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The Sovereign of Monkey Island
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Chapter Two (b): The Pirate Ship, of the Thing ©
Meanwhile, back on Mêlée Island, it was night time and Elaine was getting worried. It wasn’t so much worry over what had happened to her husband, but more worry over what kind of trouble Guybrush could get himself into by simply asking directions to the toilet. It was a gift Guybrush possessed, it wasn’t a very nice gift for him, but it was a trait he had acquired and it didn’t look like he was going to give it up for some reason.
Elaine walked out of her house, the moonlight shone on her face, illuminating that face that launched a thousand ships in her time (although she generally used a bottle to launch ships these days, less head injuries that way). It was what had made Guybrush fall in love with her all that time ago. It didn’t have anything to do with her figure or proportions, although they were spectacular, but it was her face. That fist smile she gave to him as he looked upon her, it was a moment of sheer magic for him. The purple haze in her eyes, the rosy red lips, the roundness of her visage, everything was, to him, perfect.
The blue light of the moon illuminated her face in the darkness of the night as she walked down the path to the town where people were still cleaning up after the LeChuck incident. She looked around and was almost pleased that people were convinced to clean up. She would have been happy, were it not for the fact that her husband was missing, and had been for a few hours now.
She went to the nearest young looking pirate (in this mood, she didn’t really want to talk to old pirates, they would just go on and on about the good old days) and asked.
‘You wouldn’t have happened to see my husband around, would you?’
‘Dunno,’ she said, ‘what’s he look like?’
‘White, about five eleven, hundred and eighty pounds, blonde, most of the time pirate clothes.’
‘Hmm, doesn’t ring any bells.’
‘He left about three hours ago.’ The ‘whiney voice’ comment seemed to trigger off a memory in her so fast that she couldn’t help but remember, this was usually the way Guybrush was remembered. ‘The idiot broke the bow of his ship with a bottle of toilet cleaner. Came down here asking for some tar.’
‘Ship?! Why’s he got a ship?’
‘He said something about going off to Lucre Island to see some lawyers about getting everyone’s property back off of Ozzie, you know, now that he’s dead and all.’
Elaine sighed, ‘The warm heart of my Guybrush will be the end of him some day. You wait until he gets back here, he will be so told off, I may even take away his allowance for the week.’
‘Comin’ back, I don’t reckon so, you see that storm way out there, well that’s the way they headed a couple of hours ago, they sure ain’t gonna get through that unless they has some real professional captain on board. Yours any good?’
‘What is it?’
‘Let’s just say that my Guybrush once sunk a gravy boat.’
Elaine was a fast thinker. And now she had to think fast; Guybrush couldn’t sail a boat at the best of times, a storm certainly wasn’t the way to go. She knew that, given a sail, Guybrush could sail a pig given his extensive experience with bad ships, but that didn’t stop Guybrush's boats from sinking. But she had to tell her grandfather.
Annoyingly, he was flying through one of the mansion’s windows when she reached it. The mansion was also ablaze, but Elaine didn’t worry too much about it, which was a shame, because Guybrush had given up his best pretzels to save that mansion.
‘Grandpa!’ she yelled as she ran over to his aid. But Marley was a strong old boy.
He leaped to his feet, drew his sword, turned to the mansion and pointed his sword towards it. ‘Stand back dear, this is my fight,’ he said as he readied himself for whatever was coming next. But no one was ready for what happened next, although Marley seemed to almost expect it.
A huge serge of fire came barreling out of the window Marley had emerged from and knocked the sword out of his hand. Although the mansion burned the usual kind of fire, the fire that almost took Marley’s wrist off had a bright blue glow around it.
‘Come here and fight me like a man!’ shouted Marley. Then they both heard a laugh. It was an evil laugh, a malevolent laugh, a malicious laugh. And it was all too familiar.
‘Ya ha har!’ sneered LeChuck as he emerged from the flames of the mansion. ‘But Horatio, I’d rather fight you like the Demon I am.’ Lightning emerged from his fingers and hit Marley. Elaine ran over to help her near-dead grandfather. She then looked up at LeChuck.
‘What do you want, LeChuck? Why are you always tormenting me and my family?’
