Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta pirates. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta pirates. Mostrar todas las entradas

sábado, 13 de agosto de 2016

The secret of Moon Bay

   The massive ship entered the silent waters of the Moon Bay. The silent fishermen villages could be seen from it, waiting to be attacked and pillaged. The pirates aboard the ship were getting ready to do what they did best, drinking wine and recalling past victories. However, their captain was on the observation deck, contemplating the bay were he had been born all those years ago. It was his first time back and he was thinking about telling his men to stand down and retire to the open ocean.

 Captain Fox was renowned as one of the most vicious pirates in all the seven seas. But that night, he felt as a kid, unprotected and filled with emotion because of the place he was in. He had been taken from his home from a very young age and he had never known what it was to have a family. His crew was his family but he felt that wasn’t the same thing, especially when he had seen true family love in his past raids.

 When the men were ready, he was unable to say anything. Captain Fox authorized them to set the first town on fire and take all they wanted from it. There were only a few houses there, so not many people. Fox stayed on his ship as he saw his men rowing in the silent night, slowly taking the town by surprised. From his place, he was able to see the houses catch on fire, he heard the screams and he even felt something strange, a certain uneasy feeling that he had never felt before as a pirate.

 As expected, the men returned almost empty handed.  Village of fishermen was not an interesting target and Captain Fox was sure of it. He told his men that they needed to go back to the open ocean and then plan the raid of a real big city or at least of towns that had something more to offer than rotten fish. But his men argued that they were hungry and that they needed the fish to survive. None of them was smart enough to make a net and use it a way to get food.

 Without permission, the pirates attacked the second village. That one took longer to fully take over but they did. When they came back from the shore, Fox noticed they had brought someone with them. It was an elder, and old woman who was shaking and seemed to be on the edge of dying of how scared she was. Fox told his men to hold her in the empty cabin and not in the lower cells.

 His men obliged as they ate and celebrated the fact that they had a decent dinner for the first time in a month. The captain when to his room and tried to sleep but the noise his men made was difficult to ignore. Besides, he just couldn’t rest. There was something pressing his chest. Maybe it was being in Moon Bay again or maybe it was realizing he was becoming a very weak captain.

 He decided to join his men for a beer and some fish, seeing he wasn’t going to be sleeping for the next few hours. On his way to the staircase, he passed the cabin where the old woman was and the door there was wide open. He returned to see the woman sitting on the bed, in complete silence and darkness. However, he could feel something was wrong. Fox decided to enter the place and talk to her. Maybe she needed to know she wasn’t going to die there. When he was about to touch her shoulder, the woman looked at him with glowing red eyes.

 In some strange tongue, she said various words. She began saying them in a normal register but then she raised her voice and look upward, to the bridge. The captain then heard some noises above but he didn’t move because he wasn’t able to. He was very scared and wanted to do something, whether it was running away or stabbing the old woman with his sword. But he just couldn’t do any of those things. Something was preventing him from doing so.

 The woman had stopped speaking but her eyed were still very much red. After a moment, she spoke again, her voice amplified a thousand times. It was like receiving a massive wave on the face and being pushed a long distance by it. She told him he was a sun of the bay and that he shouldn’t have come back.

 That made Fox less scared somehow. How did she knew that he had been born there and why shouldn’t he be there? The woman then stood up from the bed and stretched out a hand towards him, as if she was going to grab something. And it felt like she did: the captain couldn’t properly breath, his eyes going blurry and his legs feeling very weak. It hurt a lot inside his chest and he still couldn’t move at all. It was torture, the worst kind.

 When she finally stopped, he was very dizzy. The old woman had driven him very close to the edge of death. She moved her hand again and then he was able to move but only to collapse on the floor like a bunch rocks. His breathing was heavy and he couldn’t talk but he knew he had been very close to the end. He looked at her and she looked at him. It was a strange connection that they maintained for a while.

 The witch told him Moon Bay was a haunted place. The villages there were nothing but illusions. All those things his men had done that night were scenes played out in their heads. There were no real villagers or fish or wine. It was all her, as she was the last surviving inhabitant of the area. No one else there lived and it was because someone else had been there before the pirates, setting everything on fire.

