Adventures of the PHANTOM Pirates chapter 0 Introduction
~Hello everybody and welcome to my very first fanfiction. Im very new to this whole thing, do please excuse any strange editing errors that may appear here. Im only human. Though if you notice any major mistakes make sure to leave a calm, constructive comment and I will do my best to correct the issue post haste. All that said this is a fan fiction. The majority of characters seen here are not owned by me. They each belong to their respective owners. I have hopes that my meager work inspires you to support their great ones. With that out of the way...ENJOY!~
I dont much like talking about the scene I witnessed that night. It still haunts my dreams even to this very day. Still if I had not been there myself I would of believed it to be just that. A dream or more accurately a nightmare. Still Im getting ahead of myself. It all started on that fateful night many odd years ago.
It was in my twentieth year. I had just gotten finished with what was to be my very first sailing mission aboard the merchant ship Debutante. We were a relatively large crew of 80 odd men or so, many of them much older and more experienced than I.
It was supposed to be a simple trade mission. We had just returned from our neighboring country to the south and were about a days voyage away from our home port. Everything had gone down without issue. The crew were celebrating the successful trade of goods in the usual manner drinking and laughing with one another on the quarter deck.
I never much cared for the drink myself. Id had a rather unpleasant experience with rum in my younger years.. I was always the curious type and my parents didn't discourage me from it. Thus one morning found me blue in the face and wrenching what was left of my breakfast into the nearest bucket. Haven't touched a drop since then.
The sun had begun to fall on the horizon as the first stars began to appear in the sky. Most of the crew had dispersed below deck now to their various quarters in various states of stupor. I shook my head at the antics of some of my fellow crewman as a few stumbled down the ladders toward the lower deck.
Suddenly I felt myself grabbed by the arm. Reacting instinctively I jerked away from my fellow crewman's grip and grabbed at my pistol only to stare in shock at the face of my aggressor. There stood midshipman Hawkins staring at me wide eyed with his dark green eyes. "Whoa there Cutler no need to panic its just me."
Slowly recoiling my arm and replacing my pistol in my belt I crossed my arms. "Just what are you thinking sneaking up on a man from behind like that. I could of easily shot you, then wed both be in trouble." I grimaced at him. In truth I was feeling a bit more jumpy than usual. The captain had been on edge all day for some odd reason and Id found myself feeling the sense of unease that usually comes before a storm. It was odd because there was not a sign of a cloud in the sky.
"I apologize there mate but its just about time for the first watch to begin. I just wanted to inform you that Ill be standing post tonight with you. Captains orders." Hawkins gave me a wide grin and patted me on the shoulder. Despite the difference in our ranks I had always admired midshipman Hawkins. I knew I wasn't the only one. Among the crew he was very well favored.
He was a family man Hawkins. Had a wife and a child back home that he was providing for with the meager pay he got from being a merchant sailor here. Perhaps that's why I looked up to him so much. It was always my dream to settle with a maiden back home and maybe grow up some children of my own. Pass on the Cutler legacy as it were. Still that dream was still a far ways off. Right now I was just satisfied with the chance to roam the open sea.
Slowly a smile spread across my own face before suddenly turning strained. "Can I ask you a question in confidence sir?" I was careful to keep my voice as expressionless as possible not wishing to alarm Hawkins further after how Id reacted earlier. My breath was already starting to quicken from the anxiety I was feeling inside. It didn't help that here was a man so many years my senior standing a couple heads taller than myself. Still if anyone would know the answer to my question it would be him.
My breath caught a bit as he paused a moment before nodding at me. "You have permission to speak freely you know. Just because were different ranks doesn't mean you cant talk to me. And please call me Jim. That is my name after all." He chuckled a bit at this.
My mouth hung open like a fish. There was something odd about the way Hawkins was acting wouldn't be until much later that I discovered just what that was. Still I shook it off and stood a little more confidently. "Sir..." a raise of an eyebrow and quick lowered glance and I corrected myself "Jim. Do you know why the Captain has been acting so strangely today? Its almost as if hes on edge about something..."
Hawkins seemed to pause for a moment as if contemplating an answer to the question. He shook his head his face expressionless. I hesitated unsure of his silence, but then he turned back and locked eyes with me. "There's still a bit until the first night watch starts. We can talk." He glanced around. Was it just my imagination or did he suddenly look nervous? "But not here."
At this point the few straggling sailors left behind on deck were staring at us both. There was some whispering going on among them. I could of sworn I heard the words "shipmens b****" and "aint he special." but both the whispers and the stares were silenced by a single gaze from Hawkins.. Many returned to work while others grumbled noisily to themselves.
