat, and do whatever the captain said had to be done to keep the ship going. Leon sighed again. I kinda wish something would happen. At least it'd be more exciting than any of this. He began to doze off, and it wasn't too long until he had fallen asleep.
*BOOM* The ship rocked. Leon startled awake. Is that cannon-fire? But this is a peaceful ship. The Leaky Sue only used small shots, nothing strong enough to produce that powerful of a ricochet... *BOOM* The ship rocked again. "TO PORT! QUICKLY! And where is that flare I asked for?" Is that the captain shouting? Why would we turn to port? We just left it not one week ago. Leon started to rub the sleep from his eyes. When he looked down, he saw the entire crew scrambling. *SCREEEEEEEEE* A flare is being shot into the sky? But those are to be used in the event of... oh no. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. We're under attack! Leon looked to around, and sure enough, there was a ship to the starboard side. Not just any ship though, the flag of Pirate Captain Riley, the Black Dragon flew high above it. The Black Dragons are attacking us and I am to blame for not alerting the crew sooner! We're all going to die! Leon had no idea what to do, so he just sat in the nest, staring at the Black Dragons get closer and closer, blasting the Leaky Sue up, bit by bit. It was only a matter of time until they boarded the Leaky Sue and took everything.
The entire crew of the Leaky Sue (including Leon) were eventually lined up on the deck. "I really shouldnt have wished for some danger last night," Leon mumbled. "Will I ever see my home again?" He began to sniffle. "Hmph!" There was a little girl beside him! "You're an obvious fool." Such sass from a mere fourteen year old? Why was she even on the ship? Leon didnt remember her being with them when they left port. She must have been a stowaway! And if his gut was right, it's her fault that the Leaky Sue was attacked. "They're not concerned about taking lives. If they were, why would they have lined us up?" Leon blinked. The girl was right. There was no need for them to be alive if the pirates just wanted the goods onboard. "Then why...?" "Theyre searching for something!" Captain Riley stepped in front. He was tall, he had long black hair. His beard was an absolute mess. He had a scar over his left eyebrow and he didn't look happy to be here. "Hello everyone. I'm sure youre all afraid of me right now, with good reason! It was my crew that broke the Pilotian Blockade and ransacked the country. It was my crew that single-handedly took on the Bargardian Armada, outnumbered thirty to one and destroyed it. It is my crew that strikes fear into the hearts of anyone who sees our flag. However, I'm sure youll find that I can be quite..." Captain Riley pauses. He picks up a piece of wood and crushes in it hand. "Reasonable." One of the crew begins to shout, "But we have nothing aboard of considerable value! We're a trading vessel, bringing low value goods from port to port! Why would you..." Captain Riley cuts the man off, "DID I SAY YOU COULD SPEAK?" The man is frozen in fear. His jaw hangs, sweat is rolling down his face, his eyes are as wide as plates. Captain Riley nods at a Black Dragon crewmate. The crewmate takes the man and removes him from sight. The crewmate returns alone. "The man said he was feeling kinda light-headed! So I gave him a cannonball to weigh him down! He's getting a drink right now, said he might be a while!" Raucous laughter can be heard all about. "Now where was I? Right... Reasonable! I am very reasonable. Simply put, you give me what I want, and I consider letting you all live to see another day. I'm sure you all wonder what I want, but I know one of you KNOWS what I want. I'll give that person two minutes to step out. At two minutes and every minute after that, if there is no honesty aboard this ship, I will send one person to the briny deep. Starting with this man!" Leo feels Captain Riley's hand grasp his shoulder. "Surely you wouldn't want an innocent young man to die without realizing his future, would you? Look at him! He's hardly a man! I wouldnt put him past the age of eighteen! He hasnt even felt a woman's touch yet!" Leon looked at his feet. I dont want to die... Not here...
Two minutes pass. Captain Riley speaks up, "I am not known for my mercy thief." Wait. Leon thought. All of this is about thievery? How ironic. The thief doesnt like being stolen from! A smirk escapes Leons thoughts and makes it to his face. Leon is soon pushed to the edge of the deck. Oh goddess. I dont want to die. I dont want to die. I dont want to DIE! Leons smirk quickly turns into a face of fear.
Very few people want to die. Only those who have given up hope for life desire death. For the rest of us, life is a treasure we take for granted until the realization occurs that we have to die at one point or another.
Leon's forced to bend over the side, and is about to receive the final push when someone speaks up. "It was me." The little girl? I knew it! "So there is honour among thieves! I knew it was you the whole time, you know." Captain Riley barks to his crewmates, "Pull the man back! I'm a man of my word." Leon breathes a short sigh of relief as he's forced back into line. The girl may have allowed him to evade this brush with death, but they're not out of the water yet. "Grab the girl. Im sure shes carrying it with her. We can... extract it later."