To my humble readers,
Before you read further I must sincerely apologize for being unable to paint a better image of the now deceased Captain Augustus Baudelaire, who has secured a place deep in the bosom of my soul. Nevertheless, his tale must be told and his reputation must be salvaged. If not me, the one whom he departed his secrets to, then who will stand for him? It has been forty-three years since his passing, and yet he has never once disappeared from my mind’s eye as any less of the person who became my lifelong friend. Forty-three years since I last wished him happy returns on his twenty-sixth birthday. Forty-three years since the Spanish empire slaughtered him for his bastard existence. When they murdered him, they took away his soul, and with it my will to pursue any semblance of companionship.
My aging years drowned in an empty void of silence, never to see the sky in any colour but a mesh of grey even on the warmest of days. The man who frightened the heaviest of men in the world without batting an eye, and practiced gentility and honour despite never receiving any in return, would never experience the domestic bliss of growing old beside his lover. Even as I write this, my heart aches to hear his voice again. To hear him call the sea his home and defy the heavens in one command. To feel his feet, quick and nimble as lightning when it strikes the tide, tip and twirl in a dance. Were he immortal, he would have brought down kingdoms with just a flash of a smile. But the world could not stand a man of his caliber and wished to sully his name by revealing his birth identity as a woman. As if being a woman disguised as a man was even more of a heinous crime than the criminal acts done themselves.
So against my publisher’s wishes, this novel will be published under my true name, Lady Penelope Fernandez instead of my pen name Phillip Blanco, which has been as much a part of my identity as the ones who sympathized with my writings. I will no longer hide myself behind a false name for the sake of my reputation. I have wasted time desperately living up to standards of the aristocratic lifestyle, never to reveal my honest thoughts as myself, and kept my head below the ground like a frightened mouse in hiding of predators and their sharp fangs. The great pirate from beyond the grave would be disappointed to know how cowardly I’ve acted in this time while watching from the pits of hell.
In another universe, in another lifetime, I would like to imagine that we might have been good friends if society let us be. A society where men and women could be free to roam wherever they’d like without a care for money, sex, or war to satisfy themselves. Where right and wrong were straightforward and not defined by a king’s whimsical desires and ambitions. But enough wistful thinking, there is nothing I can do now except tell the story of his adventures in the hopes that someday, someone may recognize him as the esteemed pirate that he became when he left his home. After all, I owe him that much.