‘Har! Har! Har! Why do you think I’m here? I’m after the one thing I’ve always wanted. The one thing that all this trouble came from. The one thing that can end this torment now, my sweet.’ Elaine knew what he was talking about. She took out her own sword.
‘Well, I’m not letting you take me without a fight. This time, sword to sword.’
‘I’ve played by rules for too long Elaine. This time, you’re mine.’ He shot lightning at Elaine.
Then, everything slowed down. Lightning is meant to travel pretty fast, but it still took a long time to reach Elaine. Elaine was thinking fast, so fast that time slowed down in order for her thoughts to be registered. She bent over backwards and leaned toward the floor as the lighting passed over her; there she waved her arms around trying to gain balance when most of her body was relying on her shins to keep her up. Her back was half a foot away from the floor and the lightning passed over.
Time sped up again and she fell to the floor, the lightning merely singeing a part of her arm. Elaine sprang back to her feet and dodged another shot by LeChuck. ‘Face it LeChuck, you won’t beat me.’
‘Why, oh why Elaine, will ya not give in to this brackish ole sea boy? You know I brood for yer adoration.’
‘You tried to kill my grandpa, twice! That tends to put a girl off.’
‘Argh, ‘e’ got in the way!’
‘You tried to kill me!’
‘Undead, not entirely dead.’
‘And you tried to kill my husband.’
‘Well, he was just annoying the britches off of me.’
‘But why, why my grandpa? Why make him like this?’ scowled Elaine.
‘You mean short and lanky. I’m afraid any living person on Monkey Island becomes like that unless they eat human flesh, or are undead as I am. It’s a side effect of staying on the island for too long. Threepwood hasn’t been there as much as this old man, and so it hasn’t touched him. I’m just sorry I didn’t finish the ole man when I had the chance. When I finally started living on Monkey Island, I didn’t recognize him and he didn’t remember me.’
‘What?’ Marley croaked from his near-dying position.
‘Quiet, old man, you’ve been enough trouble as it is.’
‘You didn’t try and kill me, Ozzie Mandrill did.’
‘Har har har! Yes, but if you remember correctly, I tortured you beforehand. Once you’d found that I had left, you took the wheel again and tried to get back into harbour forgetting about the America Cup race. That’s when Ozzie pushed you into the whirlpool, but he was under my command. It was a sort of business transaction; I took him to the Caribbean, where he could start afresh and make money. And he would sponsor my hostile world takeovers. He laid low for some years, plotting, whilst I tried taking over the Caribbean with an army of the undead. When this didn’t work, he tried the corporate strategy. But then he betrayed me, like the scoundrel he was, so now I’m starting again with my army of the undead. And this time it will be a grand army, bigger and better than ever.’
‘What are you talking about, the people of the Caribbean won’t be stupid enough to even go near Monkey Island, let alone go through the fires of hell just to serve you.’
‘Yes, I learnt that long ago, my sweet Elaine. This is why I am not recruiting existing pirates anymore, but creating my own. Using the fire and brimstone of Big Whoop, my minions craft the perfect pirates and then bring them to life with voodoo powers so dark they haven’t been uttered for thousands of years.
‘This will help me create my grand army, which will be used to take over middle earth, uhh, I mean the Caribbean.’
‘Yah har! I know, it’s devious. And now, all I need is my queen at my side and all of the Caribbean will be mine.’
‘My sweet Elaine, I’m afraid that there is absolutely no choice in the matter.’ LeChuck stuck out both hands in front of him and shot lightening at Elaine. Elaine didn’t notice in time, and was struck to the ground, unconscious. Marley tried to get up and stop LeChuck as LeChuck advanced towards Elaine. But he was too weak, he couldn’t do it, he just had to lay there and watch as LeChuck pick up Elaine in both arms and then morph into a blazing mass of fire, and streak off into the night sky.
‘Elaine!’ he shouted after her, as the fire lighted the clouds and turned the sky orange. But it was too late. Elaine was gone.
The storm was in full blow now, the sea was as rough as ever and both ship and boat were hard to control. Guybrush was forced to grab an ore whilst the cloaked man had the other ore, and both were furiously rowing. Guybrush’s total experience in rowing a boat stooped at the age of five, when his toy boat sunk in the bath. He knew then that he wanted to be a pirate.
Of course he had rowed a boat before, of course the lava log wasn’t really considered a boat, but he had rowed before. Still, he had never got the hang of it and doing it in the storm hadn’t made it much easier.
