The Bracelet of Solis
Chapter One: Pirates
"Now, tell me where it is and I won't have to kill you like your friend over there."
She hadn't heard the whole conversation, she'd just arrived, but she already felt like she needed to do something. I have to help! She's going to kill Mr. Sanders! But how could one do anything when they were frozen in fear?
It was a foggy day in the seaport city that Hero and the circus she belonged to had set up their tent. The large, yellow cloth was rung up just outside the busy city of Windell, where the owner of the Trevie Circus told all of his workers they would settle for a month or two. In fact, they had just finished their first showing about forty minutes ago and Hero was sent on a chore to go through the forest, walk into town and hand out pamphlets advertising their next performance.
She never made it to the city gates.
She stood there, shivering and petrified, unable to move away from the thick pine tree she hid behind. Pale white hands gripped at the brown bark; shuttered breaths barely made a sound in fear of alerting the murderers of her presence, and the pamphlets were scattered on the forest floor behind her, long forgotten in the turn of events.
Mr. Sanders… He was a great man, beloved by all! Hero could easily recall his smiling, reassuring face. He was the one that taught her most of her acrobatic tricks that she now used in the circus show, the one assigned to take care of her when the circus took her in. Her grip tightened painfully around the trunk of the tree; she could feel tears start to collect at the corners of her pink eyes as the scene before her carried on.
"I don't know what you're talking about!" Mr. Sanders's familiar voice rang out desperately as the kneeling man stared up at the only cloaked figure that still had their hood up. Both his arms were grasped by men on either side of him, his body held in place about a meter or so in front of the forest pond's edge. The fog collected above the water, the white mist rolling in waves and making it harder to see what was going on.
The long sound of a sword being unsheathed resonated around the area, the metal of the well-crafted blade catching small glints of light now and then as it was slowly lowered to the captive's neck. "I have no time for games, old man," the woman's voice that came form the hood was rich, alluring, "Tell me where the Bracelet of Solis is, before I lop off your head." Her words came out evenly, the woman's sword steadily moving in before it finally broke the skin, a small trickle of blood running down and ruining the well crafted blade's perfect sheen.
"I told you! I don't know!" He whimpered, his widened eyes staring only at the metallic silver edge grazing the side of his neck. His lips trembled and sweat ran down his wrinkled face. His hazy blue eyes shot up to look into the eye staring down blankly at him. His whole being cried out for this woman to have mercy and spare him!
The woman raised her sword and with one clean swipe, chopped off Mr. Sanders's head. His terrified expression would forever be burned into his face as it fell to the ground with a soft thud, landing right next to his profusely bleeding body. The two men on either side of him let go, allowing the dead man's body fall limply onto the pond's wet banks.
"Now…" The steady, feminine voice came once more, obviously unperturbed by the execution. She lifted a slender hand out from of the cloak's folds and brought down the hood hiding her face; the image was breathtakingly beautiful, but also breathtakingly deadly. Copper-brown eyes briefly regarded the beheaded figure before turning around and peering through the thick fog, "How about you, miss?" A smirk crossed her pristine features as she recognized the terror in her second captive's face. "Now now, no need to be scared," she said, her voice as smooth as silk, "If you give me the answer I want, I will set you free."
"I-I…" The woman trembled, barely intelligible past her dried throat and silent sobs. She too was kneeling down in front of the raven-haired woman, forced to her knees by the third and last man present. The horror-struck look on her face only amplified when the woman-pirate bent down, gently cupping her female captive's chin with her hand.
"Shh, shh," the pirate woman softly cooed and the large, golden hoop ring in her left ear moved when cloaked figure positioned her face closer, "All I want to know is where the Bracelet of Solis is. A simple request, yes? I will let you go as soon as you answer." Her words sounded sincere, her voice tender and calming to anyone who listened, but Hero knew she was anything but. No pirate could be.
Still, the woman quivered, "I'm s-sorry, I don't—"
Suddenly, the grip on her jawbone became harsh as the flames behind those bright-brown eyes sparked to life. "Are you sure you want to finish that sentence, dearie?" The pirate leaned back up, once again placing her blade to the captive's neck, "I assume you know the drill by now?" she asked off-handedly, an amused smile appearing on her attractive face as pink-rimmed, bleary eyes peered up at her in horror, "I'll take that as a 'yes'."
