“Captain! Sails, a Spanish brig,” the call echoed over the rush of waves and chatter of the crew. They were sailing through open water back to Nassau to assess the situation back on home turf now the royal navy would not be coming to the Governor’s aid. Flint and Silver both hurried to the side and a telescope was passed to Flint without the request needing to be made. Silver arrived a few seconds later.
“She’s coming straight for us,” Flint replied, passing the telescope to Silver for him to evaluate himself. She was a beauty of a Spanish brig and was very well maintained compared to some naval and most pirate ships.
“Is she one of ours?” Silver asked and Flint shook his head.
“Not that I recognise,” Flint replied, “we can’t out run her we’re going to have to stand and fight.”
“Gun ports open and crews at the ready. Ease off on the main sail and tilt the broadsides towards her,” Silver ordered and his commands were instantly put into motion. The two just continued to stare at the approaching ship. A few minutes later they were in position and the brig was still heading towards them, fearless even in the face of the Walrus’ multitude of broadsides.
“Raise the black,” Flint shouted as soon as the brig was too close to turn tail and run. The famous flag shimmied its way up the flag pole and even this didn’t scare the brig as it angled. Its gun ports were still shut.
“She must be one of ours,” Flint murmured, the whole ship was on high alert. Then she raised her flag, Silver had the telescope at hand. It was black but he didn’t recognise it.
“Raised the black but I don’t recognise it,” Silver passed the scope to Flint. They really needed to invest in more than one of them for the Captain and Quartermaster. Flint lined it up with his eye but in seconds he lowered his arm.
“Shut the ports, do not fire. She is friendly, prepare to board,” Flint commanded, one of his signature smirk like smiles forming on his face. The brig was getting closer and now they just waited until they were in boarding distance.
“So who is it?” Silver asked, leaning against the side to take some of the weight off the boot.
“An old friend. He arrived at Nassau about six years ago as a privateer and sailed under Hornigold for a while. He found out about a treasure greater than our wildest dreams but disappeared looking for it. I thought he was dead but here he is, the Jackdaw is a beauty,” Flint reminisced, it wasn’t often they found colleagues that Flint actually liked and seemed to like Flint too.
The captain of the Jackdaw commanded everyone’s attention as he strode over the plank and jumped down onto the deck of the Walrus. His blonde hair was pulled back into a loose ponytail and he was a set of long blue and white robes while being armed with strange wrist blades that Silver had never seen before. “Edward Kenway, you son of a bitch,” Flint smirked, embracing Edward in a slightly awkward hug.
“James Flint, terrorising the new world I hear,” Edward mocked, patting Flint on the back as they separated.
“Well I had to do something to pass the time,” Flint played it off in a carefree manner Silver had never seen with any of the other captains. When Silver had brought up his trust issues he just aid that pirates were untrustworthy sorts and refused to say anymore. These two were close. Edward moved around the ship like he knew the Walrus and settled down on a barrel, gesturing for Silver and Flint to join him. The rest of the crew lingered, wanting to hear the tales the pirate captain brought with him of this legendary treasure. “Last time I heard you were sailing off into the distance leaving Vane marooned on a tropical island,” Flint scoffed and Edward’s chest puffed out a couple of inches.
“How is the insane bastard anyway? Tried to kill me he did, over some oysters,” Edward rolled his eyes, another one in the I Hate Charles Vane Club.
“Sentenced to death I’m afraid. We’ve sent men to try and stall the execution,” Silver commented, Edward’s face hardened.
“It’s a cruel world for us pirate folk out there,” Edward shrugged, he didn’t seem as concerned as Flint did. Silver guessed that happened when the man in question tried to kill you over some oysters.
“Our captain here says that you went in search of a mighty treasure. This sounds like a story that should be told,” Silver spoke up, he was a sucker for a good tale.
“I do hate to disappoint,” Edward chuckled, one eyebrow rising towards his hairline. “It all started with a bosun on one of Ben Hornigold’s ships who was on the losing exchange of a battle with a merchantman and a storm. I woke up, the only surviving member of the crew, next to an assassin.”