I turned back to face Hawkins his face just as expressionless as before. Though this time I could swear I caught a glimpse of anger in his eyes. It quickly passed however and he motioned for me to follow him in the direction of the officers quarters. I was about to protest but it was clear he wished to share with me some rather important and equally private information.
Silently I followed until we reached the door of his quarters. We gained some odd looks as well as a couple of strange catcalls as we tread through the tight corridors top deck leading up to the room where Hawkins made his bed. I ignored them for the most part still caught up in the fact that I was going to a place where few non-officers were even allowed outside of cleaning.
What I ended up seeing surprised me. It was a simple room. Slightly more spacey then that of the crews quarters. Though there were still two green cots cramped across from one another attached at the wall. Which was more then I could say for the hammocks my fellow crew members and I were forced to sleep in at night. That is if we didn't end up sleeping on the deck. For a moment I felt a pang of jealousy for the man before me but it quickly passed.
There was a small wooden frame that contained a picture of what I assumed to be Hawkins wife hanging precariously from a rusty nail next to his bedside. A light brown box served as a sort of side table between the two beds. Upon it sat a small notebook of parchment paper as well as a feathered quill pen. The ink seemed to be missing but I assumed he stored that elsewhere for safekeeping. A small unlit black lantern hung tightly in the space just above the box obviously for extra lighting in the late evening hours. The officers quarters were on an area of the ship that a lot of natural light reached during the day despite being just below deck.
At the foot of one of the cots sat a small satchel I recognized as something Id seen Hawkins carry around from time to time. Overall the room was quite plain despite it all. Was this how all officers lived? i found myself involuntarily running my hand over the semi rough fabric of the blanket that ran along the cot. I could almost still feel the warmth of body heat on it.
"Like what you see?" Hawkins gruff voice snapped me from my reverie and I found myself jumping for the second time that night. He stood in the doorway face a mixture of amusement and something else I couldn't quite put my finger on. He seemed to be gauging my reaction to the place at the very least.
Recomposing myself I let out a mirthless chuckle. "Its certainly different than my own sleeping arrangements." I was still unsure why he had gone through the trouble of bringing me here. Surely it wasn't just to show how well off he was. No he wanted privacy. Still what could be so important that the other crew members couldn't know about it? My nerves were getting stronger by the minute.
Finally after another few awkward moments of silence Hawkins motioned to the cot across from his own. "Have a seat mate. This wont take long." His expression betrayed nothing of how he was feeling but his voice was softer than it had been earlier.
I gulped a bit and silently obeyed taking a seat. Hawkins sat down adjacent to me on his own cot. His face still held no expression, though his eyes seemed to be somewhere far off as they stared off into the space just behind me. Finally he spoke to me once more his voice sending a deep chill up my spine. "Tell me Cutler...do you believe in ghosts?" there was something frankly terrifying about the way he said this.
I gulped hard before replying only barely managing to stutter a response. "G-g-ghosts?" I tried my best to calm my nerves but every bone in my body was shaking at this point. My mind wandered back to thoughts of sailors who met their unfortunate ends at sea. Superstition stated that if a man were not to receive a proper burial that his spirit would continue to haunt the ship he was attached to. I had heard tales of how in some places sailors who died at sea were tied in their hammocks and sunk to the bottom of the sea with cannonballs so as not to haunt the living. Though I knew these stories to be only rumor, or so I thought.
Hawkins seemed somewhat unsatisfied with my lack of answer so he continued. "There is a tale. A story of a Phantom Ship that haunts these waters. Bathed in sails as white as the full moon it carries a crew of lost souls bathed in starlit glow. Their faces are as pale as the caps of the waves they ride on. They arrive as silently as the wind that carries them and depart as if they were never there at all." Hawkins eyes seemed to glow an unearthly gold as he finished his tale.
I shivered but found the courage to speak once more too curious now to hold back "What does all this have to do with the Captains odd behavior?" To say the least I was not expecting what happened next.
Hawkins let out a hardy laugh that seemed to echo against the sides of the room. Suddenly he pulled a piece of parchment paper out of nowhere. I wondered for a moment where it came from before he shoved it quickly into my shaking hands. "Only this." he said as he continued to grin at me.
I examined the paper in my hands unsure what to make of it. What could it possibly have to with any of what he had just said? I turned it over and examined it but found nothing of interest on it. "Its just a regular piece of parchment paper." I stated flatly. I was starting to question the sanity of this whole situation. Which is part of the reason why what happened next truly caught me off guard.
Hawkins shook his head and smiled at me the paper once more in his hands. "Its not just any piece of parchment paper. Take a look at this." Suddenly the room was illuminated with a new glow. I realized that the lantern above the makeshift desk had been lit. Just when had that happened? I shrugged it off before my eyes widened ,as I stared at the paper where Hawkins held it to the heat of the lantern. Suddenly a message appeared on it.