 She told Fox that it was that warrior, that creature made in hell itself, which had entered the bay in a similar night and had set on fire every single soul there except her. She was able to hold him for a while but he was too powerful to be stopped by an older woman. Her magic tricks were nothing against his darkness and villainy. However, he spared her life and made her stay there forever, attached to the waters of the bay, waiting for any adventurers trying to take what that devil had taken.

 Captain Fox was able to speak, even if his chest was aching too much. He wanted to know why that creature, if real, had left her there. Why her and for what purpose? The woman laughed like mad. She was surprised he didn’t realize she was a slave of the devil that had burned those waters. By magic, she was attached to the place and obliged to kill anyone who entered the bay. She had to offer their lives to his cause. That would make him stronger for his return.

 So he was going to come back and set the world on fire once and for all. She said it was not going to happen for another couple of hundreds of years but that his reign was unstoppable. There was no way to prevent it from happening. The captain asked the woman if she could be able to break free from the shackles she had been put in. Her expression went somber and turned away from him. The answer was obvious.

 The old woman changed the subject, telling the pirate that she had only let his men take her to the boat because she wanted to speak with him, as she had an idea to try and tilt everything in her favor, at least once. He didn’t understand. She explained that she knew his parents very well, the witch knew exactly who he was and remembered the day he had been taken away by a group of pirates. She told him about the tears they cried and how they did during the creature’s first raid.

 They had been very brave and had asked her, just as the monster neared, to cast a special spell making their boy immune to the powers of hell. After all that time since he had been gone, they still loved him and wanted to protect him against the outmost evil. She did so and that’s why she was onboard, to tell him he had a chance, a long shot at making the devil pay.


 Before he could ask anything of her, she said some more words and vanished, turning into thick black fog that disappeared in seconds. The captain ran to the bridge of his vessel to see if he could call her back but he was stopped as he saw the bodies of all his men. It had been her but only because It had ordered it. It was then when Fox realized he had to think his next step very well.

martes, 28 de junio de 2016

Through the unknown

   The fleet was moving at full speed. The sails were working tremendously well and the wind was taking them exactly where they wanted to go. Everything was going according to plan. The only thing that worried them was that, in order to go unnoticed by the enemy, they had to around the other side of the world to properly surprise them. That meant navigating through water no one had ever sailed before, which could be extremely dangerous, as they held no maps of the region or information regarding its potential inhabitants, whether they were permanent or nomad, like pirates.

 They had not seen any land for the past week and they were beginning to think there was going to be no land until they reached their destination. Some of the sailors were very nervous because there was a strong belief, among men and women of the sea, that the world was not connected on both sides. In other words, that they were heading for an enormous waterfall or “the end of the world”. In their minds and in their legends, that area of the world was inhabited by vile monsters that ate boats and sailor whole, leaving no trace of their existence.

  However, they had been convinced by their new masters with money and other riches they could enjoy once they returned home, if the battle was gentle enough with them. They were fierce and very driven, known for raiding ships all over the sea in the course of many years. But this was not a raiding expedition but part of an invasion army that planned on attacking hard and taking back their homeland by force. The new masters plan was to defeat their enemies in the hardest and most definitive way possible, in order to rebuild from scratch.

 The world would never be the same after all that, nothing could be the same. So many things had already been done that had changed the world, including the fact that they were passing through an unknown region. Alliances had also been made that were not probable before. The Yix, also know as the new masters, had reunited all pirate forced in the known world and had proposed to them to join their army or be destroyed. The pirates thought they were coming for bounty but the truth was they were surrounded the whole time the conversations took place.

 Finally, half convinced by the payment but also the threat to their existence, they accepted. By doing so, they were technically turned into slaves but with a much better relationship with their masters. The Yix were only cruel to those that deserved it and the pirates had done the right thing by allying themselves with their faction in the war. In that case, they wouldn’t hurt them at all. However, if they ever rebelled or thought they had any choice on important matters, they would how to pressure the men and women of the sea to make their will.

