Chapter 10

An hour before dawn two days later, they came into contact with the vessel. Corsairs, just like themselves. Whiptail had armed himself with two sabers, whereas Simu had a hatchet with spikes on the outer edges. Cap’n Lesko gave the order for fire arrows to be fired. None being trained archers, however, every single one fell far short. Lesko still continued firing himself. Whiptail lost his patience. Grabbing a lit arrow, he tossed like a spear and hit the sails dead center. The other creatures stopped firing, silent in awe at the amazing skill of Whiptail, even Lesko. He turned to them with a contemptuous scowl. “Well? What are you waiting for? Row!” The vermin grabbed long paddles and began gradually moving toward the vessel, which by now had a decent blaze being battled by several creatures, while others fired fire arrows with better accuracy than Lesko’s crew. Whiptail solved this problem by grabbing a buckler from a nearby ferret and deflecting them into the sea. Whiptail and Simu leapt aboard first, hacking and slashing with the rage of the conqueror. The rest half-fought, half-watched the battle prowess of rat and stoat. One weasel had lost a paw to Whiptail, and pathetically tried to drag himself away. “Mercy, please, I’ve got a son, I’ve got a son, don’t do it, please!” Whiptail slashed his throat without a second thought.

The battle was over surprisingly quickly. Lesko had gained a new admiration for Whiptail. “Did yae see this engine o’ destrooction? Never seen anythin’ like in all mae days! Mae laddie buck, consider yerself first mate aboard the Waveblade! Three cheers for Whiptail the Brave!” The deck of the Waveblade resounded with the replies of corsairs and searats alike. “Whiptail, Whiptail, Whiptail the Brave!”

Whiptail and Simu found themselves in the crows’ nest once again with ice cream. Simu turned to Whiptail. “Hey matey, we should do this ev’ry night. Sound good?” Whiptail nodded, still watching the stars. His mind wandered over the day’s events, especially the weasel. And then to His own father, who he had never known, and then… to Glae. Whiptail lay curled in her gentle arms, being rocked back and forth. It was a sense of peace and security and… and… and something else like he had never known. “Whiptail? Whiptail!” Whiptail came awake with a start in a cold sweat. He buried himself in Simu’s shoulder and wept openly. “My fault… It’s my fault… oh my beautiful… raaauughhh!!” And as suddenly as he had started, he stopped. There was no sadness on that face. All there was was cold, invincible fury. Whiptail stood and roared aloud the name of his enemy, the one that had taken everything from him:” Zooorrrrkkkaaaaaaaaan! I am coming for you!”

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