I choked on my words once more but managed to spurt "An invisible message?!" I was uncertain what to make of this. Never before had I seen such a technique. At the time I had no knowledge that such a thing as invisible ink existed. Though if I hadn't seen it before me right there I never would of believed it to this day.
I couldn't make out what was written for I was not well versed in the written language but I could make out the signature. Signed PHANTOM PIRATE 1412 there was a small picture of what appeared to be a smiling man with a half face mask and a three corner hat next to the signature. Was this message truly from one of the ghost pirates Hawkins had spoke of? That would explain the Captains unease. Though if this was truly the case what was it that this PHANTOM PIRATE wanted?
As if sensing my thoughts Hawkins spoke up once more. "The PHANTOM PIRATES come to take the treasures of light from those with hearts as dark as the deepest depths of the ocean." He explained it so casually as the note disappeared in his hand once more. Perhaps if my thoughts had not been so distracted at that moment I would of wondered how he managed to do that. Still I was still focused on the fact that this PHANTOM 1412 had specifically sent a note to our captain stating more or less that he had his eye on something.
Before I could ask Hawkins something to the effect of "What could the PHANTOM want with our simple merchant ship?" the world around me suddenly went black. I felt my arm being dragged quickly out of Hawkins quarters and upwards towards the deck. Somehow during the period of our discussion I had managed to lose track of time. As a result the sky was already completely dark with stars scattered endlessly across it.
Still something wasn't right. Where were the other night watchmen? We had passed many a sleeping sailor on the way back up to the deck but it was impossible to recognize them in this black. Speaking of which why had all the lights gone out? True there wasn't much need for light on an average night. We weren't far from our home port and our helmsman was especially good at reading the stars. A rare trait to be sure but a useful one.
Suddenly I was overwhelmed with a feeling of dread. There was silence around me. Hawkins words came back to my mind. "They arrive as silently as the wind that carries them." My entire body shook as I glanced around. Where had Hawkins disappeared to? Perhaps to find the Captain. He seemed to know what he was doing after all.
Shaking my head I decided to go see if I could wake anyone else only to find myself suddenly paralyzed in fear at the sight of HIM. My heart stopped beating in my chest as my breath caught. It was just like Hawkins had described.
A man dressed head to toe completely in white. Face as pale as the waves caps and body bathed in starlight. He wore a mask over his face that had an ever present grin on it. He wore a pirate captains coat of purest linen over his outfit and had a pure white tri cornered hat above his head. If one were to get close enough to see him as I they might notice the clover shape on both mask and hat that distinguished him as a being of good fortune. His eyes shown an azure blue like the waters of the eastern seas devoid of any and all expression.
There was a softness to his movements almost as if he were floating. He moved passed me in a fluid motion barely disturbing the air around me. There was a feeling of ice around me as I watched him disappear down into the depths of the ship without a word.
After I was finally able to move again my legs gave chase to the mysterious PHANTOM. However once I spotted him again with a single flick of his coat he disappeared into darkness taking whatever treasure he had stolen with him. As I reached the top of the ship I noticed a white blur on the horizon. Quickly grabbing the spyglass I was able to catch a glimpse of the famous PHANTOM ship. The image stills sends shivers down my spine.
Later I discovered midshipman Hawkins alongside our captain tied up in the Captains quarters. Hawkins explained that the thief had been after a jewel that our Captain had stolen from the people we had traded goods with. Turns out the captain was a slightly notorious thief who had been smuggling stolen goods for some time. Still I would never forget what I saw that night.
~Well how was it? I hope you enjoyed my little introduction chapter into the world that is Adventures of the PHANTOM Pirates. There were no Magic Kaitou characters here save for the obvious, but I felt the need to post this as an introduction to what a heist may or may not look like in this world. As well as a basic introduction to the world itself.
This story is set to take place somewhere during the real world age of Piracy but will rely heavily on some fantasy motifs as well. (Think real magic, supernatural happenings/beings, ect.)After all if Ive learned anything about early world sailors they were a very superstitious lot. The superstions here just have a grain of truth to them. Its part of what makes this story so magical ;)
That being said did you catch the other two subtle easter eggs I hid in this chapter? The two character names are borrowed off of famous fictional sailors. Both names belong to their respective owners.. I just used them for the sake of make a silly reference and may in fact change them in the future if I feel so inclined. I plan to include several other easter eggs in my story so keep an eye out!
Well thats about it for now. I plan to start work on Chapter 1 as soon as possible and hopefully have it out within the next week. Though dont hold me to that as updates from here on in will be only as frequent as my schedule(and muse) allows. See you next chapter!~