 The ocean was beautiful every single day of that long week they had already spent in it. The experts the Yix had brought in, had concluded that a week and a half was necessary to get halfway through the world, which meant the whole trip would make almost three weeks. These made everyone a bit uneasy because, even as big as the ships were, there couldn’t be enough food for so many people for so much time. The rations were small for everyone on board, both the pirates and the Yix and they were limited to only a couple of meals a day. That was not what either of them was accustomed to but traditions don’t really matter anymore when you’re trying to make history.

 Everyday, it was some kind of rice with fish. There was a group that took care of the fishing every single morning in each one of the boats and they were essential in order to have an orderly life in each one of the boats. Sometimes the fish tasted awful and some other times it was delicious. They could have it raw or roasted on a small fire created on a big bin to prevent the ships from burning down. Those moments, when they all ate, were the ones when all of them really looked the same, no matter their uniforms or their accents. They were all men trying to survive a horrible journey through an unknown region. They were brother and sisters, even if they had no real exchanges of words.

 After the first week, some of the sailors noticed something on the horizon, which was on starboard. Just when the sun set, the whole line above the sea appeared to be on fire, especially where at sunset. Some of the people said it was an illusion commonly associated with the sun but others swore they could see things happening in the horizon. No one really believed in the people that said that but even with the few instruments they had to see such a phenomenon, they couldn’t see a thing. The sun was exactly the same as always, except for that band of fire that seemed to appear every afternoon, just as they prepared for a new night.

 Nights were the most terrifying part of the whole experience as many men, even the sceptics, felt something was wrong when they couldn’t se the water they were navigation on. Besides, the moon and the stars were always veiled by a strange thing that happened every single night. It was as if the region was condemned not to look directly at the sky, instead having only some blurry vision of every part of the cosmos. This was frustrating for all of them, because the ships depended on the stars in order not to get off course. They could be seen enough in order to follow them but it made them all feel as if something was not right about those waters. Some thought it was haunted and others were still expecting to arrive to “the end of the world”.

 But they never did. They did, however, saw a small group of islands. They were located roughly halfway between the two continents they knew well. The islands were named Summer Islands, because of the weather of the region. Two of the ships got near them and used some rowboats to investigate if they were inhabited or not and whether they could get food out of there, something that had nothing to do with fish or rice, which was getting ruined pretty fast.

 The rowboats carried twenty men into the land, mostly pirates. They walked on the largest island and disappeared into its jungle just after arriving. From the ships, the Yix waited for them to return. After the first two hours, everyone felt something was wrong. From the apparent size of the islands, it was not very possible that someone would take longer than an hour in order to walk around them, much less to go across it. They have had an accident or something like that. Yet, no one did anything to go and help because of fear.

 They were right not to act on their suspicions. The jungle began to tremble after three hours. The palm trees and other plants began shaking and some birds escaped the place in order to fly to the smaller islands. Out of the jungle, a gigantic animal emerged. And then, another two. Everyone on the ship was horrified. The animals looked like scorpions but were much larger than the ones you would fin in the known world. They were huge and were covered in blood in their pincers and over their bodies. The two ships that had grown close to the island, decided to join the rest of the fleet and forget what they had seen.

 For the remainder of their journey, the sunset brought back memories of those assassinated by the creatures on the islands. If the world made something like that, if those animals existed, then worse things could also exist somewhere. That’s what was in everyone’s minds and what made them stare at the sky or at the roof every single night, no matter where they were trying to sleep. They stopped looking at the sun and decided to rely only on the veiled stars, even if some felt they were being tricked by the cosmos and lured into a trap.


