Chapter 1

The Wandering Thief

"Get those sails trimmed" cried the captain, "she's a new boat and I want 'er to make it." Just off the bow a storm raged. On deck about thirty men were running in havoc all around, trimming the sails tying loose supplies down and getting ready to break the storm barrier. A sailor ran up to the captain.

"Captain, Sir, the crew wants to know if we should tie the prisoner to the mast."

"Umm…" the captain pondered over the evil idea, "yes that's what a stow away gets,"

"Yes captain." The soldier ran off yelling "get the prisoner, tie 'im up"

A bulky sailors picked up a crouched over figure. Another got rope and the figure's belongings. The figure was wearing a hooded cloak; under he wore wannabe chainmail, some leather armor pants, and boots which were stained with all sorts of colors. The burly sailor lifted him up against the mast the other started to tie him to it. The captain started to walk towards the figure.

"Put down his hood," the captain exclaimed. Of course the burly sailor complied. This figure was about seventeen years old, he had black hair, and dark green eyes, he was well built and had on scar on his face going from the left eyebrow down to his right cheek and another on the right going down to the left cheek. Together the scars made an X on his face.

"What's yer name," the captain asked, the figure just stared into the captain's eyes, "I said what's yer name" the captain picked up his cane and struck the boy across the face.

"It's X"

"The captain frowned "ugh, I mean yer real name,"

"Come closer" the boy said. The captain complied, the boys whispered something in his ear.

The captian laughed as he pulled away, "ok, Michael you can try to escape but there is no chance, this crew is made of the best fighters and pirates,"

"I don't think you know who I am"

"ha, I know exactly who you are, X" he said sarcastically, "the youngest well-known thief." The people around him laughed. Michael started to notice the crowd gathering around. He took this time to look around. His sensei always told him to learn his surroundings. He noticed the ship was new so it'll probably last through the storm.

"so," Michael looked back at him," how you going to escape, genius." Micheal didn't show it but that word hit him hard. He always was good at thinking on his feet, but sometimes his brain failed him. Michael laughed to himself he knew he could easily take all these men out. His sensei trained him well…

Flashback

"You must feel your weapon," Michael's sensei said. Sensei Tzang was a old man, although his appearance seemed to make him look weak and slow, Tzang was easily able to take out a younger black belts. Michael had been holding the same pose for about two hours. A fine line of sweat was starting to gather on his face.

"relax, think of a happy place, your home, your thinking to hard about getting the pose right," sensei said as he got some incense to place in front on Michael. This was special incense it was a stimulus smoke it would remind you of pleasant memories. The moment Michael started to smell joyful images popped in his head. Images of his mom.

She was standing there tending the flowers. His eyes started to water, but he didn't move his pose. Tzang noticed this and quickly took the insence away. Michael started to cry harder, then he dropped his staff a lunged into the arms of Tzang, Tzang held him too.

"It's ok Michael, she's in a better place," Tzang tried to comfort him.

"No," Michael shouted, "I could've saved her, I could've…" he couldn't find the words" Michael was only eight when his mother died, that death scarred him for life.

--

"Hahaha he's crying," the captain shouted. Everyone else started to laugh too. Michael stopped on a dime. He starred at the captain.

"I think you forgot about the storm," Michael said with a grin. The captain ran to the bow of the boat. He swore to himself, "all right you seadogs get ready, quickly." Everyone started to run around getting the final preparations ready. The captain grabbed two sailors and told them to watch him. Michael looked around trying to find where they put his belongings. Again, he laughed to himself, the captain was holding them.

"Ha, too easy," Michael fumbled around with his bindings. In a few seconds he had the main knot undone. Remember, Michael, fighting is not the right way, a little voice in his head told him. He took one minute to look around to see if anyone was looking at him as he made his seemingly close to impossible escape. Michael was thankful for the captains hint on the crew, good fighters and pirates, but mostly the dumbest thing since, since Michael couldn't even think of something dumber, sad. Michael was clear he pulled on a simple loose thread.

Thud! Michael fell to the floor covered in the rope. He peaked out; all he saw were the sailors running around, he was worried. He hoped that they hadn't noticed he was gone. But then he saw all of them, climb down to the below deck. Michael stood up slowly; because he was small it was easy to move around unnoticed. He moved to the shadows, one of the only places he felt at home. He moved, quickly planning every move before he did it; this is what his master was proud of how he was always thinking.

He moved over to the port side towards where his items was stored, really all he had was a knapsack with a few clothes, supplies, money, and a special sketch of his mom. One of the most valuable things was his staff, it was made by a friend of master Tzang, and a close friend of his mother, it was the only memory he had of him. His father was a master craftsman of anything, he made that staff. It was beautiful, it was made of the strongest wood around, the butts were steel, and around the grip had intricate patterns of in graved steel.

He moved towards it.

"Where you think you're going," at that moment Michael felt the memory of Tzang hitting him over his head with his cane.

"Hi there, I was just uhh…, "he looked around, bingo, "oh, I was just thinking on how you need to lighten UP." And with that Michael grabbed his bag and flipped out a knife and ran to the sail stays. Michael timed it perfectly with the wind of the storm. He slashed at the lines and grabbed the one closest. This he did not plan; the momentum of the sail flung him to the other side of deck. Ugh was all he managed to say before jumping up and running to the helm. He spun the wheel a total 180' degrees to the left going along the storm barrier. About half the crew was flung to the port side.

Michael walked down among the knocked out soldiers.

"Oops," Michael murmured. He got to the captain

"Sorry 'bout that, didn't expect that to happen," Michael apologized,"you don't happen to have a dingy do you," the captain just stared grimacing at him.

"Thought you wouldn't tell. Oh, well." Good thing a giant sailor was lying on the captain, he looked as if he wanted to kill Michael. Funny thing, an old friend of his always gave him that look. Michael started to walk around looking for a dingy or small boat. Then he started to hear foot steps up some stairs. He looked around and it hit him, the men on lower deck. He looked for the hatch. It was next to the mast, he started walking towards it. Too late, he saw a bald head rise up, his brain did a random chemical reaction, the cannon ball. He picked one up and lunged at the guys head. Missed though, but had same affect. It hit the sailors back, making him hit his head on the mast. Michael ran over to the limp body and saw five people staring at him.

"Umm… I think this belongs to you," he said as he dumped the body down. He closed the doors and piled the extra supplies on it. He got back to his senses and started looking for his escape. He went into the captain's quarters. 'Oh some nice stuff in here' he thought on instinct, he was still thief. He loaded some stuff and extra supplies. Looked around and saw a little boat hanging off the back. Michael broke the window leading out there. Loaded all his stuff up, got in, and cut the ropes holding it. The boat came down with a splash. Michael looked around the boat.

"A mast," Michael said to himself with excitement. He worked to get it and the sail up. He finally did it caught the wind right away and it jerked the little boat in a circle. Michael relaxed he was safe now all he had to do was follow the wind back home.