Captain's Log One

Gyle's First Voyage

The surrounding skies shook as two bitter rivals engaged in a heated battle. The combatants were the noble Zachary Galewind and his long-time enemy Igor "One-Eye" Gareck. The two piloted their respective airships and proceeded to fire shot after shot at each other hoping to bring the other down. Their ultimate goal was to board the other's ship and take victory personally.

Zack was the captain of the Stealth Breeze, an airship that is so aerodynamic and streamlined that it experiences no drag as it cruises the skies. On its mast flew the flag of the Renegades, a pirate crew known for its 100 percent success rate for every bounty it has ever taken.

The airship Grand Bastion was captained by "One-Eye" Gareck. As its name suggests, it is a large ship that looked more like a small fortress in the sky than a pirate's airship. The Grand Bastion, although heavily fortified and offensive, was not built for speed and as such crawled through the skies like a slug. "One-Eye" Gareck donned the Razing Brigand's flag. This pirate crew was known for pillaging and looting from many villages and cities in the Southeast region. Nearly every town they passed through was burned to the ground along the way.

The Stealth Breeze's gunners continued to fire at the Grand Bastion as Zack skillfully maneuvered the ship around the volley of attacks the Grand Bastion unleashed. As Zack was piloting the Stealth Breeze, two young rookie pirates came up next to him to observe the Captain in action.

One of the rookies was Zack's son, Gyle. Gyle had brown hair that reached down to his shoulders. An aviator's cap complete with goggles covered his head. He wasn't particularly built, but he was very agile given his small size. He wore gloves over his fairly small hands. Gyle's weapon of choice was a cutlass which he wore on his back.

The other rookie was Gyle's childhood friend, Ingrid. She was a demi-harpy, the offspring of a human and a harpy. Ingrid had broad golden-brown wings and her sharp green eyes were able to see as far as an eagle which made her a good scout. Her body was covered in a thin layer of feathers that tended to shed during combat. Around her neck was an orange scarf that easily flexed in the wind. Her nails were longer and sharper than average and she was a bit more muscularly built than Gyle. Dual-wielding was Ingrid's forte as she chose to fight with two handguns from a distance. She did have a small combat knife strapped to her thigh just in case a close-quarters battle presented itself.

The two pirates-in-training were eager to go to the frontlines and fight some pirates along with the rest of the Renegades. Gyle was especially psyched because he wanted to prove to Zack that he had the skills necessary to become the captain of his own pirate crew.

"Come on dad! Stop playing around and just storm the guy's ship already!" Gyle said.

Zack motioned for his helmsman to take the ship's wheel and turned to his son. "Gyle, you mustn't be so impatient. If you allow your anxiety to cloud your better judgment, you'll never become a good pirate."

"But dad, you said that I could come with you on one of your bounties to learn what it takes to become a great pirate. You also said I could help fight on the frontlines with the rest of the crew. I didn't come here to stay in the ship and wait for the enemy to wear down."

Zack let out a sigh. Just as he was about to scold his son, the Stealth Breeze's first mate, Marco came up to Zack and relayed some news. "Captain, we have reached the required distance from the Grand Bastion to begin boarding preparations. What are your orders?"

"We storm the Grand Bastion immediately," Zack ordered.

"All right, this is what I'm talking about. Now I finally get the chance to fight in a real pirate battle. Come on Ingrid, let's go!" Gyle exclaimed.

"Right," Ingrid said.

The two rookie pirates began advancing towards the deck when Zack grabbed them by their collars. "If you two are going to board the Grand Bastion, you will need a guard." Zack turned to Marco. "Inform the rest of the crew of my orders and then accompany these two as they board the ship. Once you are onboard, begin the search for Gareck's mysterious cargo." His voice gained a much more serious tone. "You had better protect these two with your life Marco. Understood?"

"Aye, Captain."

Gyle produced an annoyed look on his face. "Come on. Give us some credit dad. We can handle ourselves, isn't that right Ingrid?"

"That's right," Ingrid began. "We can deal with anything that jerk Gareck throws at us."

Zack looked down to meet his son's gaze. "Listen to me Gyle, stay with Marco."

Gyle returned his father's fierce gaze. "Okay, okay. Can we go now?"

Zack patted his son on the head. "Yeah, you can go."

Marco, Gyle, and Ingrid exited the bridge and made their way to the deck of the Stealth Breeze. They went to the megaphone and Marco relayed the Captain's message. "Attention all Renegades: the Captain wishes for all fighters to report to the deck to begin the assault on the Grand Bastion. Repeat, the assault on the Grand Bastion has begun. All fighters report to the deck immediately."

Meanwhile, Zack went out to the Stealth Breeze's deck with a few members of the crew and prepared to board the enemy ship. He used a length of rope from the bridge and fashioned it around the airship's mast. At the same time, the gunners loaded the cannons with hooks and shot them at the opposing ship. Once the lines were hooked, the Stealth Breeze pulled itself closer to the massive airship. Zack launched the other end of his rope towards the Grand Bastion. The hook on the other end of the rope latched on and held taut. Zack pulled out his gun and began to cross the rope towards "One-Eye" Gareck's crew.

