A/N: Hey guys like I said before this is my first ever Pirates fic! WOOOT! anyway I am re-posting this chapter because ForgottenStars made a valid point... Not only was the chunk of explanation awkward it totally didn't suit my characters. Thanks to her for that I hope it is better now. I am really Psyched about this story because it is my second non-vampire story which is good I like to explore different writing. So I hope you guys enjoy this revised first chapter. This story struck me after watching At Worlds End for like the fourth time. I realized we see like next to nothing of Sao Feng in the story so then this little plot bunny jumped into my head and wouldn't leave me alone so here it is. Hope you like it.
The young girl no older than eight ran panting over one of the many wooden bridges of Singapore. She risked a quick glance over her shoulder to check on her pursuers. She had to find somewhere to hide before they caught up to her at the rate she was going her legs were already exhausted. The child knew she could not keep this up for much longer. She reached another bridge just as a ship passed beneath it. Desperate to escape she steeled herself and vaulted over the bridge railing onto the deck of the vessel below. She landed in a crouch with little more than a soft thud on the deck and ran to find some cover. Crouching behind some barrels she could hear the ship's crew stir as they began to search for the source of the disturbance.
"Whatever it was that made that noise I want it found." Ordered a harsh voiced man in Chinese. The child tried desperately to control her exhausted breathing so as not to be found. Then quite suddenly one of the crew, a short, skinny Indian looking man with a small black goatee, leaned over the barrels that were hiding her and firmly and none too gently grasped her arm pulling her out from behind them.
"Looks like we have ourselves a stowaway," he observed in a raspy voice, "go alert the captain that we have a guest." His statement sent a younger man scurrying into the cabin. Meanwhile the girl struggled violently to get away from her captor, "you will show the proper respect to the captain girl or else you will regret it I promise you that."
It was now or never the girl decided and struck her captor hard in the stomach with one of her bony, little elbows. The man heaved in shock and pain. He instantly released her. The child made a run for it only to find her way blocked by another member of the crew. She delivered a quick sidekick to his knee and ran in the other direction only to bump into a fairly tall, well-dressed man. The girl's eyes slowly traveled up the man's body to his face. He wore good breeches and an over robe. The breeches were black as was the over robe but it had faint Chinese symbols printed on it in some kind of gold cloth that caused some of them to shimmer in the moonlight. Around his waist was a carved metal belt that was a dull golden brown that she could not name with four small jade stones set in it. His face was fairly young probably not much older that thirty, though he was already bald as and egg, his beard was long and braided in contrast. He also had a long Fu Man Chu mustache, his upper lip was smooth. Something about him seemed to command respect. She gazed in awe into his dark brown almost black eyes. Then one of the crew grabbed hold of her long braided black hair and pulling her head back placed a dagger at her throat.
"Captain," the rough voiced man who had been giving the orders addressed the well-dressed man, "shall I show this little brat what we do with stowaways?" The captain looked the child over noticing how surprisingly calm she was in this situation as he met her gaze. Her eyes were an uncommon color of sky blue, well uncommon for their people at any rate; her clothes placed her among the merchant class. He considered her for another moment pondering what he had seen her do to his men. The girl might be young but she could fight well.
"She is just a child Bok Choy, besides she could be a valuable asset to us if she can fight so well at such an early age."
As this was said the rough voiced man, Bok Choy, had released his hold on her to argue with the captain. The girl cautiously began to back away but no one was watching her anymore. Their attention was focused on the argument between the captain and his first mate. In one moment the first mate's hand went to his belt and he looked up startled. He looked around until his eyes fell on the girl.
"That little rat, she stole my purse!" he growled as he moved towards the child. She started to run only to be caught, picked up by the captain, and held in one arm.
"Shetruly is a talented child." He said with a small smile, "she shall stay with me and I will raise her to be one of us." This stopped the first mate in his tracks. The young girl looked just as surprised as anyone else, "now child you must return Bok Choy's purse." He finished as he set her back down. The girl hesitated a little then with a little sigh she dug down into one of the two deep pockets sewn into her plum colored skirt. She rummaged for a bit then pulled out a plain black leather purse with a dragon charm on each of the drawstrings. The first mate snatched it from her and stalked off obviously in a foul mood. As he went the girl stuck her tongue out at his receding back. The captain chuckled a little at this and took her small hand to lead her into his cabin.
A few moments later the child sat on the captain's bed swinging her legs and taking in her surroundings. The furnishings were not especially grand but they were obviously well made. There were several weapons held in racks about the room. Then she returned to watching the captain as he rolled up some charts.
"Are you really the pirate captain Sao Feng?" she asked an eager look on her face. It was the first time she had spoken since that night had begun. Her voice was soft and innocent sounding thought it had a strange seriousness to it.
The captain glanced at her and answered, "Yes. How does one so young know of one such as myself?"
"Mama always told me stories about pirates, because I liked them so much. They are always so very exciting." The child replied enthusiastically.
She really was an interesting child Sao thought, "What is your name child?"
"I am Lian Chang. My father was a merchant though he was friendly withsome pirates."
"Well Lian, where are your parents now?" though if the girl was a runaway he would not return her against her will he himself had been a runaway once.
