Chapter 13: John the Fisherman
“I guess we need a new crew too.” Ryssa paced quietly behind Khvarikx.
“Yupp.” He rose to his feet and shed his blood-drenched captain’s coat like a snake shedding its skin after murdering all of the forest creatures with an empty scotch bottle.
“How is that bottle not broken?”
“I have no idea.” He flipped it up and whipped it at the mast, making a soft thump as it bounced off the body of the first mate before gently falling to the deck and shattering violently. The somehow-still-breathing man moaned faintly in acceptance of his horrible unrelenting merciless pain.
“Since we don’t need to save the crew, let’s crash the ship into some other loser’s ride when we get to port!” Ryssa suggested despite the weak protest of the human decoration.
“After we light it on fire!”
“Should we save anything when we bail?”
“What all do we have?”
“We have a lot of tea in the cargo hold! What should we do with all of it? Do you think it’s pretty flammable or possibly hopefully explosive?”
“I don’t know. Just throw it overboard. What else do you do with tea?”
Thirteen Years Later
*Disclaimer* The views against the Catholic church expressed by the characters in this story do not reflect the views of the author.
“Shipwrecking on a desert island sucked, but now we can finally get this show on the road!” said Khvarikx, kicking the pope’s head across the empty church in a low arc.
“I can’t believe this douche-tool tried to have us killed for dumping his tea overboard!” added Ryssa, catching the head with her foot and flicking it into the air.
“This hat is really dorky, but I kind of want to paint a pentagram on it with the pope’s blood and see how many people lose their minds,” remarked Khvarikx as he studied the pope’s hat.
“Then you should find a goat and tie it to the goat’s head,” suggested Ryssa, executing a flawless scorpion kick, intercepting the decapitated head’s descent and sending it hurtling back to Khvarikx.
“It can be our mascot! The Catholic church has persecuted a lot of sailors of pagan heritage; they would certainly stand with us if we told them we’re on a mission to eradicate Catholicism,” pondered Khvarikx as he swept his leg and planted it, launching himself into a ridiculous spinning kick, spiking it back towards Ryssa.
“55!” she exclaimed gleefully, delivering a brutalicious flying Muay Thai knee to the head, splattering it like a boiling hot water balloon hitting a porcupine in December.
“That’s our new record, let’s go!” Khvarikx finished the large golden cup of wine and threw it into his bag with the rest of their loot and tossed the bag to Ryssa. He dipped his pointer finger into the open chest wound of the pope’s body and began to quickly sketch a pentagram onto the hat.
Suddenly, the doors slammed shut and a hooded figure with some light armor and a purple hooded cape landed in between the two pirates. The figure drew a pair of short daggers, spun them around in a fancy, show-off way, and whipped them at Khvarikx. Khvarikx instinctively blocked them with the hat and groaned in dismay as he realized his mistake.
“I am the real pope! Prepare to die, bitches!” announced the hooded figure, drawing a double-bladed sword.
“Dammit! Now this hat isn’t nearly as sacrilegious! Ryssa! We can’t do the goat idea anymore. On the bright side, I just found the perfect cape!”
“I will smite thee down in the name of god, you heathens!” declared the pope, charging at Khvarikx with alarming speed.
“Bring it, you old fart!” Khvarikx took off his boot and chucked it at the pope, knocking him off his feet.
“Ha!” The pope recovered quickly and rose to his feet. “Now I have the advantage! Your balance is skewered now that you only have one--” the pope was interupted by the second boot clocking him squarely on the jaw.
“Damn! I don’t have a pun for this! I feel like there’s a really good one for it too,” Khvarikx murmured, searching his brain.
“It’s a boot time you stop talking!” Ryssa offered.
“Oh nice!” Khvarikx grinned.
“God can’t save you from my sole!” she tried again for a sequel but fell flat, made apparent by Khvarikx shaking his head in disappointment.
“I thought it was clever!” prodded the pope.
“You’re a jackass... and I want that cape!” Khvarikx tackled the pope, crashing through several rows of church pews.
“It’s a cloak, imbecile!” countered the pope, as he recovered and flipped Khvarikx off, sending him through a stained glass window.
“No one asked you, troglodyte! It’s clearly a cape!” said the pirate admiral, punching through a different window as he climbed back into the church.
“I had it custom made! I told my tailor to make me a cloak!” said the pope, hopping up and down, amping himself up for their next bout.
