Chapter 3: Hook Line and Sinker
Two weeks past and there was still no sign of land, with every breath of wind that blew, each of the Mane Six was desperate to step onto solid land. While Twilight kept her mind on studying up on Jack Silver as possible, Rainbow Dash and Rarity paced along the deck with worry, as for Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie, they were tending to Applejack after what seemed to be the thirteenth time she's thrown up over the side of the ship.
"Ugh…are we there yet?" she said as her face turning a deeper shade of green. "I don't think I can take much more of this y’all."
"Agreed," Pinkie Pie added. "I'm starting to feel sick myself, taking care of barf-girl over here."
"We should be reaching Trottuga within the next day or so," Twilight explained as she looked through her books. "Hopefully Silver will still be there by the time we arrive."
"How do we tell which ship is Jack Silver's?" Rainbow Dash asked. "I mean, what does it look like?"
"Well the obvious thing the look for is a marking of skull and crossbones on its flag," Twilight answered. "Although another major thing about the Golden Alicorn is that it's supposed to have deep red sails, rumour has it that they look like that because captain Jack Silver used to paint them with the blood of his victims to set a warning to any other ship."
Hearing this, Fluttershy cringed with fear.
"Are…are you sure this is a good idea?" she said nervously.
"Hey don't worry Fluttershy," Pinkie Pie said with a reassuring smile on her face. "We'll be alright, and so will the Cutie Mark Crusaders."
"I certainly hope so," Rarity said. "Who knows what those filthy pirates are doing to my sister, or if she’s even…"
"Now don't think like that Sugarcube!" Applejack said, struggling to turn away from the side of the ship. "If there's one thing I know about my sister, it's that she's tougher than she looks and I know for a fact that yer sister is no different."
"But I still can't help worrying!" Rarity exclaimed. "For all we know those pirates have looked the girls up in the brig or tied them to the back of the ship oh Celestia knows what!”
"We’ll find them!" Twilight reassured her as she put down her book. "This I can promise you, we will find the Cutie Mark Crusaders and get the Elements of Harmony back. Nothing is going to stop us…"
Suddenly Twilight was interrupted by a hyperactive Spike running towards her from the Captain's quarters.
"Twilight!" he said as he gasped for air. "I…I just spoken to the Captain… he said that there's a storm coming in from the north."
At those words, Twilight's eyes widened with shock.
"A storm?" she said. "But there isn't supposed to be any…Oh no."
"What is it Twilight?" Fluttershy asked.
"Oh how can I be so stupid?" Twilight said as she began to pace. "Of all the things I could have prepared for, the weather wasn't one of them."
"What are talking about?" Rainbow Dash asked with a raised eyebrow.
"The weather out here isn't controlled by Pegasus like it is back home," Twilight explained. "It’s like the Everfree Forest, the weather out here is so unpredictable that we could be hit with a massive storm at any moment."
Hearing this every pony gasped.
"Are ya saying that a storm is coming and we have no idea when it could happen?" Applejack asked in fear as she pulled herself away from the side.
"And a big one by the way the Captain described it." Spike answered.
"We better head below deck girls," Twilight said with a serious look on her face. "If that storm's coming then we better make sure we're out of way when it does."
And sure enough it did, within the hour the White Pearl was being pelted with gigantic amounts of pouring rain with the added power of fierce winds that rocked the ship so much it was unbearable, especially for a sea-sick earth pony.
"I…I don't think I'm gonna make it y’all." She said as she tried to avoid spilling up over her friends.
"Please don't Applejack!" Rarity said as she moved a bucket towards her friend. "In the bucket! For Celestia's sake, in the bucket!"
But Applejack didn't even look at the bucket, instead she just kicked to the side and quickly made her way towards the door.
"Not gonna be big enough!" she said, covering her mouth. "I gotta go out on deck!"
With that she ran through the doors and headed out towards the side of the ship.
"I better go check on her," Rainbow Dash sighed as she made her way towards the door and followed Applejack out on deck.
