Emerald slit the man's throat, then turned and walked away. As the man fell in a crumpled heap, his face remained stony.

"Search the lower levels for any survivors," Emerald instructed his crew. The eighteen complied, and he accompanied them downstairs.

They quickly found that the first two decks were dedicated to cannons, which if nothing else let them refresh their supplies. The third was the cargo hold and decently stocked, which they were happier about.

After the crew had made sure that there was no imperial ship anywhere in the distance, Emerald ordered them to return home with their new ship. They docked at an island after almost two days that the narration decided to skim over.

Emerald stood at the top of the walkway, a smile on his face. A young woman stood down at the docks, smiling up at him. Her hair was black as coal, yet possessed of a blue tinge, and her eyes were blue as the very ocean. She was attired in fairly conventional pirate garb.

"Welcome back," she said while he ran to her. The two embraced, and for a long moment, the world slipped their minds.

Emerald broke away. "How long have you been back?" he wasn't sure what else to ask.

"Since yesterday morning," Crystal answered. "But c'mon, let's just go home and have some fun." After a few days on the sea, they could both use that, she knew.

Crystal turned away, and he followed alongside. They headed towards the western side of the village, and relatively soon reached the beginning of a forest trail. They spent almost twenty minutes wandering the trail, occasionally spotting a passing Pokemon like a Pelipper, before arriving home.

Emerald looked out across the sea, seeing only quiet waters and clear skies. The wind ruffled his hair, to his annoyance.

A short while later, he watched a cloud pass across the sky, and a passing Lapras next. One of the pirates - Thomas - crossed him while taking a beach walk, wondering what their captain was doing but not enough to ask.

Close to noon, he watched the waves pick up the pace. Emerald sighed mentally, wondering how this was supposed to be educative or fun or whatever. Leaning back, he closed his eyes.

"Ten years as a pirate," he thought eventually. Ten years of murder and theft. More stabbings and near-deaths than he could count. "So much fun." Dismissing the thought, he got up.

Looking around, he saw nothing else interesting, which earned a sigh from the young man. He almost wanted to go out on another raid.

"Captain, Sir, may I ask why you are just sitting here?" Edward asked him.

Emerald looked up to see the skinny navigator. "I guess I'm just feeling bored today, Edward."

"IMPERIALS!" the scout shouted downstairs. The guard rushed to ring the alarm bell. "TWENTY SHIPS!" The guard went pale at that. They were outnumbered in every way.

Outside, the forty-something pirates hurried to assembly. Mute horror filled the faces of most at the sight of the incoming fleet. Despite being only the size of dots on the horizon, they all knew what this meant.

Emerald stared at the fleet, feeling calmer than he had expected. "Then again, I've known this for years."

"Captain, what do we do?" James demanded to know. The voices of a dozen others asking the same almost drowned him out. Crystal looked unsurely at him.

"We die," Emerald said simply. "The only question is, how many do we take with us." Almost half of his men looked aghast at him. "Here's the plan. We arm the cannons and hope for the best. When they make it to land, retreat inside one of the houses and arm yourself with whatever you can find."

The men silently went to their posts, arming the culverin. Emerald didn't pay much attention to that, tho.

Crystal smiled, not sure what to say. "So I guess this is goodbye? I mean, goodbye for good?" Emerald smiled back, confirming it. Neither said anything more.

The minutes passed in tense silence for one and all, the imperial ships growing clearer with every moment. The battle had begun within the hour. A hundred cannon shots from the whole line had sunk all three pirate ships within moments.

The pirates had fought back in that early stage... or, well, they had tried, but they had only one culverin to meet each broadside with. In other words, they were outmatched. The fleet soon took the battle to the land, each ship sending a full hundred armed soldiers at them.

The pirates holed themselves up in groups, in whatever houses remained. For a short while, it was a battle of attrition - an exchange of gunfire that killed almost half of them and forty of the soldiers. Things only worsened from there, with the soldiers storming their houses.

Emerald's death was an undignified one - after he had run out of ammo, a soldier shot him in the chest. Crystal's death had come after eight deaths by her sword, with a bullet to the throat.

"How did the attack go?" Green inquired.

"We succeeded, sir," the admiral reported. "We suffered casualties, but we managed to kill them. All forty-two pirates in Emerald's crew were found to be present."

"Very good to hear," Green replied. "Is that everything?"

"Yes, Sir, but I have a bit of a related idea to propose," the admiral said. "I would like to request permission to rebuild the former pirate den as a military base."

Green didn't need long to mull that over. "If you think this will help your efforts in the area, do it."

"I do, Sir," the admiral confirmed. "I very much do." Silence reigned for a moment.

"You're dismissed," Green said. The officer left, a smirk on his face as he left. Green watched him go, hoping he hadn't made a mistake, his thoughts soon drifting to the deceased head pirates.

"Those two might have been criminals, but they were also rational people and smart enough to keep the pirates from true dysfunctional savagery. Hopefully, whoever rises to replace them will be as well."