The Pentagonal Brotherhood assembled a bond that no wave will cast overboard. Our loyalty to one another means everything to us. Without it, we are nothing. We are susceptible. Like a ship covets the sea, we covet each other. We are all we have. Together, we work as cogs, each one as important as the next, no more nor no less. A covey of lost brothers, on the hunt of candid ocean for vengeance for our slaughtered and deceased fathers, mothers, or even ourselves. Seeking contracts from village to village, the Brotherhood make their living completing small tasks for the common folk. Spreading good virtue and fortune to those in need. Each individual has his own treasure to contribute to the company.
Raul was a gifted corpsman. He studied the vegetation, and herbs in his village from the moment he planted his hands in the dirt. Raul memorized their uses and improved methods that he had learned from helping his Nan in the family garden. He could find most of any supplies in nearby forests, but he won’t say no to a trip to the nearest apothecary. Raul has made small advances in his study of the human anatomy, volunteer permitting. He is still squeamish in the presence of blood, which is a bit of drawback, considering our profession.
Troy could hunt anything, and anyone. He was thrilling to watch. I was envious of his investigative skills, how he could gather so much information from the tiniest of clue or rumor. Troy had been the son of the village Huntsman, who taught him the complexities of the human and animal mind.
Sean was the youngest, but the strongest and the most experienced sailor I’ve laid eyes on in ten years. He could crew this whole ship if he wanted, and or needed to.
The contract is proposed, it must be carried out. These contracts are delegated to the Brotherhood on small discreet scrolls, passed down from the Higher Powers, whomever they may be, and each brother must have his turn. And it so happened that the scroll fell into my lap this dawn.
‘BARBAROSSA’ is scribbled in elegant green ink. His time has come at last.
What an arduous task. But not unimaginable. At least not without the gentle support of my crew, and my first mate, Alexander. Raul, Troy and Sean will annihilate obstacles and traps in my path, while I carry out the violent deed. Alexander, my first mate, must stay with our escort, Red-Fang. I had no distrust in his qualifications.
I’ve admired him in-action aplenty. We’ve known each other since we were boisterous lads in the village. Accepted each other as equals and played in the fields. That was until it got pillaged. Then we became men. Not by choice, but by shared trauma. We had one another, until we found the others who were like us, whom been victimized by this nefarious and insatiable world.
As Red-Fang sweeps across the Mediterranean, I develop our plan of approach. The Isle of Capri is a fortress. With sky scraping stone walls, we would need the night sky to shield us from discovery. Barbarossa has a high command of men, and they would be patrolling the island’s shores for landlubbers and plunderers, so we must work like ghosts in the night. But, the Brotherhood weren’t given this task because we are amateurs. No. In fact, Barbarossa has been expecting us. I could hear the Cat O’Nine Tails cracking in the air.
Sailing to the far side of the island, the ship docked in a small alcove that hid in the darkness of the drop-off.
“We must lie low, until the guards have bartered shifts and decreased in number” I say to Alexander, who is scouring the shore for potential enemies. His knife-like blue eyes could spot any form of camouflage.
‘Aye-aye,’ he responds, without splintering his focus.
With my signal, the crew drops anchor and disperse amongst the brush that lay beyond the shore, disappearing into the night. I fall back to gather my thoughts. I focus all my suppressed rage and grief from that night that Red-Beard and his volatile crew of brutes ambushed my village. I allowed the moments that monster tossed my family out into the streets and let his men tear my mother apart, and forcing my father, brother and myself to watch to boil up inside for so long. It’s time to release the beast inside. I let her tremulous screams that haunt me each night fill my ears up with red-hot anguish. I let my brother’s cries fill me with remorse. And I let my father’s cries fill me with vengeance. With dagger in hand, I walk the path that guides my blade to Red-Beards neck.