“Ma’m! There are ships approaching dead ahead! Two Narravi ships showing war colors!” a lieutenant said breathlessly, running up to tell her. “Thank you Lieutenant, but I have eyes!” she said, whipping around and darting past him. Within moments she had made her way to the crow’s nest and was getting a good look at the ships through a startled crewman’s telescope.
“Just what I needed. Let’s see if I can pull off my Narravi captain imitation again.” She said toherself. She dashed down to the main deck where Danny stood waiting. “And?” he asked simply. “Two Narravi warships.” She informed him. “Imitation or fight?” he asked briefly. “Imitation, there are two to many civilians on board to
initiate combat.” She whispered with a glance at John and Laura who had just come on deck.
“Go suit up.” He told her. “I’ll get the crew ready.” She nodded and sprinted off into the Captain’s quarters. There were sparse paintings on the walls here. There was a massive one of the Shadow Wolf, one of the raging seas, and another of a man standing in a forest.
The room was a pleasant brown resembling that of the deck above. There was a elaborate window in the back, in front of which her desk was situated. It was strewn with papers. Some covered in words, others in elaborate diagrams.
A bed situated on the left side of the room had been neatly made. It had light blue green sheets that resembled the color of the ocean. She didn’t even glance at these things as she rushed to her wardrobe next to the bed.
There, in the very front, was the Narravi uniform she had nicked from a base last year. It fit well and was an excellent disguise, so she kept it. Now, she knew, it was time to put it to good use. She could only hope this would be good enough to fool them.
She stripped off her leather, form-fitting suit and laid it carefully in the back of the closet in case they came looking for it. She slipped on the green tunic which was a
little bit baggy. She pulled on the black pants. She strapped on the breast plate and the other pieces of armor that protected her legs, arms, and even feet. She twisted her hair up into a knot and put on her helmet.
She headed out the door onto the deck and the wind tickled the little pieces of skin that showed through the helmet. “Wow do you look imposing.” Danny said to her. She gave him a wry look that he could hardly see. He grinned back while she looked over his uniform. He was wearing everything the same as hers, except his tunic was blue and he wore no helmet. She then commented sarcastically. “You look great in Narravi uniform.”
He stuck out his tongue at her before commenting: “It would be ok if it didn’t have this obnoxious flag on it.” He gestured to the massive Narravi flag on the breastplate. “Yeah, I don’t really want that all over me. It’s even on the back of my helmet.” She turned to show him.
“Ships approaching!” yelled Swiller, now in Narravi uniform. “Pull us right alongside them Swiller! Remember your manners people and this will all blow over soon.” She yelled to the crew who were all assembled on deck, in line, in typical Narravi fashion when greeting other captains or commanders in the Narravi army.
“You two! Scram! Hide yourselves good below decks; don’t be letting anyone spot you no matter what. I’ll send down Swiller when it’s ok to come back. You’re lives could depend on this. HIDE!” Olly commanded John and Laura, who immediately scrambled for the below decks.
Olly stood still facing the bigger of the approaching ships which were pulling alongside. She looked at the opposite deck to see the commander of that ship looking at her. She stood tall and proud, waiting for the oncoming storm. They stared at each other with no hostility, though Olly would have delighted in a good glare down.
The two ships put their crossover planks on the other decks. The commanders of both ships stepped onto the glistening deck of the Shadow Wolf. “Greetings.” Olly said, thumping her fist to her breast plate and saluting in customary Narravi fashion.
“Greetings Captain…?” the older one from the bigger ship inquired. “Captain Parret. Commanding the Narravi’s Treasure.” She informed them, eyes looking straight past them, speaking crisply. “Yes, she certainly is that.” The younger general said, looking at the Narravi flag snapping in the breeze.
“Ship shape sir! Ready for commands sir!” She saluted again, looking extremely tense. “At ease soldier.” The younger officer said with a grin. She seemed to relax slowly, unsurely. “Yes sir.” She said with a nervous tone. “And dispense with the sir.” He commanded once more, looking her over while the older commander, his hair going gray, looked over the crew.
The younger commander had light brown fluffy hair and a face that Olly could read like a book. Beneath her seemingly nervous exterior, she was completely calm. She had used this routine on hundreds of young male captains before. The nervous new captain, the one who couldn’t figure out why they were being so unceremonious. She would distract these two idiots for awhile until she would be all they remembered from their trip here.
The younger commander was still looking her up and down, as though try to decide how best to approach the stranger. “You look like a darling, don’t cha? Why don’t you take off that helmet and we can see that pretty face.” She put on her hesitant face before slowly taking off the concealing headwear. Her red locks spilled out in perfect arrangement over the shiny gray metal, catching the sun and making her look like a flame from heaven. It took the poor man a second to catch his breath.
“Like this?” she asked with the perfect amount of questioning in her voice. “Just like that.” He smiled at her. “Leave her alone, Dars.” The older commander said, sauntering back to his ship already. “Her ship has been inspected and her crew is fine. Let’s get out of here and onto Brazil. I’m craving fruit.”
The young captain looked at Olly sadly a moment. “Sorry my dear, but duty calls. Next time you’re down in Brazil, look me up. Captain Dars, I’ll be waiting for you.” He said with a wink. She nodded and smiled nervously and his resolution seemed to break down. He grabbed her head and brought her into a full blown kiss.
