A huge surprise awaits Kida and Christopher at sea as they continue their quest to save Daniel!
The days are always dark and stormy. The nights are worse, and the light from the moon and stars, like our hope, is hidden from us. The sea has been rough, and that’s putting it lightly. Thunder is constantly booming all around me as single streaks of lightning ignite the dark sky, if only just for a second. The tossing and turning sea glitters with the brief strike of brightness and allows me to see a rather distressed looking
Christopher, sitting starboard. He runs a hand through his greasy hair, a look of frustration and near hopelessness carved into the features of his face. I sigh, a frown furrowing my eyebrows when I cautiously walk over and sit down next to him.
“Chris,” I say quietly, my voice weak. I sound just about as distraught as he looks. “We’re going to find him. I promise.” For a moment, I think he might just respond. But he doesn’t. His facial expression is unchanging, his jaw muscles taut. He looks as if he didn’t hear a single thing I said. But I know he did…he’s just ignoring me.
“Christopher, please.” Have I really stooped so low as to have to beg? I don’t even sound like myself. “I-” But I don’t get to finish. A sharp crack, perhaps thunder, cuts me off as the ship suddenly lurches to one side – as though something big had collided into us.
Christopher rises to his feet at the same time I do, his new found expression urgent and worried. A sense of confusion sweeps over the crew. They all scurry to the side where the impact occurred, and as we all look over the railing, we see it; the vessel we’ve all heard of but Christopher and I have never before laid eyes on, the elusive maroon sails of the Archangel.
The threatening, and surprisingly agile, crew clambers over both sides of the ship, weapons in their hands: pristine swords and stolen rifles from our navy. I didn’t expect the crew to be as lean and limber as they are, considering their appearances. The dirt and scraggly beards on their faces tell me they haven’t bathed in who knows how long. The bags under their eyes suggest they have had many restless nights, and the scars all over their bodies, some infected, tell me they’ve had more than a few battles. Their faces are mutilated into looks of growls and grimaces, evil smirks and snarls. In pirate fashion, the entire crew is to get on board before the finale, the big reveal, the presentation; when the Captain presents himself and decides our fate. Instinctively, all of the Majesty’s crew, me and Christopher included, back up into the center of the ship, our hands fumbling with weapons.
The band of pirates gather up some rope and bark at us to not dare touch our weapons…and we oblige. All except, of course, for Christopher.
“Chris!” I hiss at him through my teeth as I watch him struggle against the ropes that are binding him. I nudge the only part of him I can reach, as hard as I can.
He turns to me and scowls. “What do you think you’re doing?” He mutters under his breath.
“Saving your life!” I whisper, my tone harsh. “There’s too many of them. You can’t take them all on yourself. You’re just going to make them angry and wind up getting us all in a situation I don’t want to be in.”
An uncaring expression replaces his infuriated one. “So?”
“So?” I ask incredulously, as if sampling the word on my tongue and rejecting its bitter taste. “You’d really risk the lives of your crew members like that, so selfishly?”
I’m about to go on, but the five little words that follow hit me hard and the words die in my mouth: “They don’t matter to me.”
The way he said it, so calmly, so nonchalant, rocks me back on my heels. I cannot believe my ears.
“Christopher!” My voice is drowned out by the stomping of boots. In true pirate manner, the stomping cues the arrival of the Captain. I’ve heard plenty about the infamous Captain Ky, but I’ve never quite been able to picture him in my mind’s eye. First, I see a hand, and then another; gold rings – no doubt stolen – are emblazoned on each finger. Next, a tousled head of dark brown hair, much like my own, hidden underneath a large feathered hat becomes visible as he emerges ; two shoulders covered by a red, velvety material. As he appears in full sight, his face remains hidden by his enormous hat. The curiosity, the anticipation is torturous. Suddenly, the stomping ceases, and Captain Ky’s head finally flicks up, a proud smirk prying on his lips.
As the stomping of the boots stop, I swear my heart does the same. With widened eyes, I can’t stop staring at him. Captain Ky: the murderer, the thief, the scourge of the seas. Captain Ky with his electric green eyes, his dimples, his chestnut coloured hair. The entire ship is silent. There is not a sound, save for the screeching of the waves and the wind. There’s something oddly familiar about him, but I can’t put my finger on it. He begins to speak. “So, this is the Majesty. The Queen of your fleet.” He scoffs. “Pathetic.” I notice that he has a lisp, and it softens his harsh tone.
As his eyes graze over our crew, my thoughts go to Daniel and I wonder if he is on the adjoining ship, possibly tired and hurt. I wonder how we will get to him. Then suddenly the Captain’s eyes find mine, and his attention lingers for a moment. The condescending look in his eyes changes momentarily to an expression of curiousity, confusion, maybe even shock; and all other thoughts are driven from my mind. But then the moment passes, and he continues to take in the appearances of the rest of the crew.
My curiousity seems to give me courage as I find my voice. “What is it you want from us?” I ask. His face contorts into a look of absolute disbelief, and then surprisingly, a strange smile lingers there. Out of everyone aboard the Majesty, I’m sure I look the least menacing, the least likely to speak out. He looks uncertain as he replies, “Everything you’ve got. Medical supplies, ammunition…” he gazes at me intently and says almost as an afterthought, “and a hostage.”
The band of pirates stir, and share a few comments with each other, but Ky continues. “Unless the chosen captive comes with us, we’ll sink your ship…and I want you.” He looks straight into my eyes when he speaks, “A girl could be very valuable to us. My men need tending to, and there are chores to be done, meals to be made.”
I don’t like this. No, I don’t like this at all. But I know I must be brave. Be brave for the crew, be brave for Christopher, and be brave for Daniel.What would Daniel do? He would stand and have courage. He would do what is right.
“Fine. I’ll go with you.” I say, shaking but determined. Ky nods, and beckons a couple of his men to lead me to their ship. As I walk beside him, I fight back the salty tears that form in my eyes. He looks at me and suddenly his menacing demeanor fades away, and a look of compassion takes its place. Cautiously, he bends down and whispers something in my ear. I stop dead in my tracks, my eyes wide with complete disbelief. I nearly stumble backwards, my knees weak. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Christopher step forward with a look of concern. I shake my head frantically in refusual, shutting my eyes to barricade the relentless tears that fight to fall down my cheeks. The word tears from my throat, sounding like a scream. “No. No, no, no!”
I’m sure there’s some confusion, but I can’t hear it, my ears are ringing. I can’t hear a thing except for Ky’s voice, saying over and over again, ‘Kida, it’s me, Samuel. I’m alive.’ This can’t be happening. This can’t be true.
“Kida?” Ky looks at me, an eyebrow raised, his back turned to the rest of the crew, so no one can see his act of kindness, “What’s wrong?”
My head still shakes repeatedly, but I can’t deny it. His eyes, his hair, his voice, the patch of freckles on his cheeks. He is who he claims to be. I don’t want to believe it, but it’s the truth.
Captain Ky does not want me because I can clean, or cook, or heal. He does not want me because I am just any girl. He wants me because I am a girl with his eyes, his hair, his blood. The man who just moments ago could have killed me without a thinking twice, is the person I thought I’d never see again…my brother.
1. Why do you think Christopher was so willing to sacrifice the crew?
2. How do you think Samuel became a pirate?
3. What emotions do you think Kida was feeling when she recognized Samuel?
4. Which character can you relate to the most and why?