As soon as they told the rest of the crew the Captain's message, Marco, Gyle, and Ingrid geared up to begin the attack along with some more of the crew members who'd just arrived at the deck. While the crew members attached their own ropes to the mast and began crossing over to the Grand Bastion, Gyle, Ingrid, and Marco decided to take a faster route: the air.

"All right, you two hang on tight," Ingrid commanded as she spread her broad wings. As the avian flapped her wings, she created strong wind gusts and went airborne. She carried Marco and Gyle over to the Grand Bastion, avoiding stray gunfire along the way. She descended near the starboard side over the havoc occurring on the deck of the Grand Bastion between the Renegades and Razing Brigands.

Marco and Ingrid pulled their guns from their holsters while Gyle unsheathed his cutlass. Marco turned to the two adolescents. "You two be careful and stay near me." Gyle and Ingrid agreed and with that, they joined the fray.

The Grand Bastion's crew was made of a bunch of savage pirates who didn't care much for fair play. All of them were tall and strong, which gave the Renegades trouble when the Razing Brigands decided to team up on a small number of them. Gyle and Ingrid weren't nearly good enough to take on one of the Razing Brigands one-on-one, so they teamed up on one of them and that proved more successful.

One after another, the lone grunts fell to Gyle and Ingrid's tactics. After a while, Gyle and Ingrid became bored with handling the grunts. Their main reason for joining Zack on his mission was to get the chance to fight a real pirate captain. The two anxious rookies looked around for Marco to see if they could slip out of the fight and find "One-Eye" Gareck and the strange cargo. Once they saw Marco was preoccupied with some grunts, Gyle and Ingrid headed for the bridge.

They both entered the bridge and descended the spiraling staircase to the depths of the Grand Bastion. The bridge was a massive room full of different navigational instruments and other things. Gyle and Ingrid treaded lightly as they looked for Gareck.

"Where could he be? His ship has just been infiltrated and he is nowhere to be found," Gyle whispered.

"We can't be sure, but if you ask me, his absence is too convenient." Ingrid said.

The two curious rookies scouted out the bridge and found a door at the far end. They cautiously approached it and slowly twisted the doorknob. As the door opened, Gyle and Ingrid slid their heads into the next room.

The room that Gyle and Ingrid entered was a storage room. It was filled to the brim with wooden crates emblazoned with the words: CAUTION! UNTESTED MATERIALS SEALED WITHIN. Gyle approached the boxes while Ingrid stayed near the door as a lookout. He tried to pry open the crate, but he wasn't strong enough to do it by himself.

"Ingrid, come over here and give me a hand opening this crate," Gyle said.

"Are you sure we should be messing with this stuff? It could be dangerous," said a worried Ingrid.

"Are you kidding? This is just the opportunity I've been waiting for. My father said his mission was to find some mysterious cargo that 'One-Eye' Gareck had. If I can lead my dad to this, he'll be so proud of me that he'll have no choice but to allow me to have my own pirate crew; and you know that has always been a dream of mine."

Ingrid reluctantly agreed and they both began to pry open the crate. As the two rookies were breaching the cargo, they were oblivious to the sound of an opening door. The figure that emerged from the bridge approached Ingrid from behind and grappled her. Ingrid began to thrash about in an attempt to free herself from her attacker. Gyle turned around only to be staring the captain of the Grand Bastion in the face.

"One-Eye" Gareck was a very tall and brooding figure. He wore an eye-patch over one eye and had missing teeth galore. On his waist was his sword and gun. He also had a bald head which he covered with a tricorne lined in black with the Razing Brigands' emblem on it.

"What the hell do you two think you're doing snooping around in my ship?" the menacing pirate bellowed.

Gyle drew his cutlass and took a defensive stance. "We're here to retrieve this mysterious cargo we've heard so much about."

"One-Eye" Gareck looked at Gyle and was struck with an amazing sense of familiarity. "Well, well, if it isn't the son of that bastard Zack Galewind here to steal my cargo. Was your old man too scared to come and fight me himself?"

Gyle formed a scowl on his face. "My father is no coward. He could beat you without even breaking a sweat."

"Sadly, I have no time to be messing with the likes of him as I have more pressing matters to attend to. But, you could still be of some use to me."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Gyle retorted.

"One-Eye" Gareck wound up a fist and jabbed Gyle right in the chest, knocking the air right out of him and bringing him to his knees. Gareck knocked Ingrid unconscious as well before slinging the two intruders over his shoulders and exiting the bridge.

The fight between the Renegades and the Razing Brigands continued on the deck of the Grand Bastion. The Renegades had gained the advantage in numbers, but most of them were too weak to continue fighting. Many Renegades retreated to the Stealth Breeze for medical attention.

Marco caught sight of his captain and relayed some news. "I apologize in advance Captain, but Gyle and Ingrid have gone missing."

Zack had a look of awe on his face. As he took out another of Gareck's men he turned to Marco, giving the situation his full attention. "Missing," he began. His voice now gained a worried tone. "How could they have gone missing? I told you to keep an eye on them."

"When we boarded the Grand Bastion, they were right beside me the whole time. They must have snuck off on their own."