“I realised that the Templars would never leave the observatory alone. And it was too powerful to sell to anyone. So I caved in the temple and have been drifting since taking on odd jobs,” Edward finished his story and everyone was gobsmacked, Silver couldn’t have imagined a more exciting tale. “But enough about me, what have you be up to since I went on my mission. I heard about Charlestown,” Edward questioned, and Flint explained all about Nassau and Governor Rogers.
“Nassau’s fallen?” Edward frowned, standing up and pacing. “I knew Hornigold would cave at some point but I never thought he would turncoat. He was always so proud of Nassau,” he continued.
“May I ask, why didn’t you come back to Nassau after the Observatory business?” Silver questioned.
“I have my own island,” the smile returned to Edward’s face as a smirk. Flint’s eyebrows raised in disbelief. “I stole a plantation island from a French Templar. The French weren’t willing to admit what one of their high up exporters had been doing behind their back and so are willing to ignore who owns the plantation as long as I give them the same cut of the profits,” Edward explained, it was a brilliant plan and it seemed to be working for the pirate. “I free slaves on my journey and then give them paid positions working the plantation or the dock services a working port needs. It’s a profitable enterprise.”
Flint and Edward retired to the captain’s cabin to discuss what they were doing going forward. Edward had taken a vote on his ship and the Jackdaw was pledged to aiding in the fight to retake Nassau. Silver had made friends with the Jackdaw’s quartermaster Adewale; he had been on a slaver, waiting to be sold, when Edward was chained up next to him and they planned a daring escape. After that he swore his allegiance to the pirate captain and sailed as his quartermaster. “Edward saved every single member of this crew. They owe him their lives and it shows in the lengths they will go to if he asks. My job is different to yours, I don’t represent the crew, I stop Edward from doing anything stupid,” Adewale explained.
“And does liberating Nassau count as a bad idea?” John asked with a smirk as the ship rocked slowly in the light wind.
“Not the worst he’s ever had.”
The Jackdaw and the Walrus sailed in tandem back to Nassau and Flint, Silver and Edward were the first party to venture ashore to meet Billy, Ben and Vane. Billy and Ben were waiting on the abandoned beach with morose expressions warning them of bad news. “Vane was executed, and we have put some plans in to place,” Billy stated as soon as Flint and Silver had exited the boat. Edward introduced himself but before long they were walking back to Flint’s house in a tense silence as Flint’s anger was palpable in the air. He had given Billy one job and had returned to no Charles Vane and the belief that his quartermaster was going around killing people. “We had to capitalise on the momentum that Vane caused with his hangman’s speech,” Billy tried to defend himself from his captain’s ire.
“Get off his back Flint, he did the best he could in a bad situation and I don’t mind playing the villain,” John argued.
“I have a plan,” Edward interrupted, trying to help Silver diffuse the situation. “What we need is a big display of power. It’s alright leaving notes but if you want to fear someone then you need to see them. We need John to kill someone,” he grinned.
Silver did have to admit the plan was a good one but it all hinged on his believability as the villain in this tale. He always prided himself on the ability to be likeable but the role of Long John Silver demanded the opposite. He needed to be feared, not hated, he needed to terrify hardened sailors right down to their souls. It had to be the performance of a life time, and he had a team of assassins at his back. It had most certainly been a surprise when Edward had revealed he was a trained assassin as well as a pirate captain and was able to gather three of his assassin brethren that were serving on his crew to aid in this rouse. They had read through the pardon register, crossing off all those that were either dead or had sworn their allegiance back to the side of the free pirates of Nassau. The next name on the list was Captain Sandacre and his crew. He was a long standing member of the community but he had never taken any major prizes. From what the team remembered, he was quite unremarkable. Perfect for their display. They had sent the black spot the night before and according to their sources, Sandacre was scared but was not willing to concede and go back to the life. There were members of the crew that would be willing to be swayed though; Silver hoped that the untimely death of their captain may turn them to his side. Silver stood waiting in the shadows outside Max’s tavern. The clocks chimed twelve, the hour of the devil, and the predetermined timing, Edward was at his shoulder a show of support and truly intimidating in his full assassin’s garb. The hood shadowed his face; if Silver was the devil then Edward was a demon. “Ready,” Edward hissed and Silver nodded, he schooled his face into an expressionless mask and stepped into the tavern. Long and even strides caused the rhythmic thump, thump of his boot on the wooden floorboards. He focused forwards as the tavern slowly quietened. Sandacre was sat exactly where Edward’s men told them he would be.
