Over the years many towns and cities grew and became very wealthy, but one stood out among them all. It had much more gold than all the others and many more people who were all very smart and very wealthy. This city was so advanced, nothing seemed to be able to overthrow it, therefore became a capital over all the others. It had many goods to trade: the fish from the lagoon near the city, the coal from the rich mines, the oil that spouted in many places throughout the small towns, and its many farming lands that produced plenty of wheat and corn from its fields. With all of its trading, the city gained plenty of riches and advanced even further. This cities name was Babylon.
After a few decades of peace and wonder of this great city, a raiding party formed and declared that they would rule these cities and lands. They were made up of rebels and opinionated people who hated rules and laws and rules that you had to follow the law. So they began to plan and formed six different groups which they called clans. Each clan had a specific leader and that leader had his own followers as they rebelled against all civilization. All six clans split the mapped world and this be ame known as their territories. Though the rebels made it clear that they did not believe in the government system (where laws were put in place) a code of law was formed that outlined their living conditions, to assure that not one single clan would over rule the others. They kept the code simple, never wanting to go back to a life similar to the city. The code stated that all clans may only raid within their own borders, there must always be a leader of the clan, and that anything otherwise is fair play. After establishing this code, each clan began with three ships, each having a captain and a clan leader who was head of all the captains.
Because of these codes which aloud so much freedom for the rebels, there was plenty of barbaric behavior and many who sought leadership over the others, but all obeyed the two high rules. Many attempted to overthrow their captains, some succeeded and took over role of captain of the ship but few were ever able to become one of the six emperors of the clans.
As the years went on and the raids continued to grow, many of the town's people feared these barbaric people who controlled all law that was ever attempted to be enforced. The only city that ever could withstand any of these horrible attacks was the great city Babylon. It fortified its city well and never gave into any of the barbarians' rivalry. Many ships were lost within the clans, for Babylon stood right at a corner of all six clans borders therefore fair play for all clans to raid. Many tried to overthrow it and always failed miserably. The city took great damage at times and had to have constant repair and construction of war ships to defend its people. Yet still, it waged on—growing stronger and stronger with each reconstruction.
Finally, after much frustration for the rebels, the six clans came together and planned once again, only this time to overthrow the great city Babylon and raid its riches for themselves. They wanted to teach these people of Babylon a lesson to never cross the clans in such a way that embarrassed them. So the clan emperors made a pact to come together and raid all at once, all attacking one city.
And so, they carried out their monstrous plan and the great city of Babylon met six different clans, each having three ships, at their gates. Some of the eighteen ships went in to shore and raided the towns my foot with swords and small cannons. Some went for the defending ships of the city which were horribly outnumbered and sunk quickly by fire. What was left of the eighteen brought their ships closely into the harbor of the city and bore their sides, cannons ready to burst.
The city was in chaos, the men fought best they could as their woman and children were slain in their homes, screaming and crying for mercy. However, the rebels had no soft hearts even for the small children for they were filled with adrenaline from anger at the city and attacked with no mercy in mind. Farm crops were ablaze with fire, shops were stripped of their goods and then destroyed, any buildings that held any masses of gold were raided and put to fire as well. And finally, when the rebels felt somewhat satisfied with their work, they left the remains of the people to their city that was crumbling all around them in flames.
The barbarians left the people with one last lesson, to extinguish any last bits of hope, for the city of Babylon. They took eighteen children who had lived through the raid from the city, each ship taking one. These children ranged from around eight to fifteen of age. And as the clans departed from the burning city, they declared that these children were to be used as slaves, abused and tortured.
As the city tried to regain some of its footing from the horrible raid, the years passed by and the eighteen children continued to be starved and used as deck cleaners of the ships. Each ship was given permission to do what they wanted with the captives and all clans took advantage of this. Some ship captains allowed the crew members to do whatever they wanted to the children, torturing them. Most of the captains starved their captives near death and then fed them a poison that was made to work slowly, taking almost a month to slowly kill its victims. After doing so, they sailed the child back to Babylon and aloud their captive to go back to their families and homes only for them to die from the poison shortly after. This tortured the city of Babylon greatly as they tried to establish a foundation for their crippled city. Some of the children attempted to rebel against their captors resulting in their deaths by being drowned or hung by their small necks. What was left of the captives on the few ships that kept them alive, they were condemned to a life long service of slavery.