Lian's face fell at this question and her happy manner of a moment before was over come by a great sadness, "Mama and Papa are dead… Lee and Amaya too…" she seemed hesitant to continue.
"What are you running from?" this was just and educated guess on Sao's part but from the way she looked at him he knew he was right. She was running from something or someone and he could see that she was afraid.
Then voices could be heard on deck just outside the cabin, "we need to speak to Captain Feng. It is a matter of some importance." The color drained from the girl's face when she heard that voice. However the captain had no time to ask her about this as two pirates walked in. He recognized them as belonging to Darmani's crew. Darmani was a ruthless, cruel man who would stop at nothing for his own gain, Sao did not particularly like the man but they had a mutual understanding of sorts.
"There's the little runt," said the one Sao recognized as Shen, "you took something of ours girlie and we want it back."
Lian was now terrified and trembling from head to foot but her voice was steady, "no I did not. I never stole nothing I swear!"
"You're a lying little vagrant we know you have that pendant now hand it over!"
"I ain't lying, I never stole nothing from you!" the girl was now on the verge of tears, this man frightened her terribly, how on earth had he found her?
Sao intervened, "gentlemen there is an easy way of settling this matter. Why not simply inspect Lian's pockets?" all parties agreed to this arrangement including Lian after all she had nothing to hide.
Each pirate examined one of the girl's two skirt pockets. A moment later Shen grinned hugely, "'you never stole nothing' eh? Well then what is this?" He sneered as he pulled out a large jeweled pendant covered in pearls and citrines with a large emerald in the center, like a large eye.
The child's eyes widened in horror, "I ain't never seen that before in my life! I never took it sir I never took it." She cried her eyes plead with Sao Feng to believe her to save her if he could. Tears were beginning to leak from her eyes. Something about this seemed fishy to the captain, something was not quite right.
"Come now Shen," came another voice the child recognized, a deep, booming voice, "there is no need to terrify the poor child. I am sure we can come to some sort of agreement." Darmani himself had entered the cabin.
Sao watched in amazement the immediate transformation in the girl. As her eyes hardened with rage, "You! You killed Mama and Papa and Lee and Amaya!" she pulled out a dagger that none of them had realized she had, "I'll kill you, I'll kill you!" she screamed as she ran at Darmani. Lucky for the largely built pirate captain Sao managed to grab the back of Lian's shirt in time to stop her. He smiled a cold smile at Darmani.
"So you are the reason that the child has no family."
"Come now Sao, as unfortunate as the girl's circumstance is you can not honestly believe this absurd accusation." Smooth as a cove on a windless morning that was Darmani. However his suave reply did not fool the famous captain he might be young for his position but he was not stupid.
"Let me guess you heard that the child could fight and decided to recruit her for yourself. Even though no caring well off parent would give you their child. And when they refused you decided to take things in to your own hands did you not?"
"I do not have to stand here and be insulted!" he roared.
"Ah but you see it is not an insult if it is true. And I admit the plan was very clever in a disgustingly twisted sort of way. I would not have believed this even of you, but the proof is here before my very eyes."
"Oh yes and what proof might that be?" he sneered, "You can not prove any of this Feng."
"Can I not? This is your pendant I have seen it many times always around your neck. To propose that this child stole it would mean that she was able to get close enough to take it and even then you would have noticed the pendants disappearance straight away."
"And? What of it? I had other things on my mind. Who's to say she could not have taken it? She was able to conceal that dagger well enough to fool us all."
"That proves nothing about her skills as a thief all it proves is that she was taught how to equip and handle the weapon in question. You planted that pendant on the child Darmani. Or one of your men did it, so that you could bind her to your crew as payment for her deed and you would look quite charitable in the process." Darmani was silent he did not have an answer for this deduction, "now I suggest you get the hell off my ship you bilge rat before I change my mind and hand the child her revenge."
Darmani decided that he would heed the captain's advice, for now, and gave him a nod before turning to leave with his two crew members. Once he had left Sao released his hold on the girl's clothes.
She immediately spun around to face him, "why did you stop me? He killed Mama and Papa!"
"Because my child, it is easy to dodge a spear that comes in front of you but hard to keep harms away from an arrow shot from behind. Your time for revenge will come but it is not now." He paused momentarily while the girl considered this, "now are you hungry?" Lian nodded eagerly. Food was sent and brought for Lian. While she ate Sao spoke with her about her life. It turned out that she had learned some of her fighting skills from street fighters who sometimes performed in various places around the city, though she had modified their fighting style so that it was not quite so flashy and more practical for every day use. Her father was responsible for her skills with the sword and dagger, as he'd had no son to help with his trade; it was only five years later that Lee was born. She could also read and write adequately, quite the talent for someone her age. As it was getting late the captain settled the girl into the cabin boy's cot, he had been killed in battle a week before, and bid his new apprentice good night.
A/N:So that's it for the first chapter. I hope you guys liked it. The story is supposed to tell us more about the imfamous Sao Feng and show us a side of him that not many people get the chance to see. I really like Lian I think she is a great character. Let me know what you guys think REVIEW!