“Your tailor is a numbskull too!” Khvarikx drew his sword, and admired his reflection in the fine steel of the blade. It suddenly reminded him of his old sword Atialysis and he stopped in a brief moment of pained shock.
“I love my tailor!” growled the pope, defending his manservant’s honor.
“I love the smell of rainbows!” Ryssa chimed in, drawing her flintlock pistol and firing at the pope, missing horribly.
“You’re an idiot too!” laughed the pope mockingly.
“It was a diversion!” Ryssa pointed at Khvarikx as she tossed her empty weapon aside.
“Dammit, Morgan!” Khvarikx grunted as the pope turned, noticed the incoming attack, and clotheslined the pirate to the floor with a solid thud.
“Okay, new plan! HASHTAG LASERAXE!” Ryssa drew a small metal handle and popped a latch, extending it into a staff. She pressed a button, creating a laser axe head.
“My holy double-blade shall overcome your sorcery, witch! We’ll burn your body at the stake and drown you in a lake after I slice off your head!” exclaimed the pope in a judgemental announcement of condemnation.
“Wow. I thought that would never end,” said Ryssa, studying her pocket watch.
“How long did it take?” asked Khvarikx.
“Three hours!” She clicked the watch shut and returned it to her pocket.
“If the anyone asks, we had to fight thirty ninja nuns with crucifix crossbows,” he grumbled, pulling a large splinter of a bench out of his shoulder.
“Ha! Cross crossbows!”
“Ow!” Khvarikx felt a sharp pain in his leg. He looked down and pulled out a crucifix-shaped dart out of his thigh. “Are you serious?”
“We will avenge our master!” A nun screamed manically, as she advanced from the shadows reloading her cross-shooting, cross crossbow, followed by her comrades.
“Let’s make this quick; you still have to give speeches to our new crews before we start wreaking havoc across the seas.”
“You promised them speeches? This is why we’re not friends.”
“What do you think of John the Fisherman and Jack the Reaper? Do you think we can trust them with the ships I designed? I don’t know if they’ll be able to handle the futuristic weapons. I’m not even entirely sure I built them all right. It was mostly guesswork from memory of my occasional travels to the future after the Qu’eele-Canadian war ended in 2378. Not to mention, I sure hope they don’t steal the ships from us!” Ryssa drew a flintlock and fired it into the crowd.
“It’ll be fine. I have complete trust in them! They seemed like respectable gentlemen and they both said it was their dream to work for me!” Khvarikx sliced through a nun and snatched her crossbow.
“About that... no one else had even heard of us.” Ryssa drew another flintlock and sent a nun’s brains splattering across the rest of her friends.
“I know! That’s exactly the reason why they got to be the other two--OWW! FRICKIN PLATYPUS EGGS!--captains!” Khvarikx angrily pulled a fresh cross dart out his arm and crammed it through a nun’s neck.
“Fine! You’re right!” Ryssa dropped both pistols and drew another pair, fired them, threw them away, drew two more, fired them, and then tossed them both aside.
“How?” Khvarikx stared at her in admiration and confusion as he blindly fired his stolen crossbow at the hysterical nun who was trying to pull the projectile from her neck.
“My thoughts exactly! Trusting them is a horrible idea!” She pulled open her coat and browsed through her selection of flintlocks. “That’s saying something! I’m supposed to be the irrational one. Time-travel really unscrews your mind!”
“No, I know I’m right about that! I meant, how do you carry that many flintlocks? Also, Why? You built laser weapons!”
Khvarikx retrieved the dart from the dead nun’s throat.
“We’re pirates, dude! This is the best part of being pirates!” To illustrate her point, she rapidly drew, fired, and disposed of every single firearm on her person, missing nearly every shot, but looking extremely cool in the process.
Khvarikx took a deep breath, nodded to Ryssa, and opened the cabin doors of his brand new pirate ship. He strode out onto the deck, radiating confidence and charisma. As he moved out into the open, the wind caught his silky, majestic cloak cape and pulled at it gently. The steel hulls of the two adjacent ships reflected the blaze of the setting sun like stars on the water and casted an eerie glow on the admiral as he walked to the railing overlooking the crew. His fresh new suit of armor shared a similar gleam of pink and yellow starlight. His blue eye glowed as the dying light of the summer day pierced the iris and highlighted his contracted pupils. The breeze picked up and pulled the large, feathered pirate hat off his head and cast it into the ocean. He didn’t even flinch, let alone try to catch it and save it from a watery grave. He was too badass to be bothered by such a trivial matter. After all, he had a purple cape.