After this horrible day in history the raids continue for the rebels, but for the city of Babylon the nightmares remained. The city grew once again, never as great and always in fear of another monstrous raid. The people of Babylon offer gold and silver every year to the barbarians in hope to avoid a conflict with them once again. There is always rumor amongst all of the cities that another raid of all the clans will be planned and more children of the next generation will be taken and tortured. The story still remains within the walls of homes in the cities, especially for those who suffer in the once great city who bare horrid dreams of the day that may come again.
The raids continue, henceforth giving the clans the title of Pirates.
"Chris, get your fat, lazy butt on deck." Yells the captain's first mate, Anthony, from the upper deck. "Now."
I refrain myself from yelling back at him that he's a scum bag who doesn't deserve to roam this planet. Instead I stop what I'm doing and head up to the deck, knowing that it was time to attend to my duties as cabin boy, or rather cabin girl.
Just another day aboard my favorite ship.
As I walk onto the deck that is full of vigorous movement from the crew I feel Anthony's glare digging into my back. I head right for the mop and bucket of water that is always waiting for me in the middle of the deck. I pointedly avoid his gaze and apply a small shy gesture that tells him that yes, I am submissive to him, under him, he's greater than me, I'm nothing, dirt, trash, the grime on the side of the boat—which I will have to remember to peal off next time we go into port to a city for a raid. Yet another thing to add to my to-do list.
I grab the mop firmly in my hands and begin swabbing the wooden floor in swift movements, pretending that it is my weapon, an extension of my arm and that I must focus to make perfect, beautiful combinations to terminate my victim…my horrible enemy that knows that it's coming, but can not prevent it because of my swift movements.
A deep voice is cleared behind me in an obvious gesture to gain my attention. I turn slowly, allowing myself to give a little jolt as if jumpy and scared—as though my delicate life was constantly in danger because anyone here is capable of beating me easily. Although I know very well that that is not entirely true, though I will never show it.
"What do you think you're doing?" Says the now cleared voice still standing behind me, waiting for my attention to come to him. I turn to meet the captain's sharp eyes watching my every move. Besides his eyes cradling my movement, he looks a bit on the angry side. He is generally a grumpy person, one that never seems to be happy (especially around me), but he looks as if he is a little more on edge than usual. And who else to take it all out on than me? Wonderful.
"I-I'm doing me duties, sir." Stuttering, good-I think to myself as I continue my "look as innocent as possible" act.
He shifts his weight from one leg to the other. "Car is feeling a bit under the weather today and has asked to take a day of rest, you'll be replacing him." He raises a single eye brow, challenging me to say one wrong word, give him one reason to go ballistic and thrash out—feed me to the sharks.
"Car takes duty up high, with the sail, sir?"
His lip lifts ever so slightly in the corner, a sly smile coming into play. "Scared you'll fall, cabin girl? You sure you can carry out the job? You do know how it's done don't you, you piece of rubbish." I can easily tell that he takes pride in the words that leave his mouth and it sweetens his mood an inch. He just loves telling me how worthless I am to him, how little I am to the world. And I have to let him get away with it just like I do with everyone else around here.
"Course, sir. I can do the job. What of my chores on deck?" I begin putting the mop back into the bucket and making sure I don't make eye contact with his harmful glare.
"You'll drop those today, but today only. Don't think that this is any excuse to slack off at any time, for any reason." His voice is stern and rough, deep and intimidating. I hate him.
"Course not, sir."
He waits for a second then seems to allow his voice to sound infuriated with something that I apparently did wrong. "Well, get to work! Mind you, it's high and the ship does shift easily." He turns and is walking away with his back to me as he adds over his shoulder, "Wouldn't want you to fall."
No, we wouldn't want that, would we? I add to myself as I walk to the side of the ship. I grab onto a roped ladder that makes its way up to the top of the sails—the rigging of the ship. I take a tight grip to it and begin ascending up to do my new job of the day.
