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Chapter XXXIX: Dual Pursuits

“Jack! Jack Sparrow!” Will shouted at the top of his lungs. “Anybody?”

Sora and Kairi wordlessly followed Will into the forest on the strange island. Unlike Destiny Islands, the vegetation on this island was much more evenly spread out, giving travelers like Sora, Kairi, and Will some walking space. The palm jungle the group was in seemed to never end. In every direction they looked (besides behind them, where the beach was), it was more trees and more shrubs. Then something caught Will’s eyes.

“Cotton’s parrot!” he exclaimed, stepping forward to a bluish, golden-colored tropical bird.

“Who?” Sora and Kairi asked together.

“Rawk!” the blue-gold macaw squawked. “Don’t eat me! No! Don’t eat me! Rakk!”

The bird flew away, leaving Sora, Kairi, and Will in a confused state.

“I don’t like this place at all…” Kairi grumbled.

“Will, what makes you think Jack is here at all?” Sora inquired.

“I have a hunch?”

“Will! Look out!” Sora yelled.

Sora saw eyes appear behind Will on a nearby palm tree. The ambush surely caught the group by surprise as Will leapt into the air, flailing his rapier, Kairi shrieked and also yanked out her Keyblade, and Sora fumbled with his Keyblade spastically before realizing the group was under attack. A ring of native tribesmen appeared out of the surrounding trees and shrubbery, evidently camouflaged just a few moments prior to. Before Sora, Kairi, or Will could make an attack or defend themselves, a snare netted the entire group and dangled them above the ground.

Only their arms hung outside the net, so the only choice Sora, Kairi, and Will had were to blindly swing their weapons to keep the natives at bay.

“Hah! Come on! Let’s go! Yah! Who wants it!” Will grunted as he shook the entire snare with his struggling. “I could do this all day! Hah! Y?”

“Will!” Sora and Kairi shouted.

One of the tribesmen shot a tranquilizing dart at Will to silence the swordsman. The dart struck Will’s neck, which stunned him and made him hang loose in a matter of seconds.

Sora growled. “Now you’re all gonna get it! Come closer so I can hit you?”

In a split second, another dart was fired, this time striking Sora instead. Just like what happened to Will, Sora began to feel groggy and soon slipped into nothingness. Before Kairi could gripe, a dart also struck her and put her into a comatose state.

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“Which way should we go?” Donald asked.

The Celsius was at an intergalactic fork, splitting into two different routes. One had to be taken in order to traverse to a new world. If the Gummi Ship decides to fly on a different path instead of the paths linked by the fork, the crew could drift for days without finding a world to land on, not to mention the possibility of encountering unknown dangers.

“Hmm. That way,” Mickey pointed to the left. “Don’t ask me, fellas, but I just think that’s where we want to go.”

“As you wish, Your Majesty!” Donald quacked, setting the coordinates for further down the path. Normally, Mickey was the one piloting the ship, but circumstances called for him to plan and rethink his strategies in achieving victory in this battle against the Heartless and the Nobodies. Instead, Donald was put in charge of piloting while Goofy sat nearby manning the weapons systems.

“Ya know, I wonder how everyone’s doin’ right now. Like Sora and Kairi, Riku, wherever he is, Leon, and everyone else,” Goofy wondered out loud.

Donald nodded with unusual empathy. Sure, he thought the same time to time. Due to traveling with Sora for over a year, it was hard not to grow proud and fond of the young Keyblade master. Now Donald wondered how the Keyblade master was faring. Without his constant support magic, Donald wondered how Sora could fare alone. He assumed Kairi did not know the art of magic, therefore unable to provide Sora any further support besides having two additional arms for swinging a sword.

“We gotta find Sora to see how he’s going,” Donald told the king.

“I’m sure he’s fine, Donald,” Mickey reassured him. “He’s the chosen one remember?”

“Aw, phooey. Chosen one, shmosen one,” the duck muttered.

“Hey, Donald, I’m getting a blooping thingie on this screen!” Goofy reported.

“The radar, Goofy?” Donald asked, exasperated.

“I think so,” Goofy replied. Mickey stepped forward up between Donald and Goofy. “And look! It’s comin’ in fast!”

Mickey frowned as he glared up above the ship’s cockpit and witnessed a familiar ship bypass overhead.

“Donald! Turn around! Now!” Mickey ordered.

Twitching and quacking wildly, Donald wrenched the controls and somersaulted the Celsius, then accelerating the ship at a target further ahead. Goofy carefully stood by, ready with the weapons system, while Mickey stood up in front of the cockpit, trying to get a closer look at the target.

“Gawrsh, it’s the Highwind!” Goofy exclaimed. “It must be Pete in there!”