She responded with much shock just as much as he would have thought she would have. He let her go, stroked her hair a moment, and then walked back to his ship. Then Olly heard cat calling from both of the opposite decks. She had to use every ounce of patience she had to restrain an open fire on both ships. Instead, she ordered the ship to move out, and picked up her helmet she had dropped in ‘surprise’.
The ships began moving again, headed in half different directions. Once Olly was sure they were out of earshot Olly yelled up to Swiller, “Hurry up Ms. Swiller! Let’s put ourselves as far away from those stinking ships as possible.” She then wiped her lips as though trying to wipe the figurative ‘Narravi slime’ off of them.
“Yeah, I think I’ll look him up if I go to Brazil.” She said to Danny. He grinned at her. “Going to gut him like a fish?” he asked. “I was thinking along the lines of a nice bash to the head and have him wake up somewhere not knowing how he got there.” She said, unfastening the straps on the breast plate.
“I gotta get this thing off.” She complained. “Call John and Laura up and get everyone changed. I don’t want to see another Narravi flag for a long time.” “Yes sir.” He bowed sarcastically and bustled off.
Olly headed to her quarters again, changing quickly out of the uniform and back into her leather. She strapped in a nice belt with a sword and a gun. She tucked the uniform as far back into her closet as possible to avoid having to look at it, and quickly braided her hair to keep it out of her face.
She headed back on deck where the entire crew was still assembled, waiting for their captain. None of them had changed yet, preferring to wait until she had given them orders. “Well lads and lassies,” she said “ya’ll ready for what comes next?” Several crew members exchanged confused glances.
“Sorry, ditching the accent, who wants to know what our mission is?” she asked, the corner of her eye registering the presence of John and Laura coming out of the under-decks. “Well, let’s hear it!” a crewman called.
“We’re going to my port in Upper South Africa. We have a shipment of weapons that will go to a group of fighters in the Lions. If all goes according to plan, John and Laura will go with them and be dropped off in the Amazon. That’s pretty much the only place in the world the Narravi haven’t penetrated.
“There are many natives in there who are sympathetic to the Lions because of the environmental problems the Narravi are causing that may make them lose their home. We’ll leave them in there a couple of years, until their records are disposed of and they’re thought dead. Then they’ll be brought out, given new identities, and sent to live off in Europe. Probably Britain. Hope you’ve got British accents!” Olly said, playfully nudging John in the ribs.
“Alright Olly, don’t be scaring them.” Danny said, pulling her away from John. “Right. Any questions?” she asked the crew at large. There were murmurs and general no’s. “Good people!” she rang out cheerfully.
“Now, please go get changed. I don’t want to see another Narravi flag for a long, long time. Hop to!” They all scurried away. Danny came behind Olly and asked, “Permission to be excused Cap’in?” he asked. “Eh, get out of my sight. And don’t let me see you unless you’ve got leather or Lion colors on.” He lifted his eyebrows and grinned in surprise. “Yes ma’m!”
Olly rolled her eyes once again and went up to the prow. She swung her light weight onto it and climbed out as far as she dared. The salty water splashed into her face and she took a deep breath of the sweet, sweet ocean air. She looked as far out as she could; seeing if there were any more ships incoming. The sun reflected off the water in dazzling greens and blues, turning it to a shade of color that had never been seen or even imagined.
She looked for the coastline but to her satisfaction didn’t see it. Her plan was to keep just out of sight of the shore. The Shadow Wolf was a greater threat in deeper waters but since this trip wasn’t crossing the ocean, they needed to keep closer to the shore. So everything was going according to Olly’s plan. She smiled to herself a moment before crawling back to the deck.
Her feet had barely hit the deck when a bird soared out of nowhere and landed in front of her. She simply stared at it a moment before realizing it had something attached to it. She picked up the bird and took the little canister off its back. It contained a little scroll.
She was on the verge of opening it when Danny came up next to her and asked “A letter?” Olly rolled her eyes and responded “No, stupid, it’s a bomb. Yes it’s a letter!”
“You don’t have to be sarcastic.” He accused. “I think I do.” Olly said smacking him on the back of the head. “Don’t be so mean!” he yelled grabbing her from behind and lifting her up in a crushing bear hug so she couldn’t move. “Cheater!” she screamed. He laughed and put her down.
“So, a letter. Who from?” She shrugged and read the letter quickly, before a shadow fell over her face. She passed it onto Danny wordlessly. He read it quickly. And silently. “That’s how life goes, Olls.” He said after he had finished. “I know. It’s not the fact that he died that’s bugging me.” Danny looked confused a moment before asking “What is then?”
“Remember when he dropped off Laura and John that day?” she asked quietly. “Yeah…” “I never even knew his name. I still don’t. And now he’s dead.” “Then how did they know to send it to you?” Danny asked. “It was for John and Laura. They travelled with him for two days. I just looked it over first in case we had some spy information. Danny, this is just terrible.” Danny enfolded her in ahug. “The rest of his troop survived. They’ll carry on his name.” he said. “I know.” Olly whispered. “I know.”