Five minutes passed and neither one of them returned, at first everyone thought Applejack just needed some more time but it was only when they heard one of the crew members scream something that they realised something was wrong.
"MARE OVERBOARD!!!" they heard.
Swiftly responding to the scream, every pony ran out on deck only to find Rainbow Dash and a two of the crew members trying desperately to hang onto something that was hanging off the side of the ship.
"Hang on Applejack!" Rainbow Dash screamed as she gripped something in her teeth.
Realising what was going on everyone instantly reacted and ran towards Rainbow Dash, apparently the water was so choppy that the ship rocked so far, Applejack lost her footing on the wet wood of the deck and slid off over the edge, luckily Rainbow Dash was with her when it happened and was hanging onto a rope that was tied to the mast so that she wouldn't fall off. Now Applejack was hanging onto dear life as she struggled to pull herself up as Rainbow Dash and the crew members were hanging onto her tail. As Twilight used her magic to levitate Applejack back onto the ship, no pony was aware of what was coming next.
"Whoa, thanks guys," Applejack said as she tried to catch her breath. "For a second there, I thought I was a goner."
"You were just lucky Rainbow caught you when she did," Twilight said.
"Although it would seem that you lost your hat darling," Rarity said pointing her hoof at Applejack's soaking, hatless head.
"Hey easy come, easy go," Applejack said, still keeping her smile. "Now if y'all don't mind, I'd like to get back below deck before anything else happens."
But before they could even take one step the ship suddenly rocked again, luckily no pony went over the side this time, however the way the ship moved gave Twilight Sparkle a cause for concern.
"What the hay…?" she said as she tilted her head over the side to look ahead of the ship.
What she saw caused her to scream with fear, just a good few goods away from the ship was what looked like a deep, dark whirlpool and the ship was heading straight for it.
That was the word every crew member was screaming when they saw what was coming through the pouring rain.
"All hands on deck!" the Captain yelled as he took the helm. "This Captain isn't going down without a fight!"
The Mane six would have helped the crew if any of them knew how to do anything on a ship but since they couldn't all they could do was stand out of the way while the crew did their job. As the ship moved closer and closer towards the whirlpool, Twilight knew she had to do something, using all the magic she had in her, she tried her best to either turn the ship around or close up the whirlpool, however neither worked when she tried.
""That whirlpool must be enchanted somehow!" Twilight shouted to her friends. "Silver must have set up defences around Trottuga! I don't think I can break them!"
The Captain tried to steer the ship away from the swirling abyss but no matter how much he tried, the force of the water was pulling them further and further towards it. Finally the Captain had no choice but to give the word.
"Abandon Ship!" he screamed. "Every pony to the longboats! If we stay here we're done for!"
Not wanting to be on the ship when it reached the whirlpool, everybody didn't need to be told twice as they were literally clambering all over themselves to get to the longboats. As Twilight and her friends jumped into the nearest one they could find, all they could think about at that moment was escaping this watery fate. Suddenly something happened that nobody expected, before the longboat was even halfway down, something huge, unseen under the cover of the rain burst from the depths of the whirlpool and lunged at the side of the ship, causing the crewmember that was in the long boat with the mane six to fall out into the sea and the ropes that was holding the longboat to the ship to snap. As the boat plummeted into the water below, those who were lucky enough to stay in it were hanging onto dear life.
"What in tarnation was that!?!" Applejack yelled.
"That whirlpool must have a second enchantment!" Twilight shouted back. "Whatever Silver did to create that whirlpool, he must have wanted to make sure no pony survived!"
"What do we do!?!" Rarity screamed as she hung onto Spike as tight as she could.
"We have to stay on the boat!" Twilight continued. "I don't think flying is an option in these winds so we all have to row as far away from the whirlpool as we can!"
"No arguments here!" Fluttershy screamed as she cowered under the front of the boat.
"Grab an oar y'all!" Applejack instructed. "We have to get this boat moving now!"
