"Think they have any party's around here, Scout?" I asked my dog, who just whined in response.
"You know, talking to you isn't fun at all" I was tired of course seeming I was talking to my dog. While still rendering my plan on how to get into the Imperial castle I realized a slight problem that came along with the brilliance. In order to get in, I need to get to know the locals. Perhaps find a secret organization and get them to back me up.
That's the first order of the plan, to make new friends, or rather comrades. That was the first thing my father taught me; Make friends but don't get too close. Because if you get too close to anyone it's nothing but trouble. You may end up turning the job that needs to be done into something personal, and that's never good. It doesn't matter for me anyway thought, the only people I have ever gotten close to was my family. They aren't a part of the job, so nothings going to turn out personal.
While in my thoughts, I hadn't noticed the excitement begin to form in the crowds as people surged forward from behind me, while others in front of me turned around to get away. From what was beyond me, but whatever it was it made people stir uneasily.
"Come back you little thief!" The voice rang out clearly among the crowd of people, and you could hear the surprised noises coming from crowd of people as a small boy, that looked no more than ten weaved around them in expertise. A bag of surely stolen apples tight in his grasp.
He was smiling as he ran away from an Imperial guard that was in pursuit of him, as if he knew he was going to get away. I leaned back against a stone wall crossing my arms and watching the scene intently. It reminded me of my child hood when I was around his age. If you stole something without being caught by the owner you received five points, if you out ran a guard.. well you became a legend. I used to be one of the best back in my youth, stacked up four hundred and five points from the age eight to eleven. After that my father had me stay away from the streets. Instead I trained for the very reason I'm standing in an Imperial's town.
The boy was advancing in my direction now, occasionally glancing behind him. That's when I noticed him, really noticed him this time. You could see his ribs through the dirty and tattered garments he was wearing that limply hung from his small frame. There was dust and mud caked on his face and hands, his knees scratched all to hell. His light brown hair shaggy and knotted, he was also barefoot. But still you could see the joyful glint in his hazel eyes, the determination to evade this guard that was gaining on him.
I could feel my heart beat faster at the thought, the horror rise in the pit of my stomach as I noticed the guard was faster, and the boy was in fact exhausted I also noticed some of the locals reach out trying to grab the boy and present him to the guard, as if they where going to receive an award for sending a small boy to jail. It made me sick to think these low life peasants would help the people who made them live this way, and for a bare minimum of money most times no money at all.
Which is why when the boy was grabbed by a middle aged man, and he began thrashing and screaming trying to get away I stepped forward. With one swift motion I had the boy in my own arms holding him from running away any more, and grabbing the sack of apples from his hands. Turning the bag up side down:
"Hand him over young girl!" I heard a booming voice rise above me as if it actually had authority over me, which it didn't. But I had to play the act, or else this boy was heading straight to the jail, and so was I for helping him. So with an apologetic smile I handed the heavy sack over to the guard.
"I'm sorry sir, my little brother here-" I tugged on his arm lightly and noticed the surprise glint in the boy's light hazel eyes before he caught on, and pretended to hang his head in shame. I felt a touch of amusement at his act and his street smarts that has obviously brought him this far. He reminded me of my sister who was rebellious and defiant. "-Is a bit of a rebel" The guard stared at me pondering if I was telling the truth or not. Apparently we both put up a good act because he nodded curtly and snatched the bag away from my hands, stomping away.
When the guard was out of sight I loosened my grip on the boy, he then shoved himself away from me.
"And what do you think you're doing!?" He screamed clearly furious with me. I felt myself scoff as I stared at him in disbelief. The little ungrateful brat!
"I think I just saved your life kid! I should know, that guard was right on you! How about saying thank you!?" I hissed back laying a hand on my hip. He brushed the sweat from his forehead while still glaring at me.
"Those apples where the most amount of food I've had in a month, and you just gave them away!" I could see he was trying to be angry with me, but there was a whine hidden in his voice. I would have felt bad if I had given the apples away, but alas I hadn't. Taking my bag that was still slung around my shoulder I opened it's front flap revealing six shiny apples. The boys mouth dropped in awe as the glint I noticed before returned.
"How did you do it?" He asked looking up at me as if I was some sort of god. I began pulling apples from my bag and handing them to him.
"You learn things when you've lived on the street for as long as I have" I stated solemnly, but he found this information wondrous as he still stared at me wide eyed.
