Chapter 10: The Final Battle|
As usual, Fred and the others were standing around nervously watching the huge green orb above the ship. It had been there for three days unmoving and unchanging. The crew was finally starting to get used to it, but now as the sun broke over the horizon and mingled its rays with the lime-green light from the orb, the strangeness of the whole situation hit everyone again. Hence the nervous standing around.
For Fred, though, there was something else... something strange... something... that he felt the sphere must be trying to tell him. Suddenly he knew what he had to do. He ordered a change in course and full sails set. He suddenly didn't have any interest in finding the island, especially if it was home to a savage tribe of natives. As far as he knew, there was a ship that desperately needed his help, though he didn't know how he knew this. According to his calculations, which he didn't know how he figured out, he should be able to reach it in an hour or two, assuming it was headed in his direction. And he knew it was.
Now he just needed to think of a plan. They had an old cannon on board, but nobody had thought of brining any cannonballs along. The only special equipment they had was the crew's frog repellent and the giant frog net. The cannon was pretty big, so maybe there would be a way to make some cannon balls or something for it.
An hour later two ships came into view. The larger one was flying a flag of pure purple. Fred knew what that meant. It belonged to the most dangerous pirate in this part of the world--Yellowbeard. Nobody knew what the purple flag had to do with anything though. Some guessed that he liked the color purple. Some thought that purple was meant to instill fear in his enemies. Some just figured he was colorblind and had really meant to get a yellow one. One thing was for sure though, no one who found out the true meaning ever lived to tell the tale. Some even speculated that Yellowbeard himself didn't know what it meant since then he would have to kill himself.
The other ship was much smaller and was flying a smiley-face-and-crossbones flag, the Really Jolly Roger apparently. It was already being fired upon. Fred sprung into action. "Prepare the cannon!" he yelled. Slowly the huge cannon was rolled to the front of the ship. At that point three of the crew picked up a two-foot-long cloth-and-netting cylinder and stuffed it into the cannon's gaping barrel. This was Fred's ultimate weapon. Well, actually, it was the only thing he could think of. He had wrapped thirty bottles of frog repellant in more extra clothes and held the whole thing together with the frog net. It wasn't much, but he hoped it would be heavy enough to do some damage when it hit. Unfortunately for Fred, though, Yellowbeard's cannons were already loaded and aimed at his ship.
Fred hadn't counted on this, and so as the five simultaneous booms split the air, all he could think of to do was duck.
Yellowbeard smiled in satisfaction as all five cannonballs smashed cleanly into that green demon hovering over the new ship. Even more to his satisfaction was the explosion of greenish-red light followed by slowly fading vapor that marked where the beast had been.
Fred wasted none of his newly-gained time, and gave the order to fire. With a muffled "Foom" the strange projectile was launched toward the enemy ship. The cloth in the back had caught fire, and fueled by the wind whipping past, the fire quickly spread and soon engulfed the whole thing. Seconds later the makeshift weapon smashed into the deck of Yellowbeards's ship, shattering the bottles of frog repellent which, upon contact with the flaming cloth, promptly exploded. In seconds a giant fireball transformed the entire front half of the ship into splintered wood.
As the smoke cleared and numerous life rafts went their separate ways (or ran into each other, depending on the skill of the navigators), Fred had a sudden realization that his work here was done. He felt good about that. A feeling of completeness suddenly covered him and everyone on his ship. Fred didn't know what this other ship was or why it was so important to have saved it. He just knew that it was terribly important. Now the people on that ship could go get their parrot. How did he know that? He didn't know. He just knew he was done. He could go now. So he did.