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The Sovereign of Monkey Island
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Chapter Two (a): The Pirate Ship of the Thing©
Guybrush was again head of a ship, something that he had always wanted to do as a pirate and now he was able to do it…again. It wasn’t the most seaworthy ship he had ever sailed but then none of his ships were that seaworthy anyway, this sort of built a character about Guybrush; by this time in his life, he at least knew how to sail an un-seaworthy ship which was a skill few experienced pirate bothered themselves with. Guybrush, it could have been said, could sail a pig if he was given a large enough sail and maybe an oar or two. But this ship basically hit the low point of badly done ships. It looked like a blind sloth had found a hammer and nails and decided to see how many pieces of wood he could get together with the least bit of effort. Its sail was ripped and catching very little wind, the mast was half the size any decent sized mast should be, especially if you’re a pirate trying to keep your dignity about you (which is especially hard with Guybrush and his motley crew.) Sailing was hard enough with a boat in this shape but Guybrush hadn’t actually found the hole in the bottom of the ship filled in with wood and hardened custard.
Of course Guybrush mainly found ways of doing things which may have required more effort than most, but may have cost him less. It seems that Guybrush could quite happily live on the streets with nothing more than a penny and a piece of string to his name, Guybrush always found ways of getting food and inventory for free, or at least make enough money to get by, either by stealing or insurance fraud or other such.
But now he was the husband of a governor, no wait, now he was the husband of a governor’s granddaughter; well that was just as good, maybe he could start raking in the money, Elaine may have been a great governor for the people, but she was lousy with money. It wasn’t that she spent too much of it on luxuries, she just gave too much away to the public, even Otis had for a while a small income directly from the governor’s mansion before he turned into a hardened botany criminal.
Of course Otis, Carla and even Wally weren’t liking his captaining much. Guybrush was less of a leader than he’d like to think he was. He never bossed anyone around as such, but it was the truth that there was more to sailing than ‘battening down the hatches’ and ‘rigging the topsail’.
And then he wasn’t that good at the battles either, and right now, things couldn’t have gotten worse.
Guybrush screamed a bloodcurdling scream as his ship flew past another coral reef. Wally, with the might of ten Guybrush’s (or the might of one and a half men), had taken hold of the wheel whilst Guybrush was kept safely in the brig where he couldn’t get in the way. This wasn’t how things were meant to go. Luckily, Guybrush was panicking too much to notice that his ship had been taken over by his crew during the attack. Carla was doing what she did best, sword fighting and doing a pretty good job of it considering being beaten horribly be Ozzie all those weeks ago. She was producing moves that no pirate would dare attempt at the risk or failing miserably and losing a limb in the act, or at most, losing their dignity. There were moves that even Captain Smirk would have flinched at, had he been there instead of regaling men of his fights on the old blue desert they call the sea. Of course drunks generally didn’t care where they fought just as long as someone got gutted.
Otis was trying to swordfight, but had it not been for his poor training, he may have been better than Guybrush. Instead he just matched Guybrush's abilities and was able to fend off the pirates for the time being without panicking too much (or at all compared to Guybrush). Of course the truth was that Otis hadn’t actually had any training, but seemed to pick it up pretty fast; with that in mind, things seemed to be going well.
Considering he did nothing at all during the fight, Guybrush was forced to clean the blood off of the deck whilst the other crew members were busy by themselves. Of course this kind of thing is pitiful for a pirate after a victory, but Guybrush was past pitiful and so far on the other side he could see his house considering he had to mop the other ship’s deck after their win. The others were in the hold, hard at work; coming up with a plan to escape a ship full of murderous pirates whilst their bonehead captain cleaned the enemies’ ship isn’t exactly easy when a guard pokes at you every five minutes with a stick.
Guybrush had finally finished mopping the deck when a huge wave careened over the side of the ship and left the deck full of fish and seaweed. Guybrush looked over at the pirates watching him who just laughed and motioned him to carry on.
Guybrush wasn’t too easy, under the circumstances. He knew there was something wrong with these pirates, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. But he did know that not many of the other pirates could put a finger on it, some of them were missing some fingers, some had lost entire limbs and some managed to get away with losing a head or two. This seemed entirely impossible, but Guybrush still couldn’t figure it out.
