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The Sovereign of Monkey Island
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Chapter Two (d): The Pirate Ship of the Thing©
The boat got totaled on impact with the lookout point of Pillage. The cloak had found himself entangled to the rope holding Guybrush, and they both escaped the wave. For a while. The boat seemed to contain a barrel of grog (no pirate goes anywhere without a good supply of grog or grog substitute, it’s basically there to prevent mutiny) which exploded when it hit the fire. The fire and explosion were extinguished by the wave shortly after, but the cloak was blown clear and took Guybrush with him. They flew higher and higher, the wave following them, threatening to kill them. If it didn’t get to them first, they would be killed by the fall.
All hope was gone except for a slight glimmer of light. There, in the shadow of the night, was a tower, a building of some sort. If they could get to it and hold on whilst the wave went past, they may be able to survive.
“Grab hold of the tower!” shouted the cloak. Guybrush couldn’t speak, but he had no other choice anyway and wasn’t about to argue.
But they found that steering themselves whilst flying through the air at a great speed was almost impossible. Well, at least the cloak found this out, Guybrush had reluctantly had great practice in this sort of thing.
Neither of them could actually figure out what the tower was. The salt water in their eyes along with the darkness of the night made it about as difficult as teaching a fish to play the violin, possible, but hard.
It didn’t matter, Caribbean trade winds made sure they were headed straight for it, whatever it was.
They both got ready to grab hold. As long as one of them got it, the other one could hold onto the rope and hope. They both flew straight into the tower.
And then out the other side. They both looked around to see and feel the rushing air around them. They were still flying through the air with not a hope of living.
And then they stopped. In mid air, they stopped going forward, as if something was pulling them back; they didn’t understand it. They both looked at each other in confusion as they had no grasp of anything. It was as if they were floating. Then they started to fall, vertically down, it made no sense. But they didn’t reach the ground. They hadn’t gotten very far at all when the wave consumed them.
Guybrush looked across to see the cloak also hanging by the same rope on the other side of the tower. The rope was obviously snagged on something, and both their weights balanced it out so neither of them would fall to their death. But what?
Both Guybrush and the cloak looked up. It seems their rope had been wrapped around a bell, in a bell tower of a church. They had been—
‘Don’t say it!’ said the cloak quickly.
‘I wasn’t going to say anything!’ protested Guybrush.
‘I know exactly what you were going to say.’
‘The bell thing.’
‘Oh, your mind just works like that, not mine.’
‘Yeah, well don’t say it anyway. Come on, let’s find a way of getting down from here.’ They both paused for a second and thought.
‘Lucky that was there though,’ Guybrush said. The cloak glared at him, Guybrush was just dying to say it. ‘Ah, saved by the bell.’
‘What did I tell you!’
‘Just had to say it,’ Guybrush beamed. He was quite proud of that.
In a process involving chicken wire and an embarrassing piece of acrobatics provided with Guybrush's lemans style encouragement shouting from his career in the circus (which lasted a total of two seconds and ended after the pot fell off his head shortly after he was blasted out of the cannon). The cloak made him swear that this part would be left out of future tellings of this story. Apparently, it never happened. Of course, Guybrush never knew how to forget the best parts of stories. He could still remember telling his pirate friends on Scabb Island about the part where he kicked LeChuck’s butt by throwing a grog machine at him. Well, almost.
Ozzie found himself and his crew stranded on a small island somewhere off the coast of a bigger island of which they knew nothing about. It was morning and the sun was bright, but it seemed to be burning Ozzie’s face. That was actually the salt water against his rotting flesh. Somewhere out there, someone got the bright idea to make the most common undead people pirates. Ozzie cursed that person. Ozzie got up and looked around. His crew was gathering all they could from the wreckage. Ozzie grabbed the first shipmate he could find and shouted at him.
‘Where in Saint Smyth’s handbook did that huge wave come from?!’
‘I… uh, don’t know sir.’
‘No, of course you don’t, you’re just a shiriperana from the gagoolatrap! Now, tell me, where are we?’
