Alrighty, then! Here's the next chapter of Freedom. Please review and let me know what you think!

RimahikoLuver- Thank you so much!

Guest(Anonymous)- Thanks! And same here lol ;)

Lauren- Thank you!

KaylaDestroyer- Thanks! I was actually worried about Gutt, because he seemed like a hard character for me. I put a little more of him in here for you, let me know what you think!

Swiftie In Cloud 9- Thank you!

AquilaTempestas- Thank you! I also read some of your Ice Age stories, and thought they were really good!

Kunfupandalover- Thanks!

And thank you again to all my reviewers! You guys are the best! Here comes chapter 2!

Something New

Shira stared as the ropes pulled the strange group closer to the ship. The rest of the crew was laughing and jeering at them, as they remained still and silent.

They were a small group, four of them, if she counted correctly. A mammoth, two sloths and- a saber. A male saber. Suddenly her instincts took over and she jumped up on the edge of the ship to stand next to the Captain, staring down at the animals. But mostly just the saber. Shira saw him glance at her, then jerk his head around to look again. She stared defiantly at him, and he stared back. For how long their gazes met, she wasn't sure, but then the larger of the two sloths nudged him and spoke something that Shira couldn't hear, and the saber shot him an indignant look. The moment was broken.

Then Captain Gutt spoke. "Well, well, what do we have here?"

"Travelers," the mammoth spoke up. "We, uh, got separated from the rest of our family, and we're trying to find our way back to the mainland."

"Aw, how sweet," the Captain said menacingly. "A quest to reunite with your family. But you should know, these waters are infested." His grin widened. "Pirate-infested. Imagine if you'd met them on your journey. Good thing, really, that you met us instead." The crew laughed loudly. Shira kept her face impassive as she noticed the saber stare at her again. Gutt noticed this, and turned to her slowly.

"Isn't it, Shira?" He waited for an answer.

Shira kept her gaze down, and felt the other saber's eyes on her. She waited as long as she dared before answering.

"Very good," she muttered unwillingly.

"Yes, quite," Gutt said, satisfied. He turned back to the animals. "But you see, there is no way back to the mainland from here," he grinned again.

"Yes there is!" Flynn the elephant seal called out helpfully. Shira could feel Gutt's irritation growing.

"All you have to do is sail to Switchback Cove, and the current will sail you back!" he called down to them.

"THERE IS NO WAY BACK!" Gutt roared, then he regained his composure. "Yes, well, you see, we can't simply let you leave without taking you aboard first," he said cunningly. "What kind of hosts would we be?"

"Thanks, but no thanks," the mammoth replied. "The sooner we get to Switchback Cove, the better."

All was silent, then Gutt let out a bloodcurdling laugh. "He thinks they've got a choice!" he said through his laughter. "Because the problem is, you don't." A smile stretched across his face. "Get them."

The crew lunged out, excluding Shira, and began their attack. It was absolute chaos. They threw their knives and weapons in every direction, and Shira found herself feeling thankful that none of the strange animals were injured. But at any rate, the items that were thrown included ropes, and Shira could only watch helplessly as the four of them were tied up and carried to the ship against their will; well, three of them at least. The smallest of the two sloths had her eyes closed and a smile on her face; she seemed to be enjoying it even. Maybe she was crazy. But if Shira tried to free them, Gutt would punish her severely for treason.

Said captain had realized that Shira was doing nothing to help, and immediately made his way to her. Remembering the look on her face as she'd stared at the saber, he told her, "Shira! Help Squint and the others take down the saber!" This made no sense, as the crew members working on the mammoth seemed to need the most help, but this hardly mattered to him.

Shira froze, and tried to keep the anger off her face. She couldn't say no, and Gutt knew it. Reluctantly, she turned and moved slowly over to the first mate, Squint. The saber was already bound tightly with rope, as well as the others.

Shira stared down at him for a moment, and he looked her right in the eye. His eyes were green. Very green. She had to shake herself in order to focus. Then, making her decision, she clamped her teeth around the ropes and dragged him across the ice to the prison hold, leaving Squint and the others behind.

He was silent the whole way there. When they reached the door to his solitary cell, she dragged him in, walked out, and shut the door. He looked at her through the bars. "Why are you doing this?"

These were the first words she'd heard him speak. He had a low, husky voice that sent shivers up her spine, but she ignored them. She only turned, and gave him the most honest answer she could.

"Because I have to." Then she walked away, his stare burning into her back.

Thoughts ran through her head like a stampede. There was something about this saber. They'd never met, they'd barely spoken in the brief time they had known each other, and she didn't even know his name. There was just something about him. And she wasn't sure if she liked it or not.

She shook her head again. These thoughts were so confusing. She couldn't bear to dwell on the past, and the present was just too mixed up. Shira looked straight ahead, thinking the only stable thing she could rely on was the future, and also thinking that her future wasn't stable at all.

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