He carried on telling his crew whatever story he was probably falsifying today even as they all silenced and gawped at the figure of Long John Silver thumping towards him. “I’m sorry sirs, am I interrupting,” Silver smiled maliciously as Edward pulled a man out of a chair for Silver to sit down across from Sandacre. He slid onto it without even a glance at the man on the floor or Edward. Sandacre had quietened and was staring at Silver with his mouth slightly agape. “Because I just wanted to have a little conversation with your captain here and heard he frequented this establishment,” Silver continued, sniffing someone’s drink before taking a swig. “I’ve heard some of the tales that have been being spread and I do have to admit some of them are exaggerations,” he carried on explaining, finally making eye contact with the target. This admission seemed to put Sandacre at ease and his cocky smile began to return. “But not all of them Captain Sandacre. You received my message and I really don’t appreciate being ignored. Do you not think my threat is a serious one?” Silver frowned, leaning forwards so Sandacre was within reach.
“Of course, I did not mean to disre…” Sandacre babbled, trying in vain to appease the demon in front of him but Silver was not finished.
“Because that is the only reason I can imagine for you not to take my offer. Unless your loyalty to the crown is more important than your life,” he continued, shushing Sandacre’s protests again. “Which in a place like Nassau can be a very dangerous admission,” Silver shrugged.
“I, I,” Sandacre stammered and Silver’s patience expired. The knife on his belt was in his hand and he thumped it down tearing through the cartilage and bone of Sandacre’s hand, pinning it to the table with an agonised scream from the traitorous captain.
“However I am a forgiving man and so I am going to stay your execution and give your crew a choice. You can either join your disgraced captain in his untimely demise out of some misguided sense of loyalty or you can join the crew of the Walrus or the crew of the Jackdaw under Captains Flint and Kenway respectively,” Silver stood up slowly, stretching the stiffness out of his hip. Kenway lowered his hood and murmurs rippled through the tavern. He was from the time before a lot of these captains and many had heard about his quest for the prize of a lifetime and how he was the most promising captain to come out from under Ben Hornigold. Some sailors slowly stepped over to Edward and Silver, forming ranks behind the two. Three remained at their captain’s side as he yanked the knife out of his hand with another cry. “I’m sure you all know by now I don’t ask twice,” Silver stated and that was the signal for Edward’s men to get to work. Two wrist blades darted from the shadows plunging into the back of two of the traitors as Edward threw one of his knives straight into the jugular of the last one standing. “My warnings are not cowardice,” Silver shouted to the rest of the occupants as Billy reported that soldiers were on their way to investigate the disturbance. “They are to give you a chance to atone for your sins. You know where to find us if you change your minds!” Silver finished, spinning around to look everyone in the eye. “But be warned, the shadows are mine to control, you will not see us coming and I will always know,” he stated, punctuating the point with a still pistol shot gliding through Sandacre’s forehead just as the guards arrived. Edward flamboyantly through a smoke bomb at the ground and when the cloud cleared, they were long gone like ghosts in the dead of night.
“I’m going to miss you Kenway,” Silver smiled as they stood aboard the deck of the Walrus the next morning.
“I do have to say it was fun to get out and threaten some people again. All the Templars are on the down low so less assassinations,” Edward shrugged, before embracing Silver warmly.
“Where are you heading now so urgently?” Flint asked, leaning against the mask with his regal air.
“One of my men has returned with news of London. My wife has passed leaving my son parentless, it is time for me to return,” Edward explained.
“People don’t leave this life without a fight Edward, be careful. But look after your own,” Flint nodded, clasping Edward’s hand with a look that spoke volumes. Flint had dreamt of settling down with Miranda after the Urca but that was lost after his own foolishness.
“If you ever need a helping hand, you know how to find us,” Silver smiled as the plank was laid between the two ships.
“Follow the mayhem and destruction, I know,” Edward joked as he walked away.
Flint and Silver watched with the rest of the crew as the Jackdaw sailed away with its new additions to the crew curtesy of their display. “You have strange friends, Captain James Flint,” Silver laughed and the Captain couldn’t disagree there.