There was a large bang behind them and a few seconds later a cannon ball careened into the sea, just a foot away from their boat, creating a large wave, unsteadying their boat. The cloaked man tried to keep the boat in control, but wasn’t helped much by Guybrush’s screaming. Guybrush suddenly realized something very important at that point. Those anti-screaming counseling sessions weren’t working.
Half a dozen more bangs were heard from behind, and in a flash of lightning, Guybrush was terrified to see numerous cannon balls coming towards him. Of course they had very little chance of actually hitting this small boat in almost darkness, but it didn’t seem that way when every single one of the cannon balls missed Guybrush, the cloaked man, and the boat by mere inches. They were getting closer. Guybrush tried to close his eyes and pretend this wasn’t happening. This just made things worse as he remembered the darkness he faced when he was a child, and the candles were blown out before he had to go to bed.
Suddenly, the cloaked man stopped rowing and stood up in the boat.
‘What are you doing, we’re going to get hit! You’re going to topple the boat over! You’re going to get us killed!’ The cloaked man produced a bottle of green fluid from the recesses of his cloak. ‘You’re going to have a drink! My life’s in the hands of a mad drunk!’
‘Do not worry friend, this is a voodoo potion, it will get us out of this predicament!’ said the cloaked man.
‘Alcohol is the solution to life’s problems, but not this one!’
‘That will not help our situation!’
‘Neither will a drink!’
‘Would you rather die here?’
‘I’d prefer it to dying via voodoo spells! The last one I encountered almost killed me in a giant monkey robot! I’ll tell you now, that’s not the way I want to die! At least it’s not in the top ten.’
‘So you would rather die here?’
‘This amazingly is in my top ten, top five in fact, it comes between dying in a sword battle and gut rot!’
‘Do you want to die?!’
‘Do we have a choice?’
‘Yes!’ The cloaked man opened the bottle violently. There was another bang from the ship, this time the cannon was faced upwards and the cannonball blasted into the sky, it was set to arc over and hit them from above. This one was definitely on target.
‘Erm, I think this one’s the big one! And for once, I think I’m right. For once I wished I wasn’t! For once— what is that smell?!’
The cloaked man began grinning.
‘Oh god! Did you do that? At least have the common courtesy to excuse yourself after - oh right, it was the bottle. Okay, gotcha, wassit gonna do?!’ The cloaked figure grinned even more. ‘Okay, stupid question,’ Guybrush said.
A green mist protruded from the bottle and surrounded the boat. The cannonball came closer. Guybrush screamed. There was more mist. The cannonball got closer. More screaming. More mist. Ball closer. Scream. Mist. Ball.
Suddenly, the boat burst into life, Guybrush heard a hollow voice in his head, he couldn’t make out the words, but somewhere in his soul, it registered and he understood what they were meant to say. In our language, it was something close to: ‘Please keep all hands, arms and legs inside the vessel at all times.’
The cannonball got closer.
Guybrush was never one to actually listen to the voices in his head, not ever since the barbeque incident when he was five, but about three seconds later he took great care in keeping everything in that boat, be it an arm, leg or wad of spit.
The cannonball got closer.
Because what happened in the next three seconds, Guybrush didn’t ever want to happen again, ever. This is what happened.
The cannon ball hit…
…the water. The boat was gone, it had sped away leaving a trail of voodoo sparks and magic. Guybrush hadn’t expected this. As it happens, neither had the cloaked figure as he toppled over into the boat as it went at speeds men could only dream of. At least Guybrush was sure to have nightmares about this later.
‘What happened?!’ scowled Ozzie. ‘Where did they go?!’
‘Voodoo spell, sir,’ said a young shipmate. ‘I’m afraid that the only way to get them is to use the demon voodoo cannonball, you know, one of the ones we stole off LeChuck ages ago.’
‘Fine, give it here, how does it work?’
‘Here we go sir,’ said the shipmate, producing one from his robe. No one asked later how it came to be about his person in the first place, they had more important things on their mind. ‘All you have to do is hold it and say the name of the person you wish to destroy, three times. Then just fire it out of a cannon.’
