A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! (Part Four: Blog Eighteen)
By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris
‘Ship Protector’ Umi stares over the starboard side of the Nagua. The Captain insisted she only have five girls with her, including Zala and Aarini. Zala and Aarini would have to learn the secrets of the Ama just as the Captain had insisted Umi teach her, ‘One Eye’, ‘Storm Caller’, ‘Wheel Turner’, and ‘Dizzying Blade’. She knew, as the other leaders did that the Captain planned on obtaining another ship from the monster Barthadrow’s fleet. That would mean splitting up the crew. The idea both excited and saddened her. This crew was her family and she knew the rest felt the same.
The other girls she chose included Chesah from the Philippines. Chesah is short like Umi and grew up near the sea. Next she chose Bayu from Indonesia. She too is short. Her final choice was Hayami, another girl from Japan. All the girls are around twelve to fourteen. Old enough to learn the ways of the Ama. There were other girls she wanted to bring. Amelie was born in Southern France. Tall, lean and fearless but still needs maturity. Arsema, from Eritrea. Arsema is also tall and very clever. Umi didn’t invite her because ‘Dizzying Blade’ has had her eyes on Arsema as an understudy. ‘Dizzying Blade’ is the only gaijin who reminds her of the samurai that terrified her whenever they entered her village.
“Does it matter if we talk?” Chesah asks in a whisper.
“No. However, maybe some of you remember when the Captain had a knotted rope attached to a cannon ball lowered towards the orange glow of a Deep Dwellers’ city. At fifty fathoms the cannon ball went no lower. Do any of you remember what happened?” She asks with her eyes wide with mock terror.
“No,” all the sisters reply in unison.
“Something or things pulled on the lowered rope so hard,” Umi spreads her arms wide, “So hard that the ship nearly capsized. We were in great peril! That’s when Helmswoman Sadie ran up with an axe and with her great strength chopped through the rope.” She peeks over the gunwale. Through the water she can see the bright orange glow of a Deep Dwellers’ city. “Look!”
The girls scramble to look.
“Let your eyes adjust and you’ll see things moving inside. We have not been here in years so I could not show anyone before now.”
“There are tiny things moving inside,” Zala says, stretching her long body farther over the gunwale.
“According to the dolphin tails the fish tails inter—inter-act with the Deep Dwellers, and say they are hugeous,” Umi says struggling with the English but emphasizing every word anyway.
“Is it the only city of the Deep Dwellers?” Chesah asks peering even farther over the gunwale.
“No but it is the only one we see from the surface so far,” Umi says so all the girls hear her reply. “The dolphin tails say there are many more but they are so deep their light never reaches surface.”
“Why don’t they come to shore?” Zala asks, as she too leans farther over the gunwale.
“The dolphin tails say the Deep Dwellers cannot survive above a hundred and fifty fathoms because there is not enough water above them to keep them alive.” Umi sighs. “Carrying a weighted stone I have never dived beyond ten fathoms.”