"Regardless, you are still at fault for not following a direct order," Zack fumed. "We'll deal with your disobedience later. The most important thing right now is to locate them before Gareck does."

Zack and Marco fought through more of Gareck's men on their way to the bridge. As they headed for the Razing Brigands' captain, Gareck himself emerged from the bridge with Gyle and Ingrid slung over his shoulders. He approached Zack and Marco with a triumphant smirk on his face.

"Gyle? Ingrid? What did you do to them!?" Zack yelled as he and Marco prepared for a fight.

"These two were sneaking around my ship trying to steal my cargo. So I subdued them. But don't think I'm finished with them yet." "One-Eye" Gareck said with a smirk.

"Damn you! Get your wretched hands off of them!" Zack screamed as he charged towards Gareck.

Some of the remaining Razing Brigands formed a human barrier around Gareck and pushed Zack and Marco back across the Grand Bastion and towards the Stealth Breeze. "One-Eye" Gareck once again approached Zack and Marco, this time looking Zack right in the face. "If you'd like your boy to live, you'll pull back and let me go. If you're lucky, I might just throw these two overboard for you to catch." Gareck said with a laugh. "But if you even attempt to follow me, I swear these two will die." Gareck's voice gained a firm tone. "I won't have you stand in my way."

Zack let out a sigh of defeat. "Renegades, retreat. I repeat, Renegades, return to the Stealth Breeze immediately."

"One-Eye" Gareck let out a victorious laugh. "I knew you'd see things my way for once." With that, the Razing Brigands prepared to sail off to their base. The Renegades boarded the Stealth Breeze and watched the Grand Bastion sail towards the horizon.

Zack punched the mast in anger. "Damn it! How could I have let this happen?"

"No," Marco began. "It's not your fault they were taken. I was in charge of their safety and I failed. If you should be mad at anyone, it should be me."

"It doesn't matter who's to blame. What we need now is a plan to get them back safely," Zack said.

Zack and Marco entered the Stealth Breeze along with the rest of the Renegades and headed to their island—Providence Island—to come up with their plan of attack.

As the Grand Bastion sailed towards its next destination, Gyle and Ingrid were thrown into a cell in the lowest levels of the ship. The bowels of the ship were so undesirable to the crew that most of them forcefully opposed when they were chosen to look after prisoners. It was a dull area, painted fully in white. All of the walls along with the floor and ceiling were painted in the pallid color. The cell itself was practically falling apart. The bricks that composed the walls were anything but even. Some of them were even missing altogether which allowed a small amount of light to shine through.

Gyle and Ingrid awoke in their prison and found that their weapons were taken. As Gyle looked out of the bars to find his equipment, the guard approached the cell. He was nothing more than a common grunt. He did however, have the key ring on his belt.

"So, the vermin are finally awake," the guard taunted.

"Why are you keeping us here?" Gyle asked in a surprisingly calm voice.

The patrol just gave him a smug smirk before returning to his chair on the far end of the room. He got in his chair, tipped it back, and began rocking in it while swinging the key ring on one finger.

Gyle turned back to Ingrid who was shaking slightly in the corner of their cell. Gyle kneeled next to Ingrid and discovered that she was crying.

"What's wrong Ingrid?"

Ingrid sniffled and attempted to cease her trembling, but to no avail. "Aren't you afraid of what's going to happen to us?" She turned to look Gyle in the eyes. "Gareck could kill us at any time. Aren't you even a little scared?"

"Not really," Gyle said as he shrugged his shoulders. "Being scared or worried at this point isn't going to help. Besides, if I die, I don't want my last memory to be of me trembling in fear before a guy like Gareck."

Gyle stood up and extended his hand to Ingrid. She grabbed her friend's hand and stood up before giving him a little hug. Gyle was taken aback. This wasn't normal behavior for Ingrid and he wasn't quite sure how to react.

"I'm sorry about freaking out," Ingrid began. "It's just the reality of being treated like a real pirate just overwhelmed me."

"Don't worry about it," Gyle said as they separated from their embrace. "We just need a way out of here." He let out a sigh as he sat down on the hard floor to think. As he looked at Ingrid's legs he realized something: her combat knife was still on her thigh.

He swiped the knife and caused a commotion at the cell bars to get the guard's attention. The guard came to the bars as planned and proceeded to bark at the prisoners. Gyle just shrugged it off. "Is that the best you can do?"

The guard reached his hand into the cell to grab Gyle but missed. The cunning prisoner took his chance and twisted the guard's arm between the bars. "Give me the keys," Gyle demanded as he held the knife to the pirate's neck.

"Like hell ya little bastard."

"I figured you'd say as much," Gyle said calmly before thrusting the knife into the guard's throat. The sentry fell to the ground with a thud, surrounded in an expanding pool of blood. Gyle fished the keys off of the dead pirate's belt and unlocked the cell door. During the whole ordeal, Ingrid was pretty much motionless, stunned at Gyle's assertiveness to the situation.

Gyle gave Ingrid back her knife, his passive aura replaced with raging fury. "No more playing around Ingrid. It's time we take this fight into our own hands."