 Almost a month to the date of their departure, they arrived to the continent they had intended to invade. Everyone was exhausted but they had advantage of numbers. Day after day, they took a little piece of land from their enemies. When these realized what was happening, it was too late. The Yix now owned the world and they soon freed their “slaves”. They let them have their corner of the world and they agreed on never revealing what they had see in the Summer Islands and how that place was maybe not unique but it should remain “non existent”.

viernes, 25 de marzo de 2016

Corina, Silkat and the pirates

   She left all of her clothes by the shore and the slowly entered the water. The sunrays coming from both suns toasted her skin but it was not necessary because Corina already had the most beautiful skin, which she completely submerged into the ocean after a while. She felt the water cooling down her body and a certain peace of mind that she hadn’t felt in quite a while. She swam from one of the big rocks in the beach to the other. The water was not very deep and it was very clear, so much that you could perfectly see if anyone or anything was too close to you.

 Corina stopped swimming after a while and went back to the beach where she sat down on the sand, leaving her feet in the water. She had wanted to do that for so long. She had been very stressed lately and just needed to relax a while. She worked very far from there, as a nurse. Silkat was one more of the many new colonies, so she didn’t really have a lot of people to handle back in the infirmary, but Corina was ok with that too. Even with a few people coming in, she was glad to help and to learn.

 Her thoughts were interrupted when she saw something in the water. Instinctively, she stood up, stepping away from the water. The water moved again by one of the rocks and it was then she saw it: it was a medium sized creature, swimming very slowly, with not a lot of grace. Corina couldn’t tell if the creature was violent or not but she didn’t move any more than she had. She just waited to see if the creature came closer or if it was just passing by.

 The creature then jumped out of the water and landed almost in front of Corina. She almost screamed but covered in her mouth in time. She realized screaming to a creature that was double her size would not be a very smart thing. The creature looked like some old pictures Corina had seen as a little girl in storybooks. It resembled a lot to what her parents called a seal but this one was larger and its husks were smaller and its skin was light blue. And the end of its flippers, it had something like fingers.

 The creature walked towards Corina and she decided not to move. Even if she had wanted to, she wouldn’t have been able to do so because she was very scared. She even forgot for a while that she was stark naked in the middle of a beach she had just found. The creature slowly walk (maybe it had something like human feet, too) and then raised its “hands” and touched Corina.

She almost screamed but she was surprised to realize the creature was nice and warm and its skin had a nice thing about it, it felt good. It was like its skin had the power to make you feel better. Somehow, she saw the creature’s face form something like a smile and Corina responded with the same. So she had found a friend.

 Corina was about to touch the creature when something loud broke the peace of the beach. The creature apparently felt it just before because it moved quickly back into the water. Corina stumbled to the ground and saw how two men came out of the wilderness by the beach and started shooting something at the creature. It was obvious they weren’t trying to kill it but they were hurting him somehow. The men got near her and she tried to get to her clothes but another men, that she hadn’t seen, blocked her way. When she tried to run the other way, she found another men.

 The creature was caught inside a huge net that appeared to hum, like a bee. It was probably taking its energy in order to control the animal’s strength. The creature complained for a while, but then it stopped making sounds. It had died or maybe fallen asleep. As for Corina, one of the men was holding her and the other one was smelling her clothes and then threw it all to the water. They pushed her into the wilderness and made her walk for a while until they reached the water again but this time there was a boat and they made her go into it.

 Silkat was made of many islands, both big and small. They were no big continents like in other planets. The island on which Corina met the creature was next to a bigger one, where a small town called Pazu was located. The pirates, the men that took her with them, probably used another island as their hideout.

 They tied Corina’s hands with a thick rope and she was able to see that the creature was being transported on another boat, behind hers. She wondered what they were going to do with her. She looked at them and saw only men so she remembered the tales that some of the woman in Pazu had told her. They said that Silkat was not very advanced and that men ruled life in here. It wasn’t like in the rest of civilized planets. Silkat was still in the Stone Age, in that sense and also in many others.

 They reached another island when the sun was setting and they put Corina in a cage made of a strong wood. She would stay there for days, never to see the creature again. She wondered if it had been killed or if had another use for them besides food. It was very classic of her to worry about others when her own situation was not the best. She decided she wouldn’t fight unless she had a clear shot at escaping.

