Anna staggered back, a disbelieving squeak escaping her lips. This couldn't be happening, there was no way the Northern Belle could be a target of pirates. No way. No way. But right before her eyes she saw the ship approaching swiftly, gliding through the ocean like butter straight towards her. The ship was close enough to make out the men scurrying across the deck, and Anna couldn't break her gaze away. No way.
"Anna, please, go below deck." Kristoff snapped her out of her thoughts by tugging on her wrist none too gently, firmly spinning her to face away from the attacking ship. Only once his steady grip touched her did she notice how badly she was shaking.
"Take this," He pressed a serrated knife into her trembling hands, and she caught her own pale expression in the blade. "Don't attack anyone unless you're protecting yourself, okay? You aren't skilled enough to go asking for trouble. Just stay out of sight-"
The booming voice of Captain Hans cut through the chaos on the ship, "Man the guns! Prepare to be boarded! She's pulling alongside and there's nothing to be done about it. Fight to the last man, you bastards." He finished off, grimly nodding at his somber crew.
They weren't motionless for long, the crew suddenly springing into motion, drawing swords and preparing the cannons. It seemed that even if they were too late to escape attack the crew of the Northern Belle was determined to go down with a fight.
Anna fought her own panic. She wouldn't be help anywhere, she realized. The only things she had been taught had been the menial jobs as well as some useless facts in passing. Not how to fight. She gripped the knife until her knuckles were white, but she still felt as if it could slip out of her fingers at any moment due to her shaking and sweaty palms.
Before she could process it, the Northern Belle shot her cannons with a roaring bang that snapped Anna out of her shock. Even if she had never fought like this before she had to help her crew as much as she could. Even if she kind of resented them for being mean to her, she couldn't really wish death on them.
The cannons from the Northern Belle had actually hit home, due to the shocking proximity of the other ship, but it seemed to Anna as if the resistance was too late. They were too close, and she saw preparations being made by the pirates to board her ship. How had they snuck so closely while being undetected? She knew for a fact that there was always someone in the crows nest during the day- had they been slacking on the job?
If they had been it was going to cost a lot of lives.
The pirates soared across the gap between ships with practiced ease, leaning into the ropes to speed them through the air quickly. Shots fired from her own crewmembers and one of the pirates jerked unnaturally and fell into the churning sea below. The pirates drew their weapons mid-flight as well, and soon the deck was hailed with bullets. In the next moment they had landed and surged forward with bold cries.
Anna steeled herself. Like hell she'd just run. She was going to prove herself even if it killed her. She lunged forward blindly, knife brandished and jaw clenched. The pirate she had been aiming for saw her coming from a mile away and almost lazily batted the knife out of Anna's hands. She quickly tried to backpedal, only to stumble and fall on her butt.
She really was rethinking her decision to have the determination to prove herself. Really, she would be fine not proving herself if she could live. The Pirate stepped forward and tilted his sword towards her neck, and Anna pushed herself back until she ran into the railing of the ship and she couldn't go any farther. Her hands scrambled for anything nearby to fight back with, and all the managed to grab was a broken piece of plywood. She feigned hurling it at the pirate, making him flinch just enough she was able to stand up and lunge at him, bringing the wood down on his head as hard as she could.
The pirate let out a jumbled string of swearwords and instinctively curled down slightly to cradle the top of his head. Anna again reared back and delivered a blow to his head before he could recover, then repeated the action until he collapsed on the ground, and then a few more times just for good measure.
Shakily she rubbed her face, trying to keep her head on straight as she fought her own panic. Had she really just done that? Bludgeoned a person to the ground? Crap, had she killed him? Crap. Well, kind of good, but also crap.
Anna was snapped out of her moral conflict by a body falling back into her arms that she caught by the armpits automatically. Grey-blue eyes pierced through Anna and she stumbled backwards as the woman she had caught stood on her own two feet. Anna raised her plank of wood in a weak attempt at a defense. The woman's wild white-gold hair whipped around her face and she raised her curved sword and flourished it with a peaceful expression.
"Anna!" Kristoff suddenly stepped in front of her, using his own body as a shield.
Anna peered around Kristoff's huge form to find the woman with a pensive expression. "You've lost, sailor. Step aside."
He hesitated, but stayed planted where he was. "Spare Anna. She doesn't deserve-"
"Deserve, you say? Do you think I pick and choose who I kill? This is a Weasleton ship, and therefore you die." The woman dismissed.
"You're the Ice Maiden, aren't you?" It took Anna a moment to process that she was the one who spoke. She cleared her throat and shifted nervously, the woman's eyes locked on her.
"What of it?" She questioned.
Anna stared at the deck, neck and face hot, "N-nothing."
The woman took a step forward and spoke again, "What of it?"
Anna tried to hold it in but a few tears escaped her eyes and she kept her head down, hoping that no one would be able to see how cowardly she was acting. "It's very odd, y-you know. To be killed by your favorite sea tale. I always wanted to be strong like the captain I heard about, and now I have to die by your hand…"
Anna glanced up and found the pirate looking uncomfortable in a way she thought no pirate captain, let alone the Ice Maiden, to look. She opened her mouth as if to respond, but snapped it shut just as quickly.
Yet just as quickly as her discomfort had appeared it was gone. "Surrender. Join the Ice Maiden's crew."
"What?" Anna whispered in shock.
"I'll spare your life if you swear to serve on my ship."
Kristoff glanced at Anna in shock, then grabbed her shoulders, "Anna no- you're worse than dead on a pirate ship, it's not a life worth living. If you think living on this ship was hard, think of how pirates will treat you-"
"I'll spare the rest of the living crew as well. We will take what we came for and leave, if you come with us. But if not, we continue as we were."
Anna looked at Kristoff helplessly, "I have to," she whispered to him, "Or everyone will die."
"No! Take me-"
"I will not compromise!" She snapped, a sneer growing on her face. "Choose now."
"Ill do it, I'll do it," Anna cried, lunging forward, pushing past Kristoff and falling at the Ice Maiden's feet, "I'll do it, just spare everyone else, please!"
"Very well. You've made your choice." The pirate turned away, and Anna took note of the regal cut of the jaw and the impassive glint in the eyes of her new captain.
Hello! I am alive, and so is this story! thank you so much for sticking around, I really appreciate it. I've been very busy but I hope to be able to set aside time for writing again. Thanks again!