“Pete?” Mickey asked. “Why would you say Pete’s in there?”

“Oh, right, we forgot to tell ya. Pete stole the Gummi Ship Sora was flyin’ in! It must be him down there,” Goofy clarified.

“Well, then,” Mickey said quietly. “Charge forward, Donald!”

“Way ahead of you, Your Majesty!” Donald quacked.

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When Sora woke up he was feeling horribly dizzy and nauseous. He feebly his head to one side and saw Kairi, tied upside down to a pole, still with her eyes half-closed. Sora realized then he was upside down, but he was feeling too sick to struggle. He turned his head to the other side and saw Will, also tied. All three of them were being carried upside down on a wooden pole, their hands and feet all bound by tight ropes that burned into their wrists and ankles.

“Ugh, what in…?” Will groaned, finally waking up.

“Hey, Will, what just happened…?” Sora asked quietly. He looked around to check if any of the tribesmen carrying the others and him were listening.

“They must’ve,” Will began to say. He stretched and cracked his neck. “Ow. They must’ve… subdued us with something.”

“Sora,” Kairi moaned, waking up. “Where… are we? Ouch, and why are we all?” She glared upwards at the tattooed natives and sighed.

Eeki-tan koh,” one of the tribesmen said. Two other natives untied Kairi and dropped her to the ground. “Jee-sapa.”

“Huh?” Kairi groaned, as she rubbed her back from the fall. The rest of the natives continued to carry Sora and Will away towards what seemed to be the main tribal village. Why’d they release me?

“Kairi! Good! Get us loose!” Will called out.

Kairi was about to reach for the bindings, but was seized by a native. She was then shoved forward to march with the rest towards the village.

“Hey, don’t touch her!” Sora protested.

“Try not to provoke them, Sora,” Will suggested. “We’re in bad shape already.”

They entered the village, which was filled with the sounds of war drums, chants, and tribal music. If it weren’t for the painful, upside down posture he was in, Sora would have been enchanted by the view. But all he felt at the moment was frustration and anger. There was no bright side to the situation, no matter how hard Sora tried to think of one.

Sora, Kairi, and Will were brought to the center of the village, where many, many natives stood waiting by a great bonfire-like flame. The majority of the natives were chanting in their language, excited and enthusiastic. Sora noticed Will staring at a figure, possibly the chief of the village, residing on the throne in front of the fire, under the shading of a few palm leaves. As they were brought even closer to the center, Sora noticed Will’s eyes grow larger and larger. Analyzing the “chief,” Sora also felt his eyes grow larger and larger. He’d recognize that face anywhere.

“Jack! Jack, it’s me! Will Turner!” Will shouted over the increasingly raucous chanting. “Tell ‘em to let us down!”

“Captain Jack! It’s Sora! Help us out of here!” Sora shouted.

The pirate captain disguised as a native strolled down from his royal armchair. His eyes were wide open?no, they were closed, but the eyelids were painted to the looks of normal, opened eyes. Whenever the pirate blinked, it looked like as if his eyes flipped up and down, never truly closing. Jack also wore a tall, peculiarly designed red hat, with seemingly no consistent pattern or symmetry.

That’s the pirate captain? Jack Sparrow?” Kairi asked Sora. “He’s really… weird?”

“Yes, he is,” Will answered for Sora. They all focused their eyes on Jack, who waddled awkwardly over to the three. The captain examined both Sora and Will in silence, then turned to Kairi, whom he did not recognize.

“Piki-piki, snip-snip,” Jack blathered.

Snip-snip!” the crowd of natives shouted in repetition.

“Lam… say-say… eunuchy?” Jack mumbled while staring into Kairi’s face with his fake, painted eyes. The looks sent a terrible shiver up Kairi’s back.

Ah… eunuchy!” the crowd repeated.

“Cut the gibberish, captain!” Sora shouted. “Tell these people to let us go!”

Jack raised his eyebrow at Sora then waved his hand at him, apparently not seeming to care.

“Jack! The compass! That's all I need… Elizabeth is in danger. We were arrested for trying to help you. She faces the gallows!” Will cried out when he noticed Jack turning his back on them.

“Say-say lam shoop-shoop sha smalay-lama shoo-koo. Savvy? Ball licky-licky,” Jack said in total nonsense.

He turned around to face Sora, Kairi, and Will again, his eyes actually open.

Ball licky-licky!” the crowd chanted. The drums in the background seemed to be played louder and louder. “Ball licky-lick! Ball licky-licky! Ball licky-licky!

