The Kingfisher Epilogue
After a long and tiresome walk, Sal and Leighton had made their way back to the kingfisher with a heavy bag in hand. Neither said a word. Not to each other, not to the crew, and not even to you. Sal took his position at the helm, only speaking to bark orders to his fellow pirates as to where to row. Even Klayton, who still hung nearby to the man, didn't even get a look from him.
Leighton, on the other hand, had decided to go below deck and was under heavy watch from Jackdaw. Though he never said a word whilst he lay on his cot, his foot was constantly tapping at the oversized bag he had brought down with him.
You simply stood on the deck, at least keeping busy by helping everyone out. Eventually, the darkness that hung over blightfall began to fade and the heat of the coast of Pandrea began to warm your skin. You sigh, softly, looking up to where Sal was. You think for a moment and turn to start walking to Sal before you are stopped in your tracks.
"Sal, Klay, Riftie! Quick." Jackdaw called. His eyes were plain and emotionless whilst his face was pale. You could almost tell he had a bad taste in his mouth. You saw Sal look over to Klayton, before all three of you met up with Jackdaw. He walked you below the deck, to where Leighton was. The bag was empty, with what was inside of it laying next to Leighton on the bed. It looked over to you.
You and Sal both yell at the same time, though only you ran over to the little friend-shaped bot. Gus happily tapped his feet as you both embraces in a hug.
After a moment, you pulled away, smiling.
"Guss gus gus, gus Gus gus. Gus!" The bot happily chimed. When you asked how it happened, before sal even had the chance to explain, Gus lifted an arm and pointed to him. You couldn't help but smile as sal shook his head chuckling.
"Yeah, well, the tin can turned out to not be so bad... And, am happy to say that the hopeful approach worked."
"Yeah, but not for long."
You look over to Jackdaw, raising a brow. There he stood with the jewels in hand, smirking at the doorway.
"Ya see, here's the thing, Sal, you can pretend that you are the hero of all this, but I think you forgot a little somethin' here..."
Sal sighed, turning to face Jackdaw, crossing his arms. "An' what do yer want, Jackie Boy? Yer know that those stones need ta go back. Yer don't want Yvetle or Terra after yer now do we?"
"Oh, Salim. You know they won't be after me," He chuckled, placing a hand on Klayton. "They'll be after him.."
You frown in confusion, looking from Sal, to Klay, to Jackdaw. Sal frowned. "Why, yer little-"
"Now, now, son," Leighton smirked, standing from the bed in which he lay on. "It seems yer have forgotten yer manners again. It's true what was written in the first letter; you've just used this crewmate of yours the past few months to get to this point, and yet you haven' even explained the issues to 'em." He placed a hand on your shoulder, which you quickly shrug off.
Sal took a breath, sighing.
"Where to start...
"Back when we were younger, my loving father wanted someone to deal with the family business in Blightfall. He's a farmer by trade, of course, and I was born to take up the mantle with my sister. But, I wanted more. A farmer's life is an alright one when yer the one who owns the farm, not when yer the one doing the farming. What me father offered me to take care of the grain was' little-to-nothing', being told that I should be proud of the family name an' all that kind of rubbish. So, I'd start savin' and savin' until I had enough where I could feasibly buy meself a new place away from the farm. To celebrate, I went to the tavern and that's where I met Klayton."
He looked over to the man with sadness in his eyes, sighing softly.
"Now, this would be a happy story of he 'n I talkin' the night away and with me goin' home with butterflies in me belly. But instead, when I went home, I simply found my father at the table with all the credits I 'ad and he asked me what I were doin'. We got into an argument. He accused me of runnin' away from the family, that I was a disgrace for not sharin' the same dream as him. So, he kicked me out. Luckily I was old enough and wise enough to know what I should do. So, I went to the tavern and asked if I could work part time, not for money, but for a room. Klayton, who spoke to the owner for me, managed to make it work. The next few months were a rather chaotic season of bitter exchanges with me family and also finding love in the most unlikeliest of places with this handsome man. But it got to a point that the arrangement wasn't workin' anymore. I was makin' the tavern loose money for takin' up a good room, so, I was fired. One night I an' Klayton spoke about what I were to do, which I mentioned that "Well, me father has the so-called jewels of Pandrea at his place; maybe we could get a bounty for sending them back". I was jokin', of course, that kinda stuff is too risky. Instead, I set out a plan to buy an ol' shop where I could buy hidden gems and sell them for a profit. Little by little I'd earn back what I wanted in life, stability. But, Klayton on the other hand, felt the rage of revenge inside him."