And this ship seemed to smell more than most ships did, it had a smell that could cause cheese to make a run for it. Finally Guybrush figured it out. He sprinted across the deck for a few steps before slipping up and sliding across the rest of the ship to the bars of the brig where the rest of his crew were being held.
‘Hey, you guys, I just noticed something about these pirates! They’re undead!’
‘Hey, guess what guys?’ said Otis, ‘our gallant captain has just figured out the secret that these pirates have been keeping from us. Everyone hail Guybrush! Idiot.’
‘You mean you guys knew.’
‘The smell’s hard to get away from,’ said Carla. ‘Even the overpowering smell of the brig has been given a run for its money by these guys. It may even be worse than you.’
‘Guybrush?’ said a voice not unfamiliar to Guybrush, but one he’d rather not hear. ‘Guybrush Threepwood! You twazzock! You’re the one who did this to me!’ said Ozzie as he stepped out of a door, possibly to the captain’s cabin. He was also a part of the undead, his flesh rotting off of his bone, he looked uglier than ever. Well, almost, Ozzie’s features had already been enough to make Quasimodo run a mile, the rotting flesh really just added flavor to Ozzie’s visage.
‘Ozzie!’ said Guybrush in a squeakier voice than normal. ‘H-how did you survive the explosion?’
‘Come with me.’ Ozzie took him to the pirate’s quarters and there he was sat down in a rather uncomfortable chair. The room was richly decorated with portraits of famous undead pirates: Long John Greyish, Almost Bluebeard, lots more Hooks, Bob. It certainly didn’t have any stuffed kangaroos or platypuses or any other animals Guybrush had a hard time saying without laughing. It was the kind of captain’s cabin a pirate would be glad to call his own. Even the assortment of skulls in the corner was inviting, although Guybrush could swear that in the pits of his mind was a voice crying out to be chosen over an anchor.
‘Well, you cretin (pronounced kret'in and not kree'tn as some may say it)! I may as well tell you. Instead of LeChuck crushing me into a bloody pulp as you would have preferred, I was just driven into his stone skull where I was still perfectly preserved as the case may have been, but only barely. When LeChuck exploded, I got flung a thousand miles into the air and landed on Monkey Island.’
‘That has to be a million to one shot. How unlucky. So how did you escape because there seems to be some speculation about that matter.’
‘Do you want to hear the story or torment me?’
‘I dunno, tormenting sounds kinda fun. I’ve become quite good at it actually.’
‘Shut up! Now this should have killed me, but it didn’t. Instead I fell into the hole that apparently once accommodated a giant monkey head.’
‘Hmm, was it the second biggest monkey head you’d ever seen?’
‘I fell straight through the gates of hell you call Big Whoop and became this.
‘What, aggravated, agitated, infuriated?’
‘Undead! You exasperating hawser!’
‘What’s a “Hawser”?’
‘I say the words, I don’t know what they mean. Anyway, I was then found by this lot, a group of undead pirates who were once part of LeChuck’s crew until his fortress was blown up by an annoying idiot whose name they will never mutter, but seems to rhyme with “Slybrush Creepwood.” ’
‘Doesn’t ring any bells.’
‘But, they all lived.’
‘What are you talking about, they’re already dead.’
‘It’s complicated, they’re undead, which is kind of between living and dead.’
‘How does that work?’
‘Well… it… shut up, Threepwood. Anyway, they lost limbs of all sorts, but LeChuck came out a demon pirate and better than ever, excluding the being composed of fire and brimstone bit, but frankly, we think he secretly likes that.’
‘They all blamed LeChuck for their loss and vowed to reek vengeance.’
‘Don’t you mean seek vengeance?’
‘Have you smelt them lately?’
‘That was a poor joke.’
‘Anyway, from that day on, they have called themselves “The Pirate Ship of the Thing©”!’ There was a pause.
‘I never really asked.’
‘Right. So why are you with these undead zombies?’
‘Why? Because unless you didn’t notice, LeChuck once tried to betray me as well didn’t he, he tried to kill me until I hypnotized him with the power of the Ultimate Insult.’
‘Ah, the Ultimate Insult, Pegnose Pete will never be the same again, or so I’ve heard from various drunken sources.’
‘Now I seek vengeance on him as well, so I joined this lot.’