‘Um… an island?’ At that point Ozzie threw the man to the ground and found another shipmate.
‘You! I want you to scour the island and find out where we are. Then get me some food and a little wine to wash it down with.’ He turned to three other shipmates. ‘You! Get me a chair, and you two, start fanning me. I’ll be fluzzled if the rigor mortis starts to set in!’ With that, a blade went through Ozzie’s neck and a couple of seconds later his head fell off his body and onto the sand.
Ozzie looked up (it was all he could do) into the face of Largo LeGrande.
‘Now there was no call for that, ya smillabong!’
‘Quite, Ozzie. I’m still captain of this… crew and so I am the one who is going to be giving the orders.’ He turned to the crew ozzie had just addressed, ‘you guys, do exactly what Ozzie told you to do, just do it to me.’
Guybrush was taken to the cloak’s lodgings. On this island, as mentioned before, everyone boarded at bars, and for the cloak it was no different. Guybrush was taken to a seedy little place with a sign over the door, where in big letters was painted GRIME, painted by a man whose brush work was worse than his handwriting. Or was it the other way around? Guybrush was taken up to the cloak’s room, where, amazingly, the man took off his cloak. Guybrush hadn’t known him for that long, but he’d been through more with this guy than anyone else in the world, and frankly, Guybrush was kind of used to the cloak. It would take a lot to get used to this new visage.
For a start, he was young, at least a year or so younger than Guybrush. He wasn’t built as such, but strong enough to wear the clothes he was too clearly wearing. It wasn’t armor; by the look of him, he didn’t need it. Some may say that he had rugged good looks and a dashing smile. Guybrush would be the last to admit this, and about fifty other guys would have to do so first before he did. But he was ruggedly handsome and could be passed off for dashing if he maybe tied his hair back and cleaned up a little, but maybe his long wild hair gave him more of a character. His goatee style beard and moustache certainly did, it was the kind of goatee that actually suited him, unlike Guybrush, who was born not to actually be a beard wearer but did it anyway.
Of course, some may be repulsed at the fact that he had a scar on his face the size of the Grand Canyon, or other large gorges in the earth that Guybrush didn’t know about. It seemed like the kind of scar that would tell a thousand stories, of which only one would actually be about how he got the scar. Guybrush took a moment to take it all in.
‘So, who are you? I mean, what do I call you?’ asked Guybrush.
‘I am known by many names. But I let my friends call me Rider.’
‘And am I considered a friend?’
‘Wouldn’t know. I’ve never had any. But call me Rider anyway.’
‘And you can call me—’
‘H-how did you know my name?’
‘I thought everyone knew the name of Guybrush Threepwood, a mighty pirate.’ Guybrush grinned, if only for a second, until reality dawned on him.
‘Um… actually, not many people know my name, or at least can pronounce it well. So, how much do you know about me?’ He asked, intrigued.
‘Quite a bit actually; you arrived on Mêlée Island for some unknown reason, and wanted to be a pirate. From there on end, it all went downhill. You fought and defeated LeChuck four times, constantly ran after your love Elaine and had gotten yourself into more predicaments than anyone I know. What I would like to know about is your childhood, who are you, where are your parents?’
‘The details of my past are quite inconsequential.’
‘Uh… never mind. Basically, I was orphaned as a child and brought up by a fisherman name Jack of the coast of Smolder Island. I grew up and now here I am.’
‘But why the uncontrollable urge to become a pirate?’
‘Ah, that is a long story…’
It is six in the afternoon and the sun is just about to set. A young man sits in the sands of a secluded island. He has no idea where he’s going, or where he had been, he just knew that the sunset looked beautiful from that beach. That’s all he cared about, that’s all he knew to care about.
But things were about to change.
Before he knew what was going on, he was grabbed by two strong men and carried away. He struggled to get out, but didn’t succeed. He was thrown onto a ship with a load of other prisoners and the grate was shut on him. It was dark.
