When we last left A Piratical Legacy, some of the family had grown older, and some
had passed on. A certain Piratical heir was in denial about his heartbreak and his
younger brother was having palpitations of excitement about the upcoming family trip
with Grandpa Lee. Meanwhile, a few of the first circle cousins got a little more face
time in anticipation of the vacation.
Our story continues...
“You've docked at the quay? Great! We'll be there in an hour.”
Lee Buccaneer carefully put the phone down and cupped his hands to his mouth.
“Balthier! Kennit! Arabella! Grab your bags and get down to the driveway! We're
picking up your cousins in five minutes!”
It was bright and sunny that afternoon when Dean Whedonberry, normally First Officer
but on this trip, Acting Captain, gave the command for the ropes to be untied and the
great sailing vessel, the Black Pearl, to open her sails.
“Mr. Vetinari, are we clear of the harbour?”
“Aye, Captain!” Second Officer Larch Vetinari called down from the crowsnest. “Just
left the last of the rocks behind us. There's naught ahead but the open sea.”
“Full sails, then, on a heading for Twikki Island,” Captain Whedonberry called to the
crew. “Let's show our passengers how the Pearl flies.”
Lee and his eight grandchildren stood awkwardly on the main deck of the Pearl. This
was the first time most of them had been aboard, and while the crew scurried about
them making ready to sail, the passenger weren't exactly sure what they should be
“Come on up to the poop deck,” Captain Whedonberry called down graciously.
Lee and the older children, at least, were quick to oblige. The others were busy taking
in the sights and smells, and even the feel, of the great vessel at sea.
“The boat kinda smells funny,” Minerva said dubiously. “Like... the beach, mixed up
with bird poo and matches and seaweed.”
“And whose childrinion are you?” Larch Vetinari asked, leaping lightly to the deck from
“My daddy is Spandrell, and my other daddy is Hades,” the blueskinned girl replied.
“Whose childrinion are you?”
“That is a very valid question,” Addie Finch, ship's surgeon and weapons master,
chuckled. “Whose childrinion indeed, eh Larch?”
“Well, my father was either a legacy founder or a toymaker, depending on which verion
of history you believe,” Larch said gruffly. “Either origin is acceptably eeeevil, though I
much prefer spreading the toymaker story, myself.”
Minerva's younger brother Zeus was not concerned with such mundane trivia as childrinions and
their origin. He caressed the wood of the hull lightly. “I could make a fortune with a ship like this,”
“The Pearl does bring in her fair share of the booty,” Addie laughed, overhearing the boy's
comment. “If you ship aboard her for a season or so when you're a little older, you could have a
“Really?” Minerva and Zeus chimed in unison.
“Really,” Addie promised. “Talk to Captain Whedonberry, or Captain Buccaneer when you get
home. They'll tell you all about it. It's hard work, being hand on a ship this size, but I think it's
“Who's Captain Buccaneer?” Zeus asked.
“Don't be a dummy,” Minerva scolded him. “She's talking about Auntie Shih, silly.”
“Oh,” Zeus said quickly. “I knew that.”
“Kennit, if you get to be the next captain of the Black Pearl, can I be one of your crew
Kennit grinned and tousled Minerva's hair. “Of course you can, kiddo! I can't think of
anything more fun than being in charge of this ship and having all of my family with me. I
mean, you'd have to work hard—it wouldn't be easy, and just 'cause you're family wouldn't
mean you'd get a free ride. I'd expect everyone aboard to pull their weight—“
“Well that wouldn't be very much, because I'm still pretty small,” Minerva said quickly.
“But you won't always be, and you'd have to be a bit bigger to sail aboard ship if I was
captain,” Kennit said. “College age, at least, because it would take that long for me to take
over as captain from my mom, and that's assuming she's even going to retire ever, and that
I'll be the heir, or at least that Balthier won't want the ship if he's the
“Now you're getting confusing and silly!” Minerva giggled.
“Mr. Tegeneria, these young sailors look like they're having far too much fun,” Captain
Whedonberry said, a smile playing about his features. “Why don't you give them a tour
of the Pearl and then set them to work...oh...practicing their fencing.”
“Aye Cap'n,” Norris Tegeneria said, snapping off a brisk salute to his superior. “Come
along, you two. Have you ever seen a cannon before?”
