Art | Fiction | Music | Animations | Scripts | Comics | Games | Sheet music
Rebellion: The Last Rebel
Add review | Fan fiction index
Chapter 5: Awakening truth
The clouds loomed darkly over the El Salvador as it docked just outside Woodtick on Scabb.
Inside the ship, in his cabin, with a mind as dark as the weather, sat a brooding Angus. He had spent most of his time in his cabin. Captain Arana had tried to keep him company and invite him to accompany him at dinners the first days, but he eventually gave up due to Angus’ horrible mood.
A horrible anger, more intense than anything he had experienced before had raged in him day and night. Every hour from they had left the Phatt island dock, Angus had gone over his experience with the rebels of the VoodooLady, thinking of the old rebellion, and looking at its members with new eyes. Rum and Lindy were clear enough for him now, they were already dead and had clearly betrayed him and worked against him. Now Rapp and Marley’s deceit came clearer and clearer to him also, and he knew that he could not forgive any of them for the faults they had done.
His thoughts had raged around the subject for days, becoming more speculating and horrifying for every hour. He had focused entirely on his next victim now, only focusing on the chef and his abandoning of him. At the end, his theories about Rap’s evils could easily combat his nightmarish dreams from the dreamland. And it brewed ever darker, ever more hateful. His hate towards him had become as desperate as his fear of failure for the mission.
The clouds spread a bit. Just enough for the sun to get a quick glance at the island below, before it once again hid itself in the dense clouds, as if expecting the troubles ahead.
Angus got up, and walked out of his cabin in a cold wind telling its tale about coming storms.
The working crew glanced uneasily at each other and tried to get out of Angus’ way, there was a presence over him too dark for them to try anything on him today. This was even more apparent when Bill Coaty, a young shipmate at the tender age of sixteen, managed to drop a coil of rope before Angus’ feet. Angus’ hollow eyes fixed themselves at the rope and the young man picking it up insecurely and scrambling to safety behind the mast, they seemed to brew hate. He stood silent for a moment as if to breathe in the incident, before he seemed to sink into himself while he marched towards the captain.
Moments later a rowboat left the El Salvador. Its occupants were grimly rowing it to Woodtick, everyone seemed to avoid any sight of the man standing on the prow looking at the town of the ghost ships.
It took another half an hour before the door to the kitchen of The Happy Sausage was kicked in. The chef, quite surprised by the racket, managed to drop his whole jar of cinnamon sticks into his cooking pot.
“Rats!” He exclaimed as he futilely tried to recover some of the sticks. “You don’t know how much that costs…”
The chef changed his angered face into a mask of shock and bewilderment as he had turned and noticed Angus, brooding in the doorway.
“What, why… How?” Rapp Scallion was trembling nervously over his pots, and had trouble getting the words out. Somehow the more he focused on the intruder, the more difficulties did he get.
Angus gave the chef a devilish smile as a reply to the incomplete questions.
“What are you making my dear Rapp?” Angus then asked deviously, as he walked nonchalantly towards him, knocking down spices and ingredients along the way.
Rapp was too shocked to answer. His eyes were wide open and he stood dead still, as if the devil himself had come to visit him.
Angus had come right next to him now. He looked over his shoulder.
“Ah!” He sighed with faked pleasantry. “Our old favourite dish The Monkey Irresistible isn’t it? And whom might it be for this time?”
Rapp only swallowed and looked shocked at Angus.
Angus waited patiently, but when he understood that Rapp was still too shocked to answer, he changed to a more personal tune.
“Now come on then!” Angus started slapping him on the face with the flat side of his cutlass. “And while you’re at it, be as nice and to tell me where that map-piece of yours might be.”
Rapp swallowed again. “Well…”
“Come on then!” Angus began to slap him harder, trying to force him to talk.
“I lost the map.” Rapp tensed, and then when nothing happened he quickly added “So I have been sending her sausages filled with ‘irresistible’ every Friday.”
“Lost the map?” Angus asked teasingly, playing with his sword against the concerned chef.
“Perhaps Lindy got it?” Rapp looked upon Angus with a desperate scared face.
“Why do you say that? To make me go after him instead?” Angus now knew what kind of man Rapp was, the question was unnecessary.
