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Rivalry

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Scarlet stood with her hands on the rail, her face to the wind. She loved the feel of the salty ocean breeze playing in her luxurious golden hair."Scarlet! My darling!" bellowed a familiar voice. Scarlet whirled around a sighed when she saw her brother. He was stone drunk, again. He stumbled toward her and collapsed against the rail. His beautiful blue suit jacket was rumpled and stained with vomit  and his normally perfectly combed red hair was  matted and standing up in tufts around his head. Scarlet  helped him to his feet and propped him against the rail again.
"The meeting with Jesse did not go well then?" She said, taking his jacket and throwing it in the laundry bucket. He sniffed and shook his head mournfully.
"That's a cruel, cruel soul that one." Scarlet patted his back consolingly.
"Someday she will see how wonderful you are, Gabriel, just you wait."
Gabriel just shook his head sadly and took another drink from the bottle he was holding. Scarlet snatched it and threw it into the ocean. He stared after it, he smacked his lips and blinked. Scarlet rolled her eyes and helped him below deck to his cabin.
"You lay here, and don't move. I'll have Jehu bring you some coffee." Gabriel didn't even hear her. He was asleep. This is what always happened when he tried to talk to Jesse. She was cruel, he gets depressed, goes out drinking and comes back on the ship and leaves Scarlet to deal with the mess.
Scarlet shook her head and went back on deck, she had work to do. After all, The Seraphim set sail tomorrow at dawn. Scarlet gathered her crew around her and did a head count, all accounted for. Good. She began issuing orders. As the captain of the ship she had to be firm, but she was still kind. Compared to the captain before her she was an angel, and the crew loved her for that. They still did not respect her as much as the last tyrant of a captain, but she knew that that would come in due time.
"Hello Scarlet," Scarlet jumped. It was Gideon.
"You know, you are the second person today to pop up behind me." She said doing her best to suppress a smile. It failed and she grinned. "It's good to see you, Gideon."
He smiled back, "It's good to see you too, Scarlet." They stood there awkwardly until Gideon broke the silence. "How's Gabriel? I saw him boarding our ship, and I cannot imagine it went well." Scarlet sighed and rubbed her temples.
"I think he will be fine. He is sleeping below deck. Jesse must have been especially bad today, am I right?"Gideon smirked.
"Well, she slapped Jack, she screamed at me to 'go to bloody hell' and she kicked her monkey."
"What happened?
" Gideon shrugged. "Who knows? If I were to guess, a problem with Jack."
Of the three captains in the fleet, Jesse was the most difficult to work with. The three ships were in a fleet together under the whim of the king, who believed in the ridiculous story of Fritzwilliam Pendragon's hidden treasure. All three of the captains thought that that children's bedtime story was preposterous, they all knew the story, There once was a powerful, English lord who threw his noble life to the wind and became the richest, bravest, and of course, most romantic pirate on the Seven Seas. His rule of glory was abruptly brought to an end when he was stricken with the plague. Fritzwilliam, not wishing to appear weak, and knowing he was going to die, compiled all his treasure in one place and buried it. After that was accomplished, he turned himself in and was hung. Thus dying. the death of a true pirate. The story was a myth. But one thing they all admitted, even Jesse, was that you did not argue with an unstable tyrannical king.
Scarlet, the captain of The Seraphim, and Jesse, the captain of The Thunderstruck, had actually grown up together. Scarlet's family, a powerful merchant family, had taken Jesse, an orphan, in when she was 11. She had never fit in and bitterly resented her life, and blamed a lot of it on Scarlet. She ran away from home at 16 and was now the captain of her own ship and a feared and respected pirate. Now that they were both 17, she still had never let go of her hatred, and when she heard that Scarlet had a ship too, her hatred deepened into rivalry. Now, they were working together on a hopeless quest under the whim of an eccentric king.
To make it worse for Scarlet, they working with the notorious pirate Bloody Jack. Scarlet was  thoroughly disgusted with him, but Jesse was quite fond of him.
"I will see you tomorrow, Scarlet. Farewell" Scarlet nodded absently,
"Yes, farewell, Gideon." Gideon went back to his ship and Scarlet went down to her cabin to sleep. The next morning the fleet set off.
At noon they spotted an island. "Scarlet! Hand me the map!" Gabriel said, excited. Scarlet pulled the faded map from her belt and handed it to him. He rolled it open and gasped. "Scarlet! This is a clue!" Scarlet rolled her eyes, but looked all the same. The shape of the island she saw and the shape of the island on the map were exactly the same. She stared.
"Put up the signal!" She yelled to the watchman. He did as was told and soon there were two ships along side The Seraphim.
"What do you want?"
Gabriel waved the map happily. "We found a clue, Jesse!" She glared at him, but ordered the crew to lower a gangplank to The Seraphim. Once she was on she snatched the map. She gaped, she kept looking from the map to ocean.
"I think we have found the treasure." By now Jack was on the boat too.
"It's just one clue, why would that show us exactly where it is?" 
Jesse smirked. "Look at how all the islands on  the map align. What shape do they form?" They all shrugged. Jesse gave them disgusted looks. "It forms the shape of a lock." This time they nodded.
"Oh, now I see." Jesse nodded as if she were talking to a bunch of small children.
"Yes, and what is another name for a map? A key. And what goes in a lock?"
They were confused "I suppose that makes sense." Bloody Jack said after a moment.
"There is nowhere for the treasure to be." Scarlet said bluntly.
Jesse smiled, "Oh, really? Then what is this?" She grabbed a lemon from the barrel that Scarlet kept and made the crew eat to keep away scurvy. She cut the lemon in half with her boot knife and squeezed the juice onto the map. She blew on it softly. She smiled triumphantly as the shape of a key formed on the page. "Is that proof enough? I guess there is a reason  why I studied science in those wretched schools.  Now let's move out!"
The fleet followed the map with The Thunderstruck leading them. The fleet spent hours maneuvering through rocks, shallow waters, and sand banks. By the time they finally banked on the island it was dark. "We'll set up camp here" Scarlet announced. They all agreed and began setting up a campground.
The next morning the three captains set out with several members of each of the crews . After many strenuous hours of cutting through a jungle they at last found what they were sent to find. The mound was covered in plant and rubbish. The extra crew members began digging. Jesse stood tapping her foot impatiently while the the crew was digging. The trunk was rotten so it was not difficult for Gideon to break it open. When Jesse saw the treasure inside she screamed and hugged Scarlet, she realized what she was doing and jerked away.
They returned the treasure to the king with no problems on the way home. The king, in his generosity. gave every member of all the ships enough gold to last him a lifetime.
After the meeting with the king Scarlet and Gideon stood on the docks in front of The Seraphim "So, I guess I will not see you for a long time now." Scarlet looked away from Gideon. She wanted painfully to tell him how she really felt. He nodded.
" Scarlet, adventures never really end. They live on in our memories. And friends are never really apart. You know that" Scarlet felt tears trickling down her face. She nodded bravely. "I know." Gideon smiled and gently touched her cheek."I know we will meet again, Scarlet. And who knows? Maybe by then, Jesse will have forgiven you." The sound of Jesse screaming at Jack interrupted him. They laughed. "Maybe."





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