"DON'T!" Hero's voice roared out before she could stop herself. Her wide, pink gaze met with an equally surprised copper stare, Where did that come from? Hero questioned her bravado, noting that her legs still trembled as she stood glaring at the tall female pirate. The teenager gasped in fear when the pirate produced a flintlock pistol from beneath her dark-brown cloak, aiming the barrel right at her. Before the acrobat knew what she was doing, she sprinted off into a blind run through the surrounding forest and fog. The pirate's fading voice behind her only shouted two words: 'Catch her!'
Hero ran. Hero ran as fast as she could. Her arms pumped and her legs sprinted; her heart rammed against her ribcage and adrenaline quickly coursed through her veins. Short, albino-white hair uncomfortably clung to her face and neck as she dashed on, her only priority being getting out of that forest as fast as she could. She darted between thick lines of trees, panting as she dodged left and right, trying not to trip over any roots. She heard feet harshly stomping the ground behind her, the sound of the men's footsteps slowly gaining on her— She spotted the clearing! The dirt road leading to the city! Almost there! The fog was starting to clear up! Maybe she could make it!
But of course she got caught.
The men were faster and stronger than her, and even though she was much more nimble, she couldn't escape their seizing hands in her current state. She fought against their holds, yelled at them to let go, but soon found one of the men's balled fist ruthlessly slammed into her gut; the albino fell limp as the air escaped her body. Her figure was slumped, carried back to the female pirate and slammed against a tree, the very tree she was hiding behind before. The two men painfully gripped her arms, folding them back against the trunk so she couldn't run away when she came to.
"So this is our curious mouse," The female pirate leisurely walked over to the acrobat, lifting the girl's head up by the chin with a black-gloved hand. An amused glint surfaced in her eyes as the nineteen year old groaned in pain, gradually waking up. The female pirate stepped back for a full body view: a plain white gown covered the girl from her torso all the way down to her knees. The brown gaze once more fell on the girl's face, watching as pink orbs blinked back into consciousness.
"Why, hello there, little mouse," The woman greeted, her humored smile only twitching upward when she was met with a harsh, if not slightly dazed, glower. "May I ask what you're doing, all alone in the forest on a fine day such as this?" Her words were light and inviting, an act.
Hero scanned the beautiful woman's face, taking in the way the pirate's raven-black, tightly curled hair fell down her mid-back and covered one of her striking copper eyes; how she had on highly decorated clothes under that dreary brown cloak (She briefly wondered if they were stolen.) and also taking note on how the woman carried herself with an air of absolute authority. The albino's pink eyes narrowed, trying to fight off the numbness starting to form in her twisted arms, "No you may not!" She replied, holding her head high and putting up a brave front.
The tall pirate's amusement only grew with this response, "My, what a brave little mouse we have. First she intervenes with my interrogation and now she stands up to me, even when she is the one restrained against a tree." The woman looked to the men holding Hero back from lashing out, "Does this amuse you two as much as it amuses me?"
Both men chuckled, matching smirks on their faces. One of them piped in with his own thoughts, "Only someone stupid would stand up to the great pirate Captain Aster Wrights." He turned to look at his buddy, catching a peek of his fellow crewmember nodding on the other side of the tree trunk.
The female pirate, now known as Aster Wrights, looked at both men, a helpless smile on her face as she addressed them both, shaking her head good humouredly, "Now now, nobody likes a brown-nose." She chuckled.
The man who originally talked shrugged with his hand's still gripping Hero's pale arm, "It ain't sucking up when it's the truth, Captain."
"How could you kill Mr. Sanders?" Hero suddenly bellowed, startling everyone else there. Her hands were balled into fists; her bared teeth set in the snarl that slowly grew as the pirates had talked. Flames licked the bottom of her sharp pink eyes, her stare locked on to the pirate Captain's. "I don't know who 'Captain Aster Wrights' is but I'll make you pay for killing Mr. Sanders!"
"'Make me pay,' hm?" Aster asked, the smile slowly dropping from her face. Suddenly, before Hero could comprehend what had happened, the wind was knocked out of her for a second time in ten minutes. The albino hunched over, inhaling deeply, her breath coming in shakily and her thoughts in a scramble. Through her flashing white vision, Hero could see glimpses of Captain Wrights lowering her raised knee back into the folds of her thick cloak.
Hero felt a warm breeze run across her ear, soft enough to make her shudder, before realizing it was the breath of a quiet whisper: "I don't believe you're in the position to be threatening me, little mouse." The pirate captain backed away as the acrobat's body was once again slammed against the trunk of the tree, reinforcing her captor's statement. The girl hissed in pain as aching jolts shot up her spine. Aster addressed the albino blonde girl once more, "I'll ask you one more time: what're you doing here?" Her tone was harsh, demanding, one that knew it would be obeyed because it always had been.