“Angus you know me…” Rapp pleaded. “I would never lie to you.”
Angus went behind him and tapped him lightly on the shoulder.
“Take it easy. Let’s talk about other things than such for the moment.” He steadied his cutlass in his other hand. “For example; why you even bother making these sausages you talk about.”
“Well…” Rapp didn’t like the direction the conversation had taken. In general he didn’t like the conversation at all.
“The thing is Rapp…” Angus said, not caring whether Rapp would have gone further in his explanation or not. “You stole the recipe from her right? Took it from her table. From the VoodooLady! Wouldn’t the thought of copies occur to you? Perhaps she even planted a copy on the table for you to have?”
Rapp backed away when hearing this. The truth in this hit him like a fist in his face.
“The thought of her GIVING it to you also flashed to my mind you know. It was soon disregarded of course. An honour-full man as yourself would never, of course, sink to the level of spying and treason.” Angus patted Rapp on the shoulder in a friendly manner. He could sense the muscles on the chef tightening. “No. I am glad you are a man of your words. A man to be trusted, Rapp. A man that would at once tell Marley about his faulty speculations about my relationship with that war galleon we encountered…”
Rapp turned his head, worried, to see what Angus meant by this.
This was the moment Angus had waited for. He put his left hand on the chef’s head and could feel the guilt of betrayal seeping into his palm. It only fuelled his hate and disgust towards the man in front of him. He tightened his grip on the Rapp’s head, and cut a quick stroke with his cutlass over the man’s throat, slashing it open. The blood splashed out as he took the entire head with both hands, feeling the pulsating energies of the chef’s last life struggles, and wrenched it with a bone breaking crunch towards his own face.
“Traitor.” Angus smiled at him. He then let go of him, and Rapp fell towards the now blood-drenched floor.
Angus looked around the kitchen and his eyes fell on Rapp’s cookbook. He went over to it and looked in it. Then he looked into the pot and the ingredients that lay out on the table. He picked up a jar with some white substance in it, and tasted it.
“Ha!” He laughed at Rapp’s body. “You didn’t even have the right ingredients. This is wheat flour not crushed skull.” He threw the jar at Rapp.
“But don’t worry dear treasonable chef; I will help you fix that problem.” Angus stepped on Rapp’s head, trying to squash it. He then angered over his lack of result started kicking it with all his might. And at last he heard the crack he was waiting for.
“And now,” He bent down to Rapp’s broken face, “let’s get you into that pot.” He then took forth his cutlass again and carefully severed Rapp’s head from his body. He wanted a nice cut for the pot.
When he was done, he took up the head and tossed it into the pot. He then smelled on the fumes. He smiled, and was satisfied with the result. The only thing he felt the pot needed now was some fibre. He went towards the cookbook and ripped of the recipe. He was just about to throw the remaining book into the pot, when he noticed a drawing on the backside of a page. It was crude, but he saw immediately what it was supposed to portray; his granduncle and the torture cellar of the McDow Caste. Angus froze. Only focusing on the picture.
Thousands of different thoughts ravaged in his head. Had this any meaning? What had they seen? Did they know everything already? Why did they play this map-game with him? His mind flew back and forth between different thoughts; thoughts fought wars to gain the upper hand to realisation.
A blop in a pot made Angus stop his thinking and come back to reality again. His anger had seemed to fade with the picture, and he tried to collect it again, but it wasn’t that successful.
He looked down at Rapp, put on an angry frown and tried to focus on his treason. He then tried to kick the remaining body of the chef, but his mind was filled with doubt, so his foot merely touched Rapp.
Angus had to get out of the kitchen soon after. He couldn’t stand being in there anymore. Among his former anger which he now tried to restate, he sensed a strange sickening feeling.
He just had to get away.
Angus sat in his cabin, staring at a closed book in front of him. It was the “cookbook” that he had found in Rapp’s cabin, and it now haunted his thoughts. He knew that it had to contain more than mere recipes for sausages. That picture of the McDow cellar had to mean something, but what?
He fixed his eyes on the dog eared cover, and he sensed his curiosity tinker in his fingertips, but his impatient fingers where soon swayed by his stronger, slower, brain of reasoning, which reminded him about the picture and the following sickness that had befallen him in Rapp’s kitchen. His curiosity about the unknown battled his fears for what might happen to him if he opened the book. He wondered what Rapp might have written about him, but at the same time, he feared that reading the book would make looking back at his killing even more nauseating.