Acting on Twilight and Applejack's instruction, each of the Mane Six grabbed one of the oars and began to row with all their might. As they pulled on the oars against the powerful water, every single one of their minds was focused on surviving. Suddenly Spike noticed something in the distance.
"Hey guys look!" he yelled.
Turning their heads towards the direction Spike was pointing, the Mane Six gasped as they were suddenly mortified at what they saw. While the boat the Mane Six were in was able to get further away from the whirlpool, the other longboats that went into the water were not so lucky as they were being pulled into it, one by one the Mane Six watched in horror as they heard the crew members scream and watched their longboats and eventually the White Pearl disappear into the swirling abyss.
"ROW!!!" Twilight screamed as she couldn't bear to look anymore, "For Celestia's sake row for your lives!!!"#
What a night, as the Mane Six slept in the drifting longboat they had escaped in, the memories of the previous night still rushed through their minds. As they rowed further away from the whirlpool, the rain poured over them in huge quantities, and the fact that the water was so choppy, Spike and Pinkie Pie had to empty out as much water as they could out of the boat before it overwhelmed them. Finally after all that, the water had finally calmed and the storm passed, now the Mane Six simply lied there in the longboat, exhausted and discouraged but none the less alive. As the thick fog surrounded them the following morning, none of the sleeping ponies were aware of what was happening right next to them, it was only until Pinkie Pie opened her eyes that someone finally spotted it.
"Guys!" she yelled in happiness as she suddenly stood up and began bouncing in the boat. "Guys wake up! It's a ship we're saved!"
As every pony sat up and rubbed their eyes, they turned their heads towards the side of the longboat and saw what Pinkie was talking about. Sure enough it was a ship, it may have been surround by so much fog but never the less everyone could make out the basic outline of a large ship, one that was close enough to spot them drifting right next to it.
"Ahoy down zere!" they heard some pony call from its deck.
The voice came from what sounded like and extremely posh mare, and by the shape of the outline that they could make out through the fog, a unicorn with what sounded like a foreign accent.
"Are you are all right?" she called.
"Only just!" Twilight called back. "Our ship was sucked into a whirlpool last night, I think we might be the only survivors!"
"Zen it is lucky zat we found you!" the unicorn answered. "As I understand it, zees waters are infested with pirates!"
"We know!" Rainbow Dash shouted as she hovered slightly above the longboat.
"Is it possible we can board your ship?" Rarity called out. "It's just that we need to make for the nearest land as soon as possible!"
At first there was silence, finally the unicorn spoke again.
"Of course you can board ze ship!" she said. "We were just about to make to ze nearest port to resupply anyway!"
At those words everyone in the longboats smiled, finally they were saved from the sea. However, as Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy pulled the longboat closer to the ship, Twilight couldn't help but have a strange feeling about this new vessel, when the boat was close enough to the ship it was only then she realised the horrible truth. There, right in front of their eyes was the very thing they were looking for during the last two weeks, with its deep red sails hanging from the mast and the mark of the skull and crossbones hoisted on its flag, the Mane Six had found the Golden Alicorn.
"It's the Pirates!" Twilight screamed.
Suddenly everyone heard another voice, only this one was a stallion and sounded much older.
"SEIZE THEM!!!" he yelled.
In a matter of moments, the longboat was surrounded by half a dozen Pegasus and couple of familiar faces.
"It's show time boys !" T-Cog said with a smile on his face and his hook raised above his head.
"I call dibs on the pink one!" Dripfang added.
"You'll have to go through me first!" Rainbow Dash snapped as she hovered between Dripfang and Pinkie Pie.
"Well, well, looks who's here Cog," Dripfang smirked. "It's that feisty mare who we met in Equestria. Ready for round 2 sweet-cheeks?"
"Bring it on!" Rainbow Dash screamed as she lunged at Dripfang with all her might.
All at once a fight between the pirates and the Mane Six ensued, while Rainbow Dash struggled with T-Cog and Dripfang the rest of the Mane Six and Spike tried to keep the rest of the Pegasus at bay. Twilight blasted each of them one at a time with beams of her magic, Applejack bucked them every time one of them got too close to the boat as for Pinkie Pie, she shot them down with her party canon, although it was completely baffling to both the Mane Six and the pirates as to where she got it from, even Fluttershy found a slight bit of courage when she saw the way the pirates were going at her friends.
