Thicker Than Water
Author's Note: Dedicated to Middletails, a good pal, and Helmut's number
The war is over.
There is a banquet going on right now, but I cannot enjoy it. I cannot look
at this as a time to celebrate. As the food was served, I drifted off into
the crowd, carefully making sure none of my new friends followed. I have
enjoyed their company and I was amazed at how quickly they accepted a sworn
enemy into their ranks. I would have liked to bid some of them farewell but
I cannot spare the time. There is something I must do, and I must do it
So here I stand at the docks ready to make yet another fateful choice. Months
ago I made the decision to assist this band of people in fighting my homeland.
I swore off all of my love and duty to Kooluk. I didnt understand why
we were invading the Islands to begin with, but that is one of my many
weaknesses. As a fleet commander, I should not question the orders of my
superiors. And I did just that. I am a shame to my country and my family
name. As much as I want to think that by assisting these people that they
spared the lives of my men, that brings little comfort to the bitter truth.
I am a traitor. I might as well become a pirate like Sigurd.
Sigurd. Hard to imagine a man like that raiding ships, but he does. He told
me during our voyage that he was once a member of the Middleport fleet and
the son of a nobleman. He grew up hating pirates, just like any honest person
would, but he became one the day Lady Kika saved his life.
I was also raised to hate pirates. I was taught to show no mercy to them.
In past times I would blast them from the water and cut off their heads.
But I cant imagine myself doing that to someone like Sigurd. Or even
Hervey for that matter. They fight for what they love, and while their methods
of earning a living might not be what I would consider respectable, they
are both good men and dedicated to their captain. My father once told me
that you can tell how honorable a man is by the men that follow him. If that
is true, then Lady Kika is definitely one of the most honorable people I
My father should be disappointed in me. But strangely, he isnt. I guess
parents can never truly hate their children, even if their actions are
despicable. Growing up, I always wanted Father to be proud of me. I wanted
to be just like him and sail the seas for our country. I enrolled in the
military academy and I worked hard. When I was given my first command, he
was so pleased. It was the first time Id seen tears in his eyes since
my mother died.
And now, look at me. I am no longer a soldier. I am a drifter. I am certainly
not noble enough to be called a pirate. Pirates have an honor amongst
themselvesSigurd and Hervey taught me that. And, after what I am about
to do, I will have again changed sides. I will again be a traitor.
The night before we fought the final battle, Father told me that Kooluk
wasnt the only place out there. I guess that is why I am leaving now.
I am an enemy of my own country. I cannot set foot on Kooluk soil ever again.
I cannot even visit the grave where my mother is buried. I will pray that
she can find it in her soul to forgive me.
I am not sure of the fate that will befall my father. They have kept him
alive this long, but that means nothing. In Kooluk, we execute our enemies
when it is convenient. It is possible these people will do the same. I cannot
let that happen. I will not let that happen.
Although I am not afraid to face the consequences for my actions, I fear
that my father would also be accused of treason or removed from the life
he loves on the water. My own death I could live with, but his, no. I will
not let him sacrifice himself for me.
I am staring at the massive ship that I have called home for these past months.
Christened the Dauntless, she is beautiful and certainly a feat of creative
engineering. Even now, cleated to the docks, she holds a majesty that I cannot
describe. I am a fortunate man to have been allowed to sail on her.
There is a fishing boat tied in the next slip of the dock. She has seen better
days on the water, but she is seaworthy nonetheless. She only has one mast,
but that is fine. I reach into my pocket. All I have is five-thousand potch.
Not even enough to purchase a decent piece of armor. But it will have to
do. At least if I leave the money, I cant be accused of outright
My father and I will be able to sail her without any difficulty. I dont
know where well go, but we will find a place to make a new life.
I owe him that much, at least.