The drums noise grew to preposterous levels and Sora had to squint to try to resist the ear-rattling noise. The natives, on the other hand, were closing in on Sora, Kairi, and Will. In a moment, the pirate captain hopped on one foot out of the enveloping crowd up to the three.

“Save me,” he whispered.

“Jack, what did you tell them? No!” Will roared as the natives picked up the poles that hung Sora and him, they pulled and pushed the struggling Kairi the same way. “What about Elizabeth? Jack…!

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Mickey stood at the front of the Celsius’ cockpit, with his face only about two inches away from the glass. Donald tried to use the transmission system to make contact with Pete in the stolen Highwind, but in fury from the last contact, none other than Donald smashed the transmission button.

Closing in on the Highwind (evidently Pete did not notice he was being pursued), the Celsius brushed up to the right side of the stolen ship. Pete glanced out the cockpit and it was then he was shocked, nearly losing control of the Gummi Ship, though he regained control of the ship shortly. From Pete’s point of perspective, he could see Mickey clenching his fist, his mouth wildly moving; apparently he was shouting something to him. Pete scratched his head and shrugged before rocketing forward in an attempt to lose his chasers.

Pete didn’t get far before he heard alarms blaring.

“What is with this ship! Always with the infernal racket!” he complained.

He heard an explosion behind him that shook the ship. The shaking settled after a few seconds, but was followed by an even more deafening explosion that shook the ship even more violently.

From the Celsius’ crew’s point of perspective, under the cockpit, missiles and lasers were periodically fired, sometimes crazily and rapidly, sometimes in powerful, synchronized series. The majority of the shots made contact with the Highwind in some way or another.

“Don’t go overboard, Goofy,” Mickey warned. “You don’t want to blow the ship up. We still might need it in the future.”

“Gotcha, King Mickey,” Goofy replied, easing up on the weapons system.

Several meters ahead, Pete was sweating profusely. Doh, why did I have to bump into them? Out of all people, doh…

Desperate to find some sort of escape from the speedy pursuing Celsius, Pete began to mash random buttons, any button he could get his hand on. He pulled levers, yanked switches, and smashed buttons, which in the process fired multiple lasers, missiles, and numerous other projectiles all over the void.

“What does he think he’s doing!” Donald screeched. “The Gummi Ship is not a toy!”

“Should we shoot at him again, Your Majesty? Hyuck!” Goofy chuckled. “If he gets lucky, he might hit us!”

“Don’t worry about it,” said Mickey. “I doubt Pete will?”

“Wak!” Donald quacked.

The Highwind began to glow purple and abruptly zipped out of sight, leaving Mickey, Donald, and Goofy dumbfounded, completely caught by surprise.

“Goofy!” Donald screeched madly again. “You didn’t take out the Warp Gummi!”

“Err, I thought Chip and Dale took care of that!” Goofy explained.

Mickey thumped his head against the glass of the cockpit and inhaled a long, deep breath. “Aw, oh, well,” he exhaled. “We’ll find him again soon, I’ll bet. He won’t be goin’ anywhere if he doesn’t know how to land a ship… or find a world, first of all, to land on.”

“Ohh…” Donald groaned. “Now what?”

“Well, we turn around and go back on our path,” Mickey stated. “No time to lose, fellas!”

“Right,” said Donald and Goofy.

The Celsius made a sharp turn backwards and boosted away back on the path to its original set coordinates, whatever world that may be…

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“What! Get your hands off of us, you madmen!” Will protested as Sora, Kairi, and he were pushed and shoved across a wooden bridge. They were finally freed from the painful bindings to the wooden poles, but now they faced aggressive pushes and shoves from their backs and sides. Their hands were still bound, thus the three could not draw their weapons.

Soon, the group came up to two spherical cages, made from knitted, tied, and bound ropes as thick as tree branches decorated with bones… perhaps those of humans. Inside were about half a dozen Black Pearl crewmembers in each cage. Sora, Kairi, and Will were crammed into one cage with five pirates, Joshamee Gibbs, Cotton, Marty, and two other unfamiliar crewmembers.

“Umm, ahoy, crew of the Black Pearl?” Will greeted awkwardly.

“Heh, ahoy there, Turner is it not?” Gibbs, a knowledgeable-looking, stubby man with a heavy, graying beard. “Seems like you and your, err… friends have made contact with the Pelegostos.”

“Pelegostos?” Sora asked. “The natives?”

“Aye, lad,” answered Gibbs.

“Your captain, Jack Sparrow,” Will said. “Why would he do this to us? If Jack is their chief?”

“Aye, the Pelegostos made Jack their chief. But he only remains chief as long as he acts like a chief,” said Gibbs.

“Wait,” Kairi interrupted, suddenly interested in the subject. “So that means Jack is basically like a prisoner. A prisoner as much as the rest of us here?”