‘Well, can’t I join the Pirate Ship of the Thing©? I hate LeChuck as much as the rest of you, maybe even more. I mean he did try to kill me… one, two, three… seven times, he tried to take my wife four times and he smelt really bad once a few times!’
‘Well, I suppose you could if it wasn’t for one thing, Threepwood.’
‘I hate you.’
‘You’re the captain of this ship?!’
‘No, I am,’ said a voice from the door to the cabin. The door had been flung open, the rain and sea water was washing in. In the doorway stood a very intimidating figure, and standing four feet tall this was a pretty good achievement.
An old undead zombie pirate came into the captain’s cabin, hobbling down on a walking stick as he only had one leg. Of course technically he had no head, or at least no attached head to speak of. He was just carrying it under one arm. He was the shortest pirate around, but no one paid any attention to that point, not when he could easily hold you by the foot upside down and shake the money out of you if he wanted to. He picked up Guybrush and dragged him outside onto the deck. Ozzie followed. ‘I told you not to attack the prisoners! Next time it will be to the sharks with you if you don’t obey my orders. You’ve been a problem from day one, “Primate”, lets not make you walk the plank.’
‘Up yours, LeGrande!’
‘What!? I’m sure that’s not in the list of acceptable insults for children’s games/books,’ said Guybrush.
‘Check the certificate, Threepwood!’ Guybrush looks out of the book cover to the age certificate. ’15, it says, I can say just about every word under the sun to you! Ha! Ha! Ha!’
‘That can’t be right. This is a family oriented game. Sure, there may be undead zombies, lots of violence, blood and shots of innuendo but I think we drew the line at bad language, just so we could appeal to more younger audiences.’
‘This is a brand new genre, Threepwood! We can say whatever we want and there’s nothing you can do about it.’
‘I could write a strongly worded letter to the author to make this more family oriented!’
‘I’d just like to see you do that.’
Suddenly an unknown voice boomed ‘Ha! It’s already done. Okay Guybrush, your wish is granted.’
‘Who said that?’ asked Guybrush
‘It’s the bloody author and narrator of this here book. He’s rewritten the line I said to make it more “family oriented”. Nice work, now I can only say what’s on this here list.
‘Ha!’ laughed Guybrush.
**Sudden sound of tape rewinding, forgetting the fact that we mostly use CD’s and DVD’s now, we still hear rewinding tapes these days. Weird.**
‘Up yours Shut up LeGrande!’
‘LeGrande! I should have known. What happened to you?’
‘Well, when LeChuck’s fortress blew up, I was blown in the same direction as you. Only I went further and hit a giant mountain on Monkey Island. I found that the mountain was fake and I could easily get through it. Unfortunately, I fell through and fell into the lava below which just happened to be the gateway to hell known as Big Whoop. I became this.’
‘What, aggravated, agi-?’
‘I became angry and never forgave LeChuck for setting up that mountain atop the giant monkey head for me to hit and turn into this. And so was born the Pirate Ship of the Thing©.’
‘I swear there should be a better name. Whatever happened to your bra?’ LeGrande leaned in and waved a fist in front of Guybrush's face.
‘I’d suggest you don’t talk about that in front of my men. In fact, make that never.’
‘O-okay. So why can’t I join you?’ pleaded (whined more like) Guybrush.
‘Because I hate you as much as, and maybe more than Mandrill here. You were the one who blew up the fortress, you were the one who would keep escaping my grasp as I tried to bring you to LeChuck! You were the one who drove me off of my own island and freed the pirates of Scabb! You were the one who ruined my life! You were the one who stole my bra! And now, you’re gonna be the one who dies!’ And with that, he put his head back in the general position of where his head should be, grabbed his nicely sharpened sword. LeGrande lunged at Guybrush with his sword and began insult sword fighting. Insults flew twice as much as the blades did. This should have been impossible, what with him only having one leg and all, but somehow, LeGrande fought like he had three legs. Whether three legs would have helped or just got in the way was a different matter, the fact of the matter was, he was good.
Ozzie wasn’t quite sure what was going on, but he was sure that if someone was going to kill Guybrush Threepwood, it was going to be him. He also lunged at Guybrush with his sword.
Guybrush was now against two skilled swordsmen and having to fend off both with swordplay and insults. Thunder rolled in the sky.