Until now that is:
Captain Aster blinked, her perplexed stare taking in the girl's silent, defiant form. "I honestly don't know whether to call you courageous or stupid," she quirked an eyebrow as Hero's eyes narrowed, "I'm leaning towards the latter." Still, the girl's rebellious demeanor was intriguing. How many times had Aster just been given what she wanted because she was the most feared pirate in these waters? And to meet someone who didn't even know of her name and deeds, a novelty in itself! It was all rather refreshing, to say the least. However, Aster quickly pushed her fascination aside to focus the matter at hand, all defiance must be taken care of the good 'ol fashion pirate way.
"As much as I would love to be continuously glared at, I do have a bracelet to find." The Captain lifted her sword up once again, but this time held it backwards so the pommel faced the acrobat. Her copper eyes narrowed, a smirk forming on her face as realization and dread made its appearance on Hero's visage, "Farewell, little mou— Ehh?" Aster's eyes darted to the side to look for the brief glimpse of metal that caught her eye. She slowly glanced around until her gaze landed on a scrap of bejeweled metal around Hero's thin wrist. The raven-tressed woman gasped, her eyes widening as she took in the sight of the thick piece of jewelry.
Wright's gaze quickly hardened, becoming almost urgent as her stare met with one of her crewmember's curious looks. "Yes, Captain?" He trembled under the intense look his boss was giving him, fear rattling his frame.
"Give me that bracelet," The female pirate commanded, her order crisp, leaving no room for argument. She waited, visibly impatient, as the man fumbled to get the metal ring from around the teenager's wrist. The captain quickly snatched it from the man's hands and examined it, ignoring the girl's complaints.
"Wait!" Hero pleaded, "Don't take that, please! That was a memento from my real parents, the only thing of theirs I have left!" The albino looked at her cherished bracelet hands of another, her heart aching tenderly at the thought of it being separated from her.
The Captain turned the object this way and that, taking in its form. It wasn't much to look at: the silver metal didn't shine like a polished boot and the jade stones encrusted in the thick, curved figure didn't glimmer in the foggy dew that surrounded them. In fact, it looked old, uncared for, but Aster knew that this was exactly what she had been looking for: "The Bracelet of Solis…"
Wrights turned her attention back to the nineteen year old, chuckling at the distraught look that stared back, "Who would have thought I'd find what I was looking for on the wrist of a nosy girl." She looked to her men, "I suppose this means we could spare that information broker's life for tipping us off with the right information. It's the least I could as he was so willing to help." She smiled as her present crew chuckled, knowing that the said broker's life was in Aster's hands. He was currently being held somewhere with a sword against his throat, roughly bound to a chair, his life ready to be forfeit at the drop of a hat.
"As for you," the cloaked woman turned her attention to Hero once more, "I must thank you personally for helping me in my current endeavors. You see, without this bracelet, the Treasures of Solis cannot be found, but now that I have it, the treasure mine for the taking. That said, I, Captain Aster Wrights of the Black Rose, wish you a happy voyage to the afterlife. Good bye." With these final words, Aster unexpectedly slammed the pommel of her sword against the side of Hero's skill, causing the poor girl to immediately fall unconscious, blood running down the left side of her head.
The two men on either side dropped the now limp body before walking over to their Captain's side. The third man, who has been patently standing with the female captive addressed his boss, "What should I do with this one, Captain?"
Dismissive brown eyes lifted from the bracelet in her hand to give the female captive a one-over. She looked back down to the bracelet before placing it in a pocket inside her cloak, answering the man back without looking at him, "Kill her. I don't want her running to the nearest constable, spreading word that I'm around." She lifted her gaze to the white haze that hung between her crew and the path back to the port-city of Windell. The familiar sound of blood-garbled screaming could be heard, but being so use to it, she didn't pay it any mind. Aster started to walk through the path of pine trees, away from the pond, "Come. I told the Quartermaster we'd meet at the Smithy at half past two. Johnston, about that circus further up along the road…"
The four pirates walked off, pulling the hoods back over their heads as they disappeared into the fog, leaving behind the three bleeding figures. As they trailed on, they didn't notice the shallow breathing of one of the figures they thought they had killed…
Author's Note: This is a pirate story with mostly femslash romance and a slight amount of hetro in the mix somewhere down the line. There's a very small amount of fantasy elements, and takes place in a made-up world, so I'm making it a mixture of different time periods- just not modern. The rating is T for now, but it will most like change to M in later chapters.
Welcome to the world of The Bracelet of Solis. =)