"How dare you?" she snapped as one of them met her eye. "You raid our town! You attack my Friends! AND you kidnap Fillies! You should be ashamed of yourself!"
"Uh…guys!" the Pegasus said nervously. "This one's looking at me weird! It's starting to REALLY creep me out!"
And undoubtedly the Pegasus was right, as Fluttershy was giving him that famous 'Stare' of hers and the pirates was beginning to feel uneasy about it. Suddenly something hit Fluttershy in her hind quarters that caused her to break her vision and collapse, everyone turned their head and saw that it another sleep dart. They all looked up and saw T-Cog holding what looked like a built-in miniature crossbow in the wooden base of his hook, it was as though the entire thing was mechanised.
"Bull's-eye!" he laughed. "What a lovely Lass, shame I had to put a dart in your ass!"
But T-Cog's laughter was short lived as Rainbow Dash came zooming straight for him.
"Hey Peg-leg! Nobody shoots my friend and gets away with it!" she yelled as she swung a huge kick right between T-Cog's legs.
"OW! That smarts!" he squealed in a high pitched voice as he plummeted into the water.
After that Rainbow Dash turned her attention back towards Dripfang while everyone else in the longboat continued to keep the pirates at bay. However while this was going on, no pony was aware what was going on in the water, after T-Cog managed to resurface after plummeting from the sky he was now eyeing the side of the longboat.
"Alright mares," he growled under his breath. "You sink me, then ol' Betsy sinks you!"
Suddenly as though it were acting on T-Cog's very word, the hook once again shot out of its wooden base like and impaled itself into the side of the longboat, causing everyone it to scream. With one quick hank on the cable, T-Cog ripped out a large chuck of the side causing the longboat to sink into the water.
"Guys!" Rainbow Dash screamed as she threw Dripfang into the water. "Hold on!"
But Rainbow Dash could move even an inch towards her friends, she felt a sting in her side, she looked and saw that she had in fact been shot once again by one of T-Cog's sleep darts.
"Oh nnnnnooooo," she said drowsily, "Nnnnot Again."
And with that she fell into the water, unable to stay awake luckily, Twilight and Applejack managed to keep hold of Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy before they sunk. Bobbing in the water the Mane Six and Spike floated helplessly while the pirates surrounded them from the sky, it seemed hopeless.
"Well boys, it looks as though we're about to have some guests," Dripfang smirked. "Fish em out and bring them aboard!"#
When Rainbow Dash woke up from her forced period of sleep her vision was blurred, at first all she could make out was fuzzy shapes and hear faint noises, suddenly she heard a familiar sound.
"Rainbow, you awake?" Fluttershy’s voice said.
Rainbow Dash suddenly turned her head and all at once her vision cleared and she was met with a baffling sight, bound together in rope, she, Applejack, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy were tied to the mast of the ship while Rarity, Spike and Twilight were hanging in what looked like a large metal birdcage hanging from a small wooden crane. Almost every single pirate on deck surrounded the captive ponies, their eyes glistening with horrific pleasure.
"Look who finally decided to join the living," T-Cog smirked as he put his hook to Rainbow Dash's chin. "So sorry about that shot with the dart lass, but you did kick me in the knackers."
"And I'll gladly do it again!" Rainbow Dash snapped.
"What have y'all done with my sister you peg-legged freak!" Applejack added.
"Such anger in zis little one's heart," said an all too familiar voice. "Zey are most upset with us, no?"
Stepping out from the crowd of pirates came the one who the voice belonged to, sure enough it was the same Unicorn who lured the Mane six onto the ship in the first place, they all recognised the unique accent. Now that the fog had cleared and that they were face to face with her, the Mane six could now see the Unicorn in full detail, she was tall and slender like Princess Luna but unlike Luna she was dark purple, wore a deep green vest and had a gem heart cutie mark, but her most distinctive feature was her black mane and tail with a purplish white streak that made it resemble the markings of a skunk.