As I reach the top I find myself working the sails with the other attendant, Sash. Of course that's not his real name, no one on board ever takes up their real names; it's like an unwritten code. The only person I've ever known to keep their actual name would be Anthony, the first mate. He's got so much pride in himself; he doesn't seem to care about anything anyone thinks, so I guess that could be why he kept his name. I wouldn't really know what the real answer to that is though, never felt like asking him. It's not like I make a lot of conversation with the guy anyway, or with any of the crew members, because I'm so below their power; they see it more fit to spit in my direction then to state a syllable.
After a few hours of the sun rising, and no conversation whatsoever with Sash, I tune into the small commotion that's going on down on deck. I pause with my work, grab hold of a nearby rope and lean out to get a better view of things.
It seemed as though everything was perfectly normal at first, and then I notice that only a few of the crew members were actually doing their jobs, most of the others were looking over the side of the ship. I see them all shouting and yelling and pointing at something in the water. Finally, Anthony goes to inspect what was going on and he barks something at the men, causing them to go back to their posts. After a moment of him searching the water, he jogs down into the cabin under the deck to where the captain is; probably reporting what he saw.
Curious, I slide over to where the laddered rope is only to make eye contact with Sash who gives me a hard look and slowly shakes his head—warning me to stay out of whatever was going on. Of course, I have to listen to him so I stay where I am and pretend to actually be working, still keeping an eye on what was going on.
I can't see what's in the water, but whatever it is has the crew going crazy, or at the least acting weird. I mean, their big grown men (well most of them anyway), what could possible get them yelling and shouting like little school girls who have seen a snake? Maybe they noticed a shark near the ship, or some other ocean creature—squid? Was the creature dead, floating around above the water, advertising its death? Whatever it is, you would think I would be able to see it from all the way up here, I mean, you can see everything from up here. I guess that it's just too close to the side of the boat. I wonder if Sash can see it…
Suddenly the captain bursts from his quarter doors, Anthony on his heel. They both make their way to where the crowd had formed earlier. Anthony points towards the water and the captain follows his gaze. The captain, Creg, turns and yells some orders and a couple of crew members bring some rope. One of them is sent down the ladder that is on the side of the ship with the rope and after a few minutes of the whole ship holding it's breathe, the captain and the first mate together haul up whatever was on the other side of the rope. The guy that had gone down appeared back at the top of the railing, and came back on board. Right after he landed on the deck the end of the rope, along with its package, appeared. Creg and Anthony both gripped it and stared at it blankly. I tried to get a good view of what it was but couldn't see it at all.
All of the crew, against Anthony's orders, gathered around the object that the captain held and all began to murmur about it, some yelled, some asked questions. All the while, the captain didn't say anything—he just stared at it. I gave up on trying to see what was causing such a riot, because as more and more crew members gathered around, it became increasingly impossible.
Finally, Sash made his way down, opening up the opportunity for me to follow. So I grabbed hold of the rigging of the ships sail and slid my way down to the main deck. I couldn't get down fast enough, my curiosity was running wild as I continued to try and figure out what was going on—though it was probably nothing.
I made my way to the mob and pushed and shoved through the monstrous men, who yelled at me in return. Normally I would shutter and listen to them, apologizing for inconveniencing them with my presence but my curiosity was just too great…I had to see what was going on. After a bit of working through the crowd, I made my way to Anthony and the captain. Anthony was telling everyone to get back to work and to go back to their stations but no one was listening—probably because Creg wasn't enforcing Anthony's orders, he was too busy staring at the bundle in his arms.
I finally got a glance at the thing in his hands. I found myself staring at a thing wrapped in a blanket. Creg was holding it with a bit of care, and considering the fact that he was the captain (big, strong, and ruthless), I was a bit thrown off guard and kind of scared. I mean, what could possibly be in the small blanket that would bring out even the slightest bit of tenderness from a pirate? The answer is nothing—so what the hell was it?
Then I realized what the shape within the bundle could be, it was small and crying. Though you couldn't really hear its cries if you weren't standing as close as I was because of all the men yelling around it. At least we knew the cause of the tears.
It was a baby. The crew members had spotted a baby on the ocean, probably floating ontop of the water on a raft of some sort. A baby. Something so small survived such horrible conditions—the ocean—and now it was in even worse trouble.
A baby on a pirate ship. Wonderful.