The ship sailed for hours, rocking back and forth. The prisoners couldn’t see each other’s faces, but most didn’t really want to. The young boy had realised very early on, that this was a slave ship and he was going to be bartered for money. But he didn’t have a prayer.
Unfortunately, neither did the ship and its occupants.
No one understood it at the time, although later a lot of them found it made perfect sense, but a ship had appeared from out of nowhere right next to theirs. There was no fog or mist, no way of hiding themselves. It had been told that many a strange thing happens in these waters. This was not expected. But that wasn’t half of it, for on top of the mast they saw the most fearsome sight ever, the skull and cross bones, the mark of the Jolly Roger, and it was aflame. These were ghost pirates.
Cannons fired, as was mandatory for any sea battle. The crew found their high class cannonballs doing nothing to the other ship; it was as if it was going straight through the ship. But the cannons protruding from the other ship were doing mass damage. Suddenly, the crew looked around and found themselves surrounded by pirates.
Straight into action they went as the battle began, and all that could be heard was the swish of metal and the clang of steel. The young man heard lingo that only a pirate would understand, and down in the hold the boy watched through the grate and saw the brave and courageous acts of these heroic men. He was enticed by the feel of cold steel, the blood on the deck made his mouth water and the sound of the cannons and clangs of swords made him tingle inside. He now had a purpose.
The last words he heard on the ship were ‘I don’t care if you feel seasick, we need someone to lead us through that patch of coral or else no one will survive this battle, what? What do you mean there’s no paper, I put a fresh roll in this morn-’
And then came the crash.
Waking up, face down in ankle deep seawater nine minutes later, the young boy only had one thing on his mind; where am I, what happened, what’s going on. He had so many questions without answers. So the first thing he said to the world in general was:
‘I wanna be a pirate!’
‘Pulling myself together and looking over at the shipwreck I had just flown out of, I knew there was nothing to go back to. So I went forward. And became a pirate.’ Guybrush finished.
After Ozzie had been stitched up, largo had sent him to scour the island for food. Ozzie wasn’t too pleased with this as could be heard by his mumbling in the deepest forests of the island. The island being very small, it’s deepest forests were a good thirty feet away from the crash site of the ship, but no one seemed to care as long as Ozzie was thirty feet away from them. But there was another sound. A rustling in the bushes. Strictly speaking he couldn’t be killed by any wild animal. His death would have resulted from a complicated process involving roots and/or mass destruction of the soul.
Knowing that, it didn’t stop him from worrying. This time the most outlandish insults in the world wouldn’t help him. Well at least that’s what he thought if he in fact knew what the sound was.
He couldn’t be too sure what it was, but he was sure that he didn’t want to be around when it revealed itself. He tried to run away but tripped over and landed in the grass.
Something stepped out of the bushes. Ozzie could have sworn it was a man if it wasn’t missing that vital piece of human anatomy. The figure stood above him and looked down at Ozzie. Or at least tried, had it not been missing its head. Ozzie backed away and then got up to face the thing. Or at least try to face the thing, but despite the total lack of head, Ozzie was unbelievably short.
‘Who are you?’ he asked the figure.
It didn’t answer; it had no way of doing so.
‘Speak to me!’ then Ozzie realised what he was saying and more importantly what he was saying it to. Trying to talk to someone with no head was like riding a bike with no legs. The figure made no sound, but instead, picked Ozzie up with one giant hand and threw him into the bushes.
Then it did make a sound, an ear-piercing sound. It came from the top of its neck and out, wakening the entire island, if indeed anything was still asleep.
When it had finished, Ozzie got up and stared at it. There wasn’t much else he could do. But staring even more, he could se that it wasn’t angry or hungry, but sad. It wanted something it couldn’t have and Ozzie knew just what it was. And Ozzie was going to give it to him. This may have been considered nice on Ozzie’s part, but this was all going to work out better for Ozzie anyway, so he could still keep his reputation as the agitator of the Caribbean.
And then Ozzie grinned an evil grin, got out his sword, and started cutting the thread holding his own head to his neck. He laughed while doing so. It didn’t hurt, so he laughed anyway.