"Has ze Captain gave ze order yet?" she continued. "Shall we proceed?"
"Nay Gem," Shimmer said as she stepped out from the crowd. "I've just spoken to the Captain and he wants to handle these new ones personally."
At those words the Unicorn smiled.
"Tis such a delight to hear zis Shimmer," she said, turning her head towards the prisoners. "And rest assured, Gem La Stone shall be sure to have a front row seat."
Hearing this Spike and the Mane Six couldn't help but shiver in fear, what has Jack Silver planned for them?
"We have to get out of here," Rarity whispered to Twilight. "I have to find Sweetie Belle, can't you break us out?"
"I can't, I already tried," Twilight whispered back. "The cage is enchanted with some powerful spell, I can't even bend the bars."
"Another spell?" Spike moaned. "How many can this guy cast!?!"
However that question was the last thing on Twilight's mind, especially now since Shimmer had made her way up to the upper deck and began to speak to the pirates.
"Ponies and Gentle-dogs!" she called out. "As First Mate I am proud to say that it is a pleasure to work with all of you, especially now that we have our latest catch!"
She then gestured towards the prisoners and every pony and Diamond Dog roared with laughter, only to be silenced when Shimmer raised her hoof.
"But let us not forget who we should be cheering for!" Shimmer continued. "For if it weren't for him, we would not all be here today WITH our latest catch! My friends, I give you… Captain… Jack… Silver!!!"
As the crew cheered and chanted his name, Jack Silver himself then stepped out from his cabin and walked out onto the deck, he stood there for a moment praising his loyal shipmates. Suddenly he raised his hoof and silenced them.
"You are too kind my friends!" he called out. "And thank you Shimmer for that marvelous introduction!"
"It is always my pleasure father," Shimmer said with a smile.
"FATHER!?!" Spike squealed.
Unfortunately everyone heard Spike's squeal and was now staring at him, even the Mane Six looked at him with a raised eyebrow.
"Ah, I had almost forgotten you lot were here," Jack Silver smirked as he made his way to the lower deck towards the prisoners. "Well what do we have here? Two earth ponies, two Pegasus, a Unicorns, a baby dragon, and an Alicorn, my this is quite a haul isn't it lads? But do my eyes deceive me? No they do not, it's the very same Alicorn who tried to stop me from stealing the Elements of Harmony back in Canterlot! My friends, we are in the presence of royalty!"
As the crew mockingly bowed towards the cage, Twilight coulnd’t help but express her anger.
"And I wish I did stop you Silver!" she snapped. "Those relics are too powerful for you to even understand!"
"Where is my sister you monster!" Rarity added.
"This lot certainly have a temper don't they?" Jack chuckled. "Well, we can't have a decent conversation like this can we? So, let me be the bigger pony and be the first to extent a hoof of friendship."
Jack Silver then thrust his hoof towards Applejack, who only spat at it.
"I rather shake hooves with a viper!" she snapped.
"What do you want Silver?" Twilight asked angrily as Jack wiped his hoof against the sleeve of his coat. "What possible use could the Elements of Harmony be to you?"
At those words Jack Silver's smile widened.
"But of course I shall be happy to tell you what I have mind," he smirked. "But first… I'll bet some of you are feeling lost, scared, possibly confused, so allow me to explain… help me out boys!"
All of a sudden some of the pirates began to play numerous instruments and the whole ship filled with jolly music.
"Ooh!" Big Rummy giggled. "Captain's gonna sing a shanty!"
And sure enough, Jack did indeed begin to sing…
"Here you are on a boat, you're adrift, you're afloat, one might even say you're stuck.
Well, I don't wanna gloat but I would like to note that you're in luck,
You've been saved by the one that rules this ocean, so forget all about your devotions,
First Mate, introduce me to them PLEEEEASE!!"
"Aye-Aye, Captain Jack!" Shimmer said as she and the rest of the crew began to sing with their Captain.