Angus had spent the night fighting over the cause in his mind.
First, in the early hours of morning, when he was just about to throw the book out of the window, a new thought came to his mind. A suspicion that must have grown in his subconscious since the beginning, but hadn’t come forth to his speculating mind before the sun started to shine through the barred windows of the cabin; what if the book contained more information about the VoodooLady, and the map pieces? The cookbook could be a traitor’s diary giving away valuable information about the VoodooLady’s plans and actions.
He would surely be foolish to throw away a book that might contain critical information about his main enemy. And it would also be foolish not to read this information, so that he might anticipate any traps or treasons towards him when he now was near to fulfilling his mission.
He looked doubtfully at the leather cover of the book, sighted and decidedly opened it.
Angus quickly skipped through Rapp’s childhood experiences and his boyhood dreams of the sea at the Plymouth docks. The book was written in an autobiographical method that didn’t fall to his taste, so he also quickly went through his dramatic climb in the naval life. Only after his arrival in the Caribbean, at his sausage-poisonings did Angus stop and compare the story he had heard onboard the Grog Villains Beauty with the diary in front of him. It was pretty much the same, though the deeds were described even more respectable and heroic this time. Angus started to wonder why that story was supposed to be so heroic in the first place.
It was clear that Rapp had planned this to be his autobiography which finished in happiness when he attained his noble title at Eleuthera right after his mass poisonings. His high hopes seemed to get the better of him however, since he had decided to take his book with him on further travels, in case of further adventures that could make him more famous and respectable.
The later parts of the book continued, with more details than his earlier narrative, though he still kept his bolstering autographical style. The journal took on a whole different tone after he entered the Crooked Island Passage however. Now the true Rapp finally revealed itself in a diary-like style, a man first puzzled, but constantly more nervous about the strange weathers, trying to calm his mind by drinking watered down pumpkin-spirits (the strong stuff he had gotten some months before in Puerto Calabaza); a sad traveller that had thought too highly of himself before venturing on a new trek. Angus didn’t know what to feel about him, it was something between pity and disgust.
Now the story started to get interesting, and Angus had all forgotten the reasons for opening the book, and the earlier fight for that decision.
The following entries made Angus travel back to his own meetings with the storm-gate. He actually felt many of the entries on his body. The uneasiness of the engulfing fog. The wonder of the music in the depths. The grand horrid storm gate with human skulls adorning its frame.
The most gripping entry however, had to be the feverish scribblings after his visit with the VoodooLady. An entry which revealed a petrified man, who described the VoodooLady as the devil himself incarnated in a stout black woman. The VoodooLady was such a terrible woman that she “made the whole room tremble with fear, making it hard to see things properly”.
Rapp must have been terribly anxious, and was apparently rambling madly whenever the VoodooLady asked him something. The VoodooLady seemed to take delight in his fear, and had so brought out his private case of spirits, and started drinking with him. Through pure luck he was given the watered down bottles, while she drank the concentrated stuff. The concentrated stuff was more than any normal human being could manage, so the VoodooLady fell asleep after two bottles. Rapp then escaped, while stealing some small things he thought he could sell for a nickel or something, later.
Then Rapp’s story continued with Marley, and he blamed him for destroying their good will of the VoodooLady (after the Booty incident), though he stated that his testing with the VoodooLady’s mind-breaking powder didn’t help their cause much in the crises that they already were in.
Angus got especially interested when he neared the ending, and when he saw himself coming into Rapp’s story. It seemed like Rapp hadn’t trusted Angus at the start, and he had a feeling that Angus just wanted to split up the group through Lindy. The War Galleon incident seemed to have convinced him otherwise however, after that incident he stated that Angus was the only one he would trust with his life in the future. It had therefore been even more heartbreaking for him, he stated, when the other men in the group thought that Angus had betrayed them all. Rapp feared that he had drowned, but hoped he had managed to get away. He feared talking to the others about this, since they had been in such a hateful mood towards Angus.
Understanding came to Angus as he read this, and the sickening feeling seemed to return.
Further on he read about the quest for the treasure, which Rapp seemed to be as expectant over as Angus had been.
