The Story of a Young Corsair - Part One¶
The water was cold, but fish didn't seem to care. They were dancing in a colourful pantomime, no sound to be heard by a Homin's ear. Each of them seemed to know exactly where it had to be or go, their ballet always a thing of grace and beauty, as if repeated for centuries. Young Bremmen O'Derry was watching them. He had always been a proud Tryker, and a fierce warrior with his weapon… but he had never discovered anything more beautiful than the natural spectacles such as the school of fish to be found in his beloved lakes.
Little waves rippled across the surface, and the fish turned to flashes of colour as they darted from sight. He looked the other way, and saw a patrol of Trykers swimming incredibly fast. He recognized them immediately: they were the Corsairs who often patrolled in Liberty Lake, never afraid of swimming to reach farther islands where they had many interesting, and useful tasks to do… At least was it what Bremmen believed. His father had always told him about his own past, when he was younger, in the tribe of Corsairs. It had shaped him, both body and mind; it wasn't far from a kind of tour of duty in fact… apart from the fact that they weren't officially offering their services to the Federation.
By the time Bremmen looked back to the lake, the Corsairs were already disappearing into the distance. He jumped up and dived into the water. He had to follow them; he wanted to follow them and to join their tribe. So many young Trykers already had… and they filled him with longing to emulate them, only two or three years older, yet they were respected by everyone. But it was not long before he was so out of breath that he was unable to continue. The patrol, meanwhile, had failed to notice him and continued on its way. Lost in the middle of the Lakes, Bremmen tried to reach the first island to regain his breath. His lungs were burning, like the very day when his grand father offered him to smoke a pipe.
-"I want to try!" Bremmen said to his grand father.
- "Sure, try it" he answered, offering him the pipe.
He got the pipe between his lips, took some smoke in his mouth and spit it out.
- "Not like that! Breathe!" Bremmen's grand father said.
He tried once more, breathed in and coughed immediately, choking on the acrid smoke. His grand father roared with laughter and Bremmen never tried again… But today, he was feeling as if he'd smoked and coughed for hours. Corsairs were really good swimmers. Certainly the best of Atys! He couldn't see them anymore. The fish had retaken their places, and once again resumed their silent dancing as if nothing happened.
Bremmen stood up again, and climbed up a steep cliff in the middle of the island he had found. From the top, he had a panoramic view of Liberty Lake and the island which he now rested on. On the West side, he saw something that made his eyes light up! It was less than 400m away from his position, but too far for him to see exactly what was happening. He looked up at the sky, and smiled. According to his calculations, it should be the Corsairs camp!
Bremmen ran down the western face of the cliff and reached the beach. Only a little swimming time separated him from his aim now. He took a deep breath, and dived in again, and began swimming quickly in the hope that it would make a good impression on the corsairs.. Unfortunately, he kept his rhythm for less than 250m, and by the time he reached the beach he was as red as some of the fish he had observed earlier, gasping for breath.
He stared at the floor, an attempt to hide his shame from the scrutinizing look of Codgan Be'Yle. He was relieved when he looked up again, and saw that nobody had noticed his presence… It had taken him so long to catch his breath they all had moved on to other tasks…
Bremmen quickly combed his hair with his hands, and walked at an assured pace toward the nearest Corsair he had seen.
- "Hi!" He said to the welcomer.
- "Hi young boy" The welcomer answered.
- "Young boy? I'm not a young boy anymore. I'm a young Homin now, brave and bold"
Bremmen shifted the weapon strapped to his back, so the welcomer could be awestruck.
- "Brave and bold homins do not take five minutes to catch their breath when they swim slowly and only a short distance... Anyway, my name is Codgan Be'Yle. I'm the Corsairs' welcomer. What could I do for you? Try to sum it up quickly, for I have a lot to do"
Bremmen's cheeks turned bright red. But it was his only chance, so he quickly answered Be'Yle.
- "My name's Bremmen O'Derry. I'm Arty O'Derry's son. Do you know him?"
- "No" replied the welcomer.
- "But, he was in the Corsairs, some years ago"
- "You know, boy, there are so many young Trykers who come to serve our cause everyday and who finally leave some years later… I cannot remember
Bremmen restrained his anger when he heard Codgan calling him "boy" again.
- "I came a long way, from the city of Fairhaven, to meet you and to serve your cause. My weapon is yours, if you agree to enrol me"
- "Well, try to find Derren Be'Lauppy then. He surely has some tasks to give you. Come back after you're done and maybe I'll think about giving you something else to do"
- "Ok! Who is he?" Bremmen asked, looking at the homins in the camp.
- "He's not here. He's a scout. You should be able to find him in the Winds of Muse".
- "The Winds of Muse? But that's very far! And dangerous, isn't it?"
- "Surely not for a brave and bold Homin such as yourself. Did you really think I would tell you "welcome to the corsairs" simply because you made from Fairhaven to our camp? Now go, and don't come back until you proved you are useful."
Bremmen stared open-mouthed. A test, of course… Or maybe the welcomer was too busy to deal with every young Tryker that came this way… Either
way, Bremmen prove himself and go find the scout.