“Worse, lass,” Gibbs said slowly and quietly. “See, the Pelegostos believe that Jack is a god in human form, and they intend to do him the honor of releasing him from his fleshy prison. They’ll roast him and eat him. This is Cannibal Island we are on!”

“Cannibal Island?” Sora repeated. “Ugh, these people eat other people?’

“If that’s what the word ‘cannibal’ means, then aye,” Gibbs said solemnly.

“Well, then we can’t just sit here, can we?” Will declared. “Come on, we have to find some way out of here.”

“How d’you think we do that?” Marty, a midget bald pirate asked.

Will looked at Sora, both of them thinking of the same thing. “Swing, and climb!” Will declared to the pirates. “Come on, all of you. We swing together as hard as we could over to that side of the mountain.”

The pirates glanced doubtfully at one another, but shrugged. Whatever works, they thought. At once, they all pushed forward and backwards, synchronized and orderly. With each passing swing, the spherical cages gained momentum, coming a few feet closer to the opposite mountain’s side. As soon as the cages reached the hard rocks, Gibbs shouted.

“Put your legs through! Start to climb! Argh!”

“Come on men!” Will yelled. “It’ll take all of us!”

“Ah?” a pirate called out.

There was a Pelegostos native only a few yards away from them, higher up on the wooden bridge. The native eyed the moving cages curiously before realizing what was happening. Immediately, the native let out a battle cry, running back into the forest back to the village.

“Move! Move!” Sora yelled. “Before they all come back!”

Panic was aroused as the pirates all struggled to try to speed up the climbing process. Sora could feel himself getting crushed by two bulky pirates, both trying to pitch in their assistance. Kairi, on the other hand, had her face smacked under an armpit, making her woozy and horribly irritated. Her feet couldn’t even touch the mountain since she was literally uplifted by the men around her. Ugh, Kairi thought. Right now, this is seriously no place for me! I’ll admit that…

After climbing over the ledge and finally on a flat surface, it was phase two for the prisoners.

“Find rocks, or anything, break loose these ropes,” Will ordered. “What, none of you have any weapons?”

“The Pelegostos cleaned us of all weaponry before they imprisoned us,” Gibbs explained quickly. “They’re smart like that, in a way.”

“Well, then, rocks will have to do?”

Will was interrupted by the sounds of drums and chanting in the background. Panic was again stimulated within the cage.

“Roll the cage!” Will yelled.

“Are you insane!” Kairi shrieked, but the cage was already tumbling down a hill before anyone could hear of her objection.

Crashing and crashing, the cage rolled all the way into a river-chasm, where it shattered on some rocks. Still, everything was in sheet chaos as the group heard the Pelegostos’ chanting closing in.

“This way, lads… and lass!” Gibbs shouted out and pointed over to dry land.

Sora grabbed Kairi’s hand and helped her out of the shattered cage. Sora was used to the nonstop running and turmoil, but Kairi was not. She clenched tightly onto Sora’s hand and followed behind him, trying her best not to trip over the wet rocks. Daggers, arrows, and spears were thrown and fired at the escapees, again arousing more panic. The group ran for their lives, onto the beach to a familiar ship docked close to the shorelines. The Black Pearl.

“Look, Kairi! It’s the Black Pearl,” Sora reported.

“That’s a… really big ship,” Kairi responded, panting furiously. “Jack is… the ship’s captain…?”

“Yeah, c’mon!”

The pirates slowed their paces down as they approached the Black Pearl. Turning around, they noticed the Pelegostos had stopped pursuing them. Gibbs scratched his bald scalp.

“Ah, how fortunate for us all, they’ve gone!” he cheered. “Now let’s go!”

“What about Jack? I won’t leave without him!” Will exclaimed.

In a split second, the group noticed the Pelegostos chasing a lone man, running awkwardly, but frantically towards them. Jack Sparrow.

“Hey!” he called, still running spastically towards the group. The Pelegostos were closing in behind him.

“Uh, time to go!” Will yelped as he noticed the colossal number of armed natives charging towards them.

Sora, Kairi, Will, and the pirates leapt onto the Black Pearl’s deck and scrambled.

“Cast off the lines!” Gibbs yelled. Jack could be heard screaming from below, trying to avoid the spears being thrown at him. “Make ready to cast off!”

At the last moment, Jack jumped forward and clung onto the rigging on the side of the Black Pearl. The ship finally retrieved its anchors and began to sail away with the wind. Huge waves splashed onto Jack, washing away his tribal tattoos. In the distant, the shouts and chants and war drums of the Pelegostos could still be heard, disappointed that their “god” has departed them.

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