Finally he came to the part where they found the clearing with the altar.
The altar had been open, and inside they had seen a nightmare that, claimed Rapp, had torched a horrible memory in his mind forever. They had seen straight into the torture chambers of the McDow castle. Everyone had been horrified.
They later, after catching their breaths and coming over the first shock, talked about what they had seen. They concluded, too quickly for Rapps taste, that the place had to be a trap that an old sorceress used to trick hapless sailors into, so that he could use them with his morbid sadistic experiments.
They had gone back to their camp with sunken hearts. And Rapp had slept uneasily. It was the next morning that the decision about the maps had been made. Lindy had gotten the idea, and Marley and Rum seemed to like it so Rapp also had to agree. Lindy meant that they could trick the VoodooLady into the altar, and in that way the sorcerer would take “care” of her. If a mighty sorcerer couldn’t kill her then their rebellion would be fruitless anyway.
They decided that they should divide the map among themselves, and guard it seemingly with their lives. This way the VoodooLady would believe that the map pieces were more important and worthy than they really were. And so they divided the maps, and surprisingly short after, found some inhabitants on the island that would help them sail back to the triisland area.
The rest of the diary was about their return and their separation after they had gotten to Mêlée. The only thing of significance there was a continuing self loathing from Rapp for leaving Angus in the torture-cellar, and an oath that he would return and see if anything could be done when he had fulfilled his role for the rebels.
Angus closed the book with a dash.
He looked at the back cover with big eyes. He now saw everything clearly. It was as if he had been sleeping for ages, and someone had finally awoken him. He saw the nightmare that lay behind him. A nightmare ten thousand times worse than those he had experienced in the creation-world combined. This time everything that had happened to him was true; every single bit. In the reddish blur of his hateful past, he now saw the horrid acts that he had done. And the sickness that he had felt in Rapp’s kitchen grew and grew.
He had been fooled by his suspicions, and he had killed his victims with not even a trace of honour; the essence of being a worthy man in this world. Without his honour, a man is nothing!
How could he have changed so much from the things that he once believed in? Angus envisioned his granduncle in his mind, and he wondered why he had defied his teachings so. His uncle had taught him about honour; that was sure. And not only the common honour thought in every family, but the rare truthful honour that had made the McDow one of the most respected clans in Scotland; the honour that had made them respected among both highlanders and the lowlanders. An honour based upon respect of others, and acts based on higher reason.
Had the McDow honour died with his granduncle? Sadly enough, Angus saw that it had done so. His position as the last surviving McDow had filled him with untargeted hate instead of resolve, and he had left; no, fled the castle in despair.
He had wanted to make money to get rich and make the McDow name of pride again. He had gone to the New World in hopes of making quick money and career as a stinking privateer, or even pirate if everything else failed. He had stolen the livelihood of a poor merchant along the way. He had succeeded by robbing others. And this had been what he wanted! He had ruined the McDow reputation, and ruined the lives of many an honourable man in his “adventures”.
He had wanted to make money to get rich and make the McDow name of pride again. But he had forgotten what being a McDow really meant.
His goals for the McDow clan had made him blind to his degrading methods to reach those goals, and this had continued when he had entered the triisland area. Though the goals changed, the methods didn’t, perhaps only to the poorer.
After the nightmares of the dream world, things even seemed to have gotten worse. As if his suppressed anger, his hate towards everyone for the decline of the clan, had snapped the last strings of honour keeping him “sane”. After that, when he later returned to the triisland area, nothing except Xyzta and Jim mattered anymore. He would do anything to reach his goals, even turning against what he once believed in.
Angus now saw that he had destroyed the rebellion he should have sought to rescue. He had tried to keep his Xyzta and Jim from the VoodooLady’s focus, but now he had made a possible confrontation between them all the more real and possible. The Rebels had to be alive if he wanted to avoid any direct conflict between the VoodooLady and Xyzta. But what had Angus done? He had killed off three of the rebels already, all in a cowardly way filled with a mindless rage.
Angus felt sick, though he knew what he had to do from now on, how he could redeem himself. He had to save what was still possible to save. He had to return to the old McDow values and its sense of honour, for the future of the triisland area, for the sake of the continuing McDow clan, and for Xyzta.