 But that opportunity didn’t present itself the first year. She remained on that cage for many months until they decided to put a collar on her and then make her work for them. They threatened her to activate the bomb on the collar if she ever did something wrong or if she tried to escape, so Corina had no choice but to bare with everything those men did to her. They touched her a lot, like an object of their property. They made her cook for them and also clean their boats and their clothes. She was a slave. They never gave her anything to put on her body except that collar but she didn’t really care because the weather had gotten somehow hotter.

 Every single night, when they stopped harassing her and she could just lay down on her cage, she looked up to the stars and wondered if someone was missing her at all. Maybe the people of Pazu were looking for her, although that was unlikely because she didn’t feel the town was too far. If they had been searching, they would have found her. And her family and friends abroad, they probably had no idea that she had vanished so long ago.

 Some days, most of the pirates left and left her to do her chores almost on her own, only one bodyguard with the activator on his belt. But even so she just couldn’t get herself to steal from him. She didn’t think she could win in a fight. Besides, every single day she felt less like a human been. It was as if they were draining her energy very slowly, second by second. She recalled the net they had thrown over the poor creature and how it made it weaker.

 The other thing was that she worked so hard, in so many ways, that when she was left alone she could only think about sleeping. Corina had stopped wanting real food after she realized the men treated her like a pet and just threw whatever they weren’t going to eat to her: some bones with very little meat on them, hard flat bread and some rotten fruits from the nearby trees. So she preferred to dream. And those dreams she asked, way to often, to be killed or to die fast.

 One day, after almost two years, she saw most of the pirates coming back as she was cleaning their clothes by the shore. Then, some of their boats exploded and she could hear gunfire. She tried to take a better look but her eyes weren’t what they were anymore. She could only see there were other boats there and that the fight was savage. Then, she felt someone stand behind her. It was a woman, fully clothed, with the activator on her hand. She pressed the button and Corina thought her death had come.


 But it didn’t. The activator was actually a deactivator. The pirates had never wanted to kill her. As the woman that rescued her told her some days later, “They need their slaves”. She was dragged into another boat and brought into civilization were she was cured and then asked if she wanted to remain on Silkat or if she wanted to be transferred. She thought about it for a whole day before realizing she wanted to stay to help build that society, to make those men realize they couldn’t do what they had done to her. She wanted the universe to be fair.

jueves, 25 de febrero de 2016

Jovian loop

   It was a completely closed room. It had no windows, only one door and no visible openings for heating or air conditioning. However, the temperature in the room was very nice and the two women and three men inside were chatting just as if they were out in the park with the sun above their heads. There was a large table shaped like a U on one side of the table and in the other there was just the empty space where they were talking to each other. Next to the table there was a wall covered in TV screens that looked more like very black glasses. The room fell silent the moment the door opened and a woman, accompanied by a gentleman in a military suit, entered the room talking. The only word heard was “people”.

 The two stopped talking when they saw the rest of the people and just went on to the table. Each seat was occupied and the small woman that had entered last had the central seat, facing the screens. No one said a word for some minutes. They glanced at some sheets of paper in front of them and just gave each other strange looks. The woman looked at her hands, also waiting. Finally, the screens turned on and formed one big image in high resolution. Everyone was even more silent then, if that was possible. They appeared to have no ability to breath or be relaxed. They couldn’t believe their eyes.

-       This is the only image taken by the Hercules probe as it descended through the clouds of Jupiter only two days ago. The image was beamed to an orbiter before the probe was crushed by atmospheric pressure.

 The small woman read this from one of the papers and when she was done she looked at the image, apparently trying to figure out what she was seeing.  Noticing no one said a word, she told them to state their view on the matter, starting by one end of the table. When they were all done exposing their theories, she wasn’t any more relaxed than before. She looked at the screen again; her hands in the position of prayer, and talked as calmly as she could, her voice trembling a bit.

-       Life, then?

 The group around her, nodded. They seemed terrified but not of her. Each one of those scientists had gone through the picture once and twice and even thirty times, checking every single variable and making copies of different sizes and colors and formats and the conclusion was always the same. As the probe descended through the clouds, it had taken a picture of things that were clearly alive. It was hard to describe the creatures but the movement was obvious and the camera on the probe was state-of-the-art, the best one ever on a machine sent to space. Many had thought it wasn’t worth it to put that camera in a probe that was going to be destroyed.