“This is so cool,” Troy Buccaneer breathed. “So cool. I wish my dad had a ship instead
of a used car lot. I wouldn't loot and pillage, though. I'd just charge a ridiculous amount
of money for the 'Authentic Pirate Experience'.”
“As for you, Kennit Buccaneer,” Captain Whedonberry said in a speculative tone.
“What in the world am I going to do with you on this voyage?”
“Teach me everything you know about sailing the high seas,” Kennit suggested with a
“Your mother warned me you'd say something to that effect,” the Captain nodded
“Good,” Kennit said, clapping his hands together. “What are you going to teach me
So began the busiest three weeks of the young Buccaneer cousins' lives. Those who
were interested sat in on the various lessons Dean Whedonberry and his crew were
teaching to Kennit, and those who weren't interested occupied themselves in other
Everyone was having a grand old time, with the exception of Balthier. The presumptive
heir to A Piratical Legacy found, to his chagrin, that he was not a sailor, and spent
most of his time either hanging over the railing or collapsing limply in his mother's
“...and that's when we shampooed the squirrel.”
“The adventures you and your cousins get up to,” Larch shook his head. “I could use
childrinions such as yourselves when I acquire my own vessel.”
“You're planning on setting up a mobile animal grooming centre?” Troy blinked.Not
likely,” Larch said. “That would not be nearly eeeevil enough. I cannot divulge my plans
at this time, but they would be extremely profitable for one such as yourself.”
“I wouldn't have to betray my friends and family, would I?”
“Only if you wanted to, potential future minion.”
“Stop corrupting the young man, Larch,” Addie scolded.
“He is past the age of consent for corruption,” Larch said. “By international accord, I
am within my rights to attempt to recruit him for my nefarious future undertakings.”
“Nefarious? Nefarious could be cool,” Troy said, desperately trying to rerail the
conversation. “I could be nefarious.”
“Of course, this entire conversation is completely hypothetical,” Larch said quickly,
catching sight of the captain over Troy's shoulder.
“Hypothetical nefariousness, check.”
“And would not in any way impact your family's holdings or investment in the Pearl.”
“It better not, or I'd bring all of my eeeevil to bear against you, Mr. Vetinari.”
“If you really want to prove your eeeevil, Troy, I do have a suggestion.”
“CATNIP!” Troy shouted at the top of his lungs.
“Aaaah!” Karat yelped, jumping straight up and (fortunately) landing back on the plank.
“Troy, what in the world were you thinking? I coulda been killed!”
“Could have been, but weren't,” Troy said, turning back to Larch. “See? Reflexes like a
“Indeed,” Larch nodded. “Karat, have you ever considered a life of eeeevil? I am
actively recruiting for minions at the moment.”
“I'll show you minions,” Karat grumbled. She stomped off of the plank. “I'm telling
Balthier chose that moment to finally emerge from the Captain's Stateroom, providing
a timely distraction as the other passengers and crew swarmed to inquire how he was
“I don't think I'm cut out to be a sailor,” the heirapparent to the legacy said glumly.
“Not everyone is,” Addie said sympathetically. “My own sister Amelia was fine as long
as she was within sight of land, but once she hit the high seas she was done for.”
“Ooh, don't talk about high seas,” Balthier said, his complexion turning distinctly green.
He clapped a hand over his mouth.
His companions scattered like flies at the apparent imminent eruption.
“Not on the deck!”
“Oh, come back,” Balthier said angrily when his moment of discomfort had passed... or
at least subsided to manageable levels. “I'm just seasick, not carrying the plague.
Although you'd think I had the plague from the way everyone at school was going on
about my breakup with Brittany. Avoiding me, not giving me the time of day, whispering
about me in the hallways...”
His shoulders slumped. “On second thought, I'm not feeling any better. I'm going back
into the cabin.”
“Balthier, wait!” Lee called, but his grandson just shook his head and continued back
into the depths of the vessel.
“Has he stopped being sick, at least?” Captain Whedonberry asked his fifth crew
member, Saffron Bohemian.
“I think so,” Saffron said, shrugging. “At least, I haven't been called to clean up the
cabin since yesterday. So I hope he's not being sick.”
“He's feeling way better,” Kennit said. “He's just depressed.”
“Bad breakup,” Kennit shrugged. “I'd hoped this trip would help him snap out of it, but
with him being so seasick it's kinda gone the other way. Balthier's worse than he's
been in months.”