At that moment I heard a slow and sarcastic clapping begin to start from behind me, which caused me to turn around abruptly. Behind me was the girl who had attacked me earlier that day, standing there with a smirk of.. amusement was it? Yeah, amusement was definitely painted on her stupid face that made me so angry.
The sight of her made my blood boil; Maybe it was because she tried to act so innocent the first time I met her, when in fact I knew she wasn't.
"Impressive, but what else could I expect from a pirate?" She stated with a smug look. Oh how I just wanted to slap that look of her face. Yet, instead I relaxed as cruel sort of smile appeared, just the slightest tug of my lips.
"Oh look, the bitch came back" At this her smug look faded, the smile and everything as she gestured for the boy to come to her. In which he relented walking over to her without so much as a protest.
"Either you're a horrible care taker for that kid, or you're part of some sort of organization. Thievery, assassination, orphans. So which is it?" I asked laying a hand on my hip. I could see the slightest sign of surprise in her eyes but it was recovered as it was replaced with defiance.
"What makes you believe that?" She defended; Which it didn't really matter if she lied or not, it was obvious she was trying to cover for whatever organization she was working with. I smiled because it was my turn to be smug.
"Well first of all that kid is no more than ten, and I know from personal experience he can't be that much of a skilled thief to be able to steal six perfect apples, and evade a guard as well as he did without training. Number two you acted innocent when we first met, and then instantly became defiant towards myself. Most peasant women don't do that because they're raised to be temperamental. You? You have a temper" I could see her mouth drop as she was about to respond with in no doubt a witty come back, but I held up my hand to stop her.
"Let me finish. Third at our first encounter you where with two other boys, and peasant women don't just walk around with two boys out of the blue, peasant women are at home tending to the younger children and the house. While also you noticed I was a pirate right away which means you have to have experience with rebellion, and secret organizations. I also highly doubt that your parents would know anything about it to be tell you anything nor would they choose to so don't try that excuse either. So come out with it, who exactly are you?"
They both stared, either in shock or confusion I didn't know. But I was of course right, and she knew that I wasn't fooled. So with a flick of her wrist she gestured for me to follow her. Without hesitation I walked up beside her, Scout following behind me; His tail wagging with excitement from only god knows what. The boy stood on the other side of her, watching the village intently to make sure no one was eavesdropping.
"Thievery and assassination" The girl stated bluntly, her voice low and cold.
"Come again?" I asked, knowing exactly what she said but just wanting to bask in the glory of being correct. I hated being wrong and when I was right I was more than just smug about it. But I also needed more information, which is why the second time around she explained in thoroughly.
"You're very annoying, like I said our organization consists of thieves and assassins. Although most of the people apart of it are orphans, we don't deal with homeless children. We deal with revenge" I felt my blood turn cold as I thought of my vow the day my father died. The vow to seek revenge on those who took his life, when his limp body lay in my shaking hands. My tears staining his brand new shirt I had gotten for his birthday that day, he had turned 32... "You still with me?" She asked waving a hand in front of my face to gather my attention. I raised an eyebrow giving her a look.
"You can join" she stated, wow was she ever blunt.
"Hu?" I asked my confusion evident.
"I said, you can join us. A pirate is exactly what we need right now" I could see the hesitation and resentment on letting me join in her voice, the anger she had toward me was so obvious, and she hated having to tell me this news. But then again I always did play the ignorant card around people that didn't want me there, as I lay an arm around her shoulder pulling her close as she tensed up. I smiled cheerfully while laughing. Feeling a sick enjoyment out of being needed by this girl who hated my guts.
"We're going to be great friends!" I stated sensing her glare on me. But I wasn't paying attention as I noticed the boys hazel eyes gleam in joy, and satisfaction. He reminded me so much of my sister.. It hurt really.
I won't be too long guys. I told myself in my head remembering my brother giving me a farewell hug, his strong arms wrapped around me. My mothers good bye full of hope for her daughter, and of course my little sister. Her stubborn attitude as she refused to let me go on the dangerous trip. But she couldn't stop me and she knew that when the day came around. She hugged me telling me to come back soon and to make sure I win. For dad.
Because they have faith in me. I thought, feeling the girl who's name was apparently Skyler -because the boy had just called her by that- pull my arm away from her, as she tried to smile at me but failed. I'll come home, and I'll win this war. For dad.