Ozzie looked at the cannonball in his hands in a sinister way and shouted ‘Driftwood! Driftwood! Driftwood!’ The shipmate whispered something into Ozzie’s ear. ‘Oh, right, Threepwood! Threepwood! Threepwood!’ Then he went to throw it into the cannon with all of his might. He held it above the nozzle of the cannon, and suddenly it was gone, it had sped off in the direction of Guybrush, probably carrying his hand along with it. Ozzie glared as smoke rose out of the cannon.
‘You already lit the cannon didn’t you?’
‘Sorry sir, did you not want me to?’
Over large waves the boat sped, sometimes becoming completely airborne. The cloaked figure was getting overly tired of Guybrush’s screaming, and it had only been thirty seconds since they left. Over another wave jump the boat went, and Guybrush found himself struggling to land properly, or at least with all limbs inside the boat at all times, which he was furiously trying to do with about as much success as a fish trying to skateboard. He fell onto a large piece of material, or maybe it was many small pieces stringed together. He fell off of the back of the boat, holding onto some pieces of rope that he found on the boat. These just so happened to be attached to the material and suddenly he found himself entangled in it.
‘Guybrush!’ the cloaked man shouted as he threw him a rope. The speed they were going, there was a one in a million chance of Guybrush catching the rope. Of course, Guybrush based his life on one in a million chances happening; no one could have anticipated him actually landing on Dinky Island after blowing up LeChuck’s secret fortress, or him floating straight into a fight between Elaine and LeChuck on Plunder, and it just so happened that Lady Luck was smiling down on him; well, it was more like sadistic laughter, but either way it worked. Guybrush grabbed hold of the rope and held on tight. He knew what could happen if he let go, it would involve sharks, no matter where, as long as he was near water, sharks were there.
Then something unexpected happened. The material that Guybrush was entangled in caught the passing air and ballooned. Guybrush was raised into the air, quite a few feet from the boat. Guybrush screamed the whole way; what else could he do?
Actually, there were probably a thousand things that he could have done then. He could try to reel himself into the boat via the rope, he could have held on and thought of a better plan, he could have looked around and admired the scenery from his new height. But instead, he just screamed, he’d lived his life by panic and he’d seemed to be better off for it, because out of all the people who didn’t panic, three were still alive.
‘Okay sir, here’s your hook,’ said the ship mate, as he clicked it into place of Ozzie’s old hand. As he did so, green sparks flew around Ozzie’s hook for a split second.
‘What was that?’
‘I forgot to tell you sir, because you told the cannonball who to get, if you wanted, you could control it with your hands.’
‘All you have to do is hold your hands out like this,’ he said, demonstrating by putting his hands into the position of holding maybe a small box. ‘And what the cannon sees you should be able to see. Then to control it, just move your hands in any direction and it should move to your will.’
‘Nice, very nice. Alright, leave me in peace whilst I kill that Driftwood.’
‘Uh, that’s Threep—’
‘Git out ya bugger!’ The shipmate left and Ozzie was left alone in his quarters. ‘Now, Threepwood, you’re mine.’ Ozzie held his hands in the desired way and closed his eyes. There, plainly in front of him, he saw the open sky and the sea below him. Nothing else.
Then, far, far away in the distance, a figure, yes, yes, it was him. This time, it was personal.
Guybrush screamed for about three minutes, and then stopped after he had come to terms with what had happened. He found that it wasn’t actually too bad here. He pulled on different ropes to go left, right, up or down. It was actually… dare he think it… fun!
The fun was about to end though, as his fun always did. Guybrush heard something. It was a long way off, but it was coming closer. Guybrush almost cried. He thought: ‘Would everything please stop chasing me?’
And closer. Guybrush looked behind him, as did the cloaked man. There, in the sky, something black, round, and… and flaming? It was coming closer though. Guybrush didn’t know what it was. All he knew, was it couldn’t be good. He heard the cloaked man shout at him.
‘A flaming voodoo cannon ball! You can’t let it hit you!’
‘Thanks! If you hadn’t said that, I may have let the flaming accelerating ball hit me without regard for my safety! Great advice there!’
‘This is no time for sarcasm!’
‘Hah! There’s always time for sarcasm!’
‘Watch out!!’ Guybrush moved to the right and watched as the cannon ball flew past him. But then it did something unexpected to Guybrush, but the cloaked man knew all about it.