Klayton sighed, walking over to Sal and placing a hand on his shoulder. "I didn't want the man to get away with everythin' he had done. Not to Sal. So, instead, I went ahead and planned on stealin' them back. I planned on takin' them back to Pandrea and planned to have Leighton take the fall. But..."
"But Klayton was blinded by his feelings and messed things up," Sal chuckled lovingly, looking over to him. "This silly man got evidence everywhere that he was the one who stole them. He was in such a rush to get revenge for my sake and to set us up for life with those jewels that he had forgotten every sense of precaution. That's why the box was in the heart-shaped oasis. Back then, the island was a full one; always found it strange it broke in two after our departure. That was where we last saw each other... Once Klay realised that he would be found guilty should he hand them back..."
"I asked him to leave with me." Klay sighed. "To come with me, to start a new life together. To sell these on and live out the rest of our days... But thats the thing about Sal, he is incredibly Loyal. Not just to people either. Afterall, he is not a theif, he would not steal, and he was loyal to the idea of returning those stollen jewels. He declined. But not without taking them first -"
"-Because I couldn't let them find you and take you away for something you didn't do." Sal sighed. Looking at the letter. "It's why I knew that it couldn't have been Careful behind this, he was new and didn’ know about how the pay was spread out and if he did he never complained. It's why I know Jackdaw helped Leighton in all of this." He looked over to the man, who was still smirking. "Jackdaw always had an issue with the fact we weren't getting as much money in as we would usually. He was one of my closest friends, however he would always speak up against how I would always underpay everyone to make an extra. Thing is, I was makin' the same amount. The rest... well, that's been going towards Klayton. To keep him safe... and Jackdaw was the only one who knew where the credits went and who handled them due to the ship often being too noisy for him since his hearin' is sensitive.. Which, I guess, led my father to finding him to get all this put together and use Jackdaw as a puppet kind-of situation together for what? Getting the precious jewels back? To get revenge?"
Leighton, who's smirk had long been wiped off his face, frowned at his son.
"If you truly believe this is what it's all about, Salim Morgannis, then I believe we have nothing else to talk about."
"And let me guess. Gus?" Salim looked over to the bot. "Did that guy over there tamper with your electronics trying to get you to be quiet?"
Gus frowned, nodding. "gus..."
"Thought as much..." Sal sighed. "But for now, I think it's time we settle this once and for-!"
You awoke later that day,
The boat had shaken terribly and a high-pitched screatch had been sounding, causing everyone to drop to the floor unconcious. You groggily pulled yourself to your feet, noticing only Sal and Klayton were in the room. You asked where Leighton and Jackdaw had gone, but Sal simply glared.
"We don't know..." Klayton sighed. "They were gone by the time we woke up. No sign of the jewels either."
"We have to find them, you can't stay here Klay." He sighed, shaking his head. "We have to get you back. I'll do some extra work, help pay for your protection or something, I don't know, but we can't get yer locked u-"
"Salim, my love, please. Take a breath..."
"GUS!! GUS GUS!!" gus screatched from the hallway, pointing up to the top of the stairs that led to the upper deck.
The three of you made it to the top. Gus, along with Gug who was cheering happily after finding her lost friend, both happily tapped their feet whilst pointing to something in the distance. A large, blue monolithic building was standing in the distance with rocks held in stasis around it. Sal huffed, his eyes locked onto the building. "Oh, right, now should be a good time to let you know that whilst we were helping Tin Man, we heard a beeping countdown sound. We just... left. In a hurry. Well, it appears the countdown ended..." He felt Klayton wrap his arm around him.
"But that, my dear, is an adventure for another day." Klay kept his eyes on the monolith, as did you. Everyone felt a sense of dread and unease from looking at the new image on the horizon.
Then, you felt something tippy tapping your arm. Looking down you saw Gus holding a blue ice-pop in hand, happily chirping as he held it out for you to take. It seems Gug had brought some along for the crew when she noticed everyone had fainted. You smile at the robot and took it.
"Thank you, Gus." you smiled, begining to eat it. You wondered what this meant for the world of Solaria, and what would the future of Pandrea look like? Where did Leighton go? What would come of Jackdaw? and Careful? And was Sal being truthful about Klay and his father? You shake your head. Those thoughts would stay with you for another day. Gus smiled widely, hugging you as he was releaved to see you once again.
"Gus Friend!" He chirped.