Ozzie took another swing at Guybrush, but Guybrush ducked. LeGrande drove his sword in and was deflected by Guybrush’s sword. If there was anything Guybrush was good at, it was sword play. They moved around the boat fighting, the crowd of zombie pirates cheering at them. Some of them were cheering for Ozzie, some of them were cheering for their gallant and bloodthirsty captain. Most of them were cheering for Guybrush, he probably wouldn’t win, but there was a chance, and as long as they had a chance, there was hope. Guybrush tried his hand at some old insults in the hope that it might work.
‘At least I don’t smell like one!’ No one got this, including Guybrush, but he seemed content to go on.
All threw out insult after insult, all with more zealous insults than the last, but it was not helping our hero.
Guybrush stuck his sword right up, blocking another swing from Ozzie, and then pushed it around to LeGrande.
This was a little overwhelming. Guybrush suddenly found that he had no sword anymore. He despairingly watched it fly over the side of the ship as one of them had knocked it out of his hand. Guybrush felt helpless. He backed away from the advancing zombie pirates and tripped over a rope behind him. He fell onto his back and looked up as Ozzie and Largo protruded over him. This was it; he had lost the sword fight. This had happened before, but never had that meant the end of his life, okay, so maybe once or twice, but only on rare occasions and Guybrush could normally come out of it with the help of his quick thinking (or wife, whichever worked). But this time, Guybrush didn’t have either. The warmness of his already wet pants didn’t help. Ozzie and Largo raised their swords, ready to strike his heart as lightning struck behind them and thunder rolled across the sky, hearing Guybrush's cry, making them more intimidating and menacing then ever. Guybrush was surely done for. They brought down their swords. Guybrush closed his eyes.
He’d of like to have closed his ears too, but certain body restrictions prohibited him from doing that. He heard it all. Except it wasn’t what he expected, all it was… was a clang.
Guybrush looked up, Ozzie’s and Largo’s swords were pointed away from the direction of Guybrush and an extra sword had been included.
The phantom swordfighter was someone, assumed by all as a member of the crew, in a cloak that covered his body. No one could see his face; no one could see legs or arms. All that was seen were the hands that held the sword. They were clearly human and alive, or at least not rotting away. This person was not a member of the crew, a stowaway, if you were to call him that. His sword was somehow pointed at both Ozzie and Largo, more at Ozzie though.
‘Leave him alone,’ said the cloak in a faint English accent.
‘Who are you?’ inquired Ozzie.
‘I have no name and many names, no face, but many faces.’
‘Do you wanna make up your mind?’
The man pulled back his cloak to reveal… another cloak. Or what seemed like a cloak, only it was tighter and looked like the kind of mask an executioner would wear, were he meaning to execute Hitler. His sword still raised at the others, he leapt at them ready to fight.
They both tried to fight him, two on one, couldn’t be too hard, but this guy was using moves that would make an eight hundred year old, frog-like creature think twice.
Fighting with many skillful moves, the cloaked man managed to fight well enough to get Largo’s sword out of his way, so he could knock Largo out with the hilt of his sword. He then turned to Ozzie. Ozzie’s only chance, he knew, was an old insult in his native tongue.
‘You’re uglier than a Walla smidgen in a grease pan!’ shouted Ozzie with all of the enthusiasm of an Australian on Prozac.
‘At least my Sheila doesn’t look like your shnisnogger!’ Ozzie was taken aback by this. At first the other crewmembers were watching out of sheer fascination for really good swordsmanship, but now this guy knew the language of Australia, this was very much worth shouting about, at least after the initial silence had stopped. It seemed even the rain had stopped to listen and watch what happened next.
‘H-h-h-how did you know that?’ asked Ozzie. The cloak figure looked around at all of the astonished faces surrounding him, then he turned, the wind bringing his cloak up in a quixotic way (look that one up).
He grabbed Guybrush. ‘Hey, I really think you got the wrong guy here, no you don’t want me, no noooo!’ Guybrush screamed on the way down. He continued screaming even after they landed in the dinghy at the bottom as a reflex action.
Ozzie had ordered the rest of the crew to start firing all of the cannons at the tiny boat. They couldn’t understand this, but they weren’t about to argue with him, he seemed slightly annoyed. Also Largo was still out cold and frankly, they had to listen to someone, otherwise they’d just be zombies… no pun intended.