 The woman told them that, as the president, she was entitled to accept or dismiss their theories. So, again, one by one, she asked them to explain why the image depicted living beings. Why those couldn’t be just clouds or errors or whatever else. There was a scientist, a woman, who stood up and said in squeaky voice that the image was not the only thing they had gotten from the probe. A couple of the others looked at her surprised, clearly they had no idea about this new information. The president looked tired and asked the scientist to show them the information she had.

 The scientist went to the wall, were a small keyboard appeared and introduced a code no one else knew. Then, the screen changed in order to show a very small video on a loop. It was only six seconds long and the quality was not as good as the picture’s but it was clearly visible that those things in the image were moving. There was no sound but everyone seeing the footage supposed it would have been a very noisy environment. There was something like a flash at the end of the video, possibly a thunder.

-       Could any of you describe… the creatures?

 Another scientist, a bald man, said he was a biologist and had concluded that the creatures appeared to float in the upper atmosphere. They seemed to control their elevation perfectly and had a look between a cloud and an elephant. The comparison was very strange but they could all agree with the man, who sat down very fast after concluding his theory. The video kept repeating itself on the screen and the president just looked at it, as if trying to decipher some other meaning behind it.

 The aide she had come with, an older gentlemen in a military uniform, stood up and asked the rest of the people if the creatures were hostile. Surprisingly, it was madam president who told him that was the stupidest question she had heard recently. He told him it was impossible that those creatures could be any threat. The implication of their existence went much farther than just aggression. It made a change in our collective minds, our societies and civilizations. There was life on another planet and they had the proof right there.

 The man sat down, embarrassed, and the woman inhaled some air and just pulled back into her chair, thinking about many things, some of which they hadn’t even been talking about. After all, she had a daughter and was thinking of how weird it would be to explain all of that to her. She was a smart young woman but was curious to see if a young person would be as shocked as she was. To her the revelation had been too much to handle, so much she didn’t really know what was the next step.

 Apparently everyone was thinking the same thing because one of the scientists asked exactly what they were going to do with this information. Would they keep on studying the data or would they just released the video to the public and let them decide what it was? The president had no answer to that and her military aide was not going to say one more word on the matter. Silence again and the video in a loop. The creatures moving up and down, through the clouds. They had lights or something on them and had a strange color. The president wondered how it would feel to fall through the Jovian atmosphere.

 Her mind went back to the room when the video disappeared from the screen, instead being replaced by a white flag, whit a skull in the center, flanked in the back by two crossed swords. It was a pirate flag. Everyone in the room looked at each other, is if they were looking for someone to jump from their seat and excuse themselves for the mishap or the joke or whatever that was. But no one moved. Worst even, someone let out a gasp and said almost in a scream: “The Pirates!” The statement was a little obvious at first but then, slowly; the y understood what he had meant.

 The president said a course word and asked the military counselor for her phone but he reminded her that no phones worked in that room. He then yelled at him, ordering him to run out and tell the security forces to confront a cyber attack.  But it was too late. The famous Pirates, a band of virtual brigands that dedicated to looting governments and stealing their most precious belonging, had already done their deed. The Pirates were famous because of their logo with the white flag instead of a black one and their tendency to never ask for money. They said people paid them, with their honesty and enthusiasm.

 The flag on the screen disappeared and then they were looking at a webpage, more precisely it was someone going to YouTube. One of the videos the site recommended, as it was knew, was the one they had just seen. It played in a loop again and the comment and number of viewings rose in only fifteen minutes, time it took for madam president’s aide to go out and make all sorts of calls that wouldn’t make one ounce of a difference. The information was public and they could not make unseen what had been seen millions of times.


 The president couldn’t move, couldn’t keep her eyes apart. The man she had come in with tried to help her up but she just wouldn’t budge. She saw the creatures going up and down, and up and down. And she realized that the world had just changed. Her daughter would now next time she saw her. She cried a single tear, cleaned it and marched out of the room.