“Welcome to my flagship, the Lazy Orca! Let me tell you the absolute truth. You are the most important crew. The other two ships, the Sea Panda and the Killer Whale, are pretty much shark bait. Don’t worry, I made it clear to them that they are completely expendable. My exact words were, ‘If you were sinking and I merely had to wink at you twice and click my heels to save you all, I would shrug and take another sip of this delicious rum instead!’”
The admiral paused and drank from an ornate glass for dramatic effect. “As my personal crew, I expect the best from you. I expect you to remain vigilant, even if the sky rains fire and the ocean seeks to devour us whole. There will be danger... at every turn! However, you can rest assured. We have a triad of super-awesome future-tech pirate ships with laser cannons, laser-guided missiles, laser-guided lasers, laser propulsion engines, laser swords, exo-suits with laser guns, and laser lights so that we can party after we blow up fools on the ocean. The only thing we have to do is make sure we retain control of our three ships and no one can stop us!”
“Sir?” A sailor raised his hand.
“Not now, my good man! While I am in command of the sum of our small, yet lethal fleet, the command of this specific vessel falls under Ryss--the respectable Captain Morgan!”
“Sir!” The sailor jumped up and down nervously.
Khvarikx sighed and directed his attention to the troubled sailor. He really wanted to execute the man in some sick, twisted way to teach the others about interrupting epic speeches. However, he had promised Ryssa that he would use a friendlier approach than the first time, when he butchered an entire crew with an empty bottle. He crossed his arms and shook his head. Then, it hit him.
“SON OF A BITCH!” he burst out, slamming his fists on the railing.
“Right? What are we going to do?” The sailor was nearly panicking now.
“Hold that thought...” Khvarikx shot a puzzled glance at the sailor before spinning with a flustered grumble and walking over to Ryssa who was standing quietly in the shadow of the cabin. He locked eyes with her in a moment of burning tension.
“The pope probably had an extra hat, we totally still could’ve done the goat thing.”
“Dammit! That’s almost as disappointing as the fact that John the Fisherman and Jack the Reaper are sailing away in the other two ships of your fleet!” Ryssa snapped, shaking her head.
“I know, right?” Khvarikx growled, disappointed in himself.
The admiral returned to face his completely baffled crew and sighed. He had already suffered a grievous defeat due to a lack of common sense. He vowed to never make another such error; he could not afford it. He needed his men to believe in him and his ability to lead with tenacity and ferocity through the fire and flames. He knew, more than anything, he needed to...
“Oh no. They’re stealing my ships, aren’t they?”
“Yeah.” Ryssa nodded, biting her lip in dissatisfaction.
“You were right. I’m sorry,” he mumbled sheepishly.
“Get used to it.” She turned and walked back into the cabin.
“Well, on that note,” he raised his voice to address the men on the deck, “We are actually going to have to work hard and a lot of you are probably going to die.” He vaulted over the railing and landed amongst his sailors in a flawless tripod crouch, letting his cape float down behind him. “I might even die alongside you.” He struggled to wipe the smirk from his face before he lifted his head.
“Each and every one of you has a part to play in this story. Each and every one of you will be remembered by name when the grandchildren of our grandchildren tell the tales of our conquests!” He rose up and began to walk through the crowd. “I see you all, merchants of foods, treasures, death and other goods and services across the mighty seas. You’ve all come here today for a glorious purpose.” He drew his sword, singled out a timid sailor, and pointed at him with the beautiful, curved blade. “Why are you here?”
“I wanted to run away from home and become something more than a baker’s apprentice. I want to be free!”
Khvarikx nodded and pointed at another.
“I want to see a mermaid!”
Khvarikx shrugged and moved to the next.
“I killed all three of my wives and no one saw me do it, but one of them was a police captain’s daughter so I had to get away.”
He stopped, shook his head, then continued to the next.
“I’m really high right now. I had an itchy nose, so my doctor gave me heroine, cocaine, alcohol and rattlesnake venom with a hint of lemon. My hand tastes like rainbow freckle music. Are you my mama? My mama’s a llama.”
The admiral brushed it off, his momentum unrelenting.
“Exactly! See? You all believe you have different reasons for being here, but hear me, the universe has guided each and every one of your lives here so that you could become part of the greatest pirate crew the world has and ever will know! WE WILL BE LEGENDARY!”
The pirates roared with gleeful applause and cheered, completely unaware of how bad things were now that two of the deadliest weapon systems ever built were on course to fall into the hands of the two worst people the known world.