Shimmer: "He's the big and scary,"
Dripang: "Elegant and hairy,"
Slash: "Feared, inspiring,"
Gem La Stone: "Looting, stealing,"
Big Rummy: "Oh so appealing"
All: "Undisputed master of the SEEEAS!!!"
"Oh, geez," Spike Squealed
Jack Silver: "That's me!"
All: "Tis he!"
Jack Silver: "That's me!"
All: "Tis he!"
Jack Silver: "That's me!"
All: "Tis he!"
Jack Silver: "Ok, ok...
I'm a valiant pirate pioneer and these are my brave buccaneers
All of whom were once lost souls like you"
All: "It's true!"
Dripfang: "He rescued us!"
Slash: "He had our backs!"
Gem La Stone: "For zat we owe our lives to Jack,
And assuming he doesn't kill you..."
All: You will owe him too!
Suddenly Jack raised his hoof in shock and silenced the music. "Kill them?" he chuckled. "Me? No...No....well at least not the ones who are willing to co-operate… anyway…" Suddenly music started up again.
Jack Silver: "Here we are on a ship, moving at quite a clip
through the ever-shifting ice."
Gem La Stone: "Come along on ze trip,"
Big Rummy: "That's a hint!"
Slash: "That's a tip!"
T-Cog: "That's good advice!"
Jack Silver and Shimmer: "In a world that's going under, to survive you must learn to plunder,"
Jack Silver: "Luckily, that's my field of expertise..."
Shimmer: "He's the best!"
While the song irritated every one of the Mane Six the tune was so catchy, some of them found themselves singing along to the tune.
Big Rummy and Slash: "He's a robbing, thieving,"
Twilight: "We really should be leaving,"
Applejack: "We gotta get going,"
Pinkie Pie: "Really wish we could be staying,"
All: "Undisputed, uncontested, monkey-suited,"
Jack Silver: "Yeah, you guessed it!"
All: "Master of …the…SEEEAS!!"
“Oh Please” Twilight moaned.
Jack Silver: "That's me!"
All: "Tis he!"
Jack Silver: "That's me!"
All: "Tis he!"
Jack Silver: "It’s who?"
All: "It’s you!"
Jack Silver: "Just testing I knew,
Finally the music stopped and the Shanty was over, leaving the Mane Six slightly baffled.
"So what do you say my dears?" Jack Silver said as he straightened his hat. "We could use some tough ponies like you on board ship."
"You want us to JOIN you!?!" Rainbow Dash snapped. "Who do you think we are?"
"As much as we'd like to join a psychopath, an albino and a fat tub of goo, I'm afraid we're going to have to decline." Rarity said.
But at those words, a clear sound of gasping came from the crowd of pirates especially from Big Rummy and T-Cog.
"W…what did she call me?" Big Rummy said with his lip quivering.
"Hey, pay no attention to her buddy," Slash said as he sat on his friend's head and glared at Rarity with an angry look in his only eye.
"I can't help being albino!" T-Cog snapped. "It's a medical condition."
But the angriest look of all came from the Captain, who was now showing clear signs of a temper lost.
"Oh big mistake little girl," he growled as he used his magic to lower the cage to ground level. "You may attack me or my crew with brute force because that I can tolerate, they can easily shake that off but insult them…that is way too low for my liking. Bring them to my cabin!!!"
And upon the Captain's word a small group of Unicorns and Diamond Dogs began to untie the ropes and unlock the cage, once they carried the Mane Six and Spike out of their bonds they followed Captain Jack to his cabin. As they entered the darkness of the room where Captain Silver worked and slept they were met with nothing but pitch black with only but the light of the doorway illuminating them.
"Wait outside," Jack said as he walked into the darkness. "I shall have no need for assistance."
Following Jack Silver's command the pirates dropped the prisoners onto the hard wooden floor and left the cabin, shutting the door behind them and putting every pony in total darkness.
"Now then…" Jack voice spoke through the blackness. "What am I going to do with you?"