Captain Whedonberry frowned sympathetically. “Well, your trip has scarcely begun.
We should reach Twikki Island by sunrise tomorrow, and perhaps having solid land
under his feet will change your brother's outlook.”
“I hope so,” Kennit said. “I'm sharing a tent with him!”
“Perhaps the knowledge that you steered the Pearl into port will help alleviate any
discomfort those sleeping arrangements may engender.”
Kennit blinked. “I know why this ship is so profitable,” he said finally. “You work for the
“Shh,” the Captain grinned. “Don't give away your mother's secrets. Anyway, are you
“Oh heck yeah!”
“What's our heading, Captain?” Kennit grinned as he took the wheel.
Captain Whedonberry thought for a moment. “Ohhh... that way. Roughly.”
“Twikki Island is on the large side, and we're pretty close. You'd have to be trying to
miss it from here.”
As the wind behind them picked up and the sails billowed above them, Kennit couldn't
help whooping with excitement. “This is great!”
“Kennit! Kennit! I can see the island!” Arabella chirped excitedly from the crowsnest.
“What are you doing up there?!?”
“Looking!” Arabella called back cheerfully.
“Could you look from the ground? You're taking years off my life!”
Even from below, Kennit could see the beginning of a pout forming on his kid sister's
“Leave her be,” Captain Whedonberry advised, sotto voice. “She's better than most of
my men at running the rigging—she'll be fine.”
Kennit shrugged. “I'll let Grandpa deal with it... if he notices.” He raised his voice. “Fine!
You can stay!”
Arabella grinned even wider, if that was possible. “Hooray! And did you hear what I
said? I can see the island!”
“This childrinion has the eyes of an eagle!” Larch said from the rigging, having followed
the exchange with some amusement.
“You betcha, Mister Vetinari,” Arabella smirked. “I've got the bestest eyes on the whole
ship! That's why when Kennit's the Captain I'm gonna be his First Mate and don't you
Early the next morning the ship finally drew close to the island. When she recovered
the Pearl, Ching Shih had had the shoreline dredged and the ship was able to pull in
closer to the beach than would otherwise have been adviseable.
One by one, the Buccaneers and the crew filed off of the ship and onto the beach.
“The ground keeps wobbling!” Arabella insisted.
“Don't be stupid, Bella Bella,” Balthier snapped. “You're just imagining things.”
“That was uncalled for,” Lee said mildly. “Apologize to your sister, Balthier.”
Balthier opened his mouth to retort, then closed it again. Grudgingly, he turned to
Arabella. “Sorry, kiddo. I'm just so glad to be off the ship I don't want any reminders.”
“The ship was awesome, though,” Arabella said regretfully. “I'm all sad we aren't on it
anymore. Are we sailing home?”
“If we are, I'm hitchhiking to the airport.”
“I hope you stop being sick from the boat,” Arabella said sympathetically. “I think being
at sea is the bestest thing ever, and I'm the bestest crew person ever. I wish it was fun
for you, Balthier.”
“That makes two of us,” Balthier said.
“We'll be four days trading with the surrounding islands,” Captain Whedonberry said to
Lee. “Will that be long enough for you to get in all your sightseeing?”
“It should be,” Lee said. “Really, the voyage is as much a part of the vacation as
spending time on the beach. Come back in four days and we'll be ready to go home.”
“I think you might just have a mutiny on your hands if you force Balthier back aboard
ship,” Captain Whedonberry chuckled.
“I'll make sure we're armed with antinausea medication, no worries,” Lee said. “If he
starts taking it a few hours before we set sail, Balthier should be a lot happier on the
“Not to mention, the trip home will be a lot quicker,” the captain agreed. “As we'll be
going the direct route rather than the scenic route.”
While Lee was settling things with the captain, the Buccaneer cousins were busy
exploring the family's beach bungalow.
“This place is pretty great,” Karat said happily as she finished her selfguided tour. “I've
only got one problem with it—there aren't enough beds!”
“You really weren't paying attention to anything other than Mister Tegeneria's muscles,
were you?” Sterling teased her little sister. “Grandpa said us older kids are staying in
tents while the little kids get the bunks in the house.”
“Which is kind of unfair, if you think about it,” Troy said. “We have seniority.”
“Yes, but there's only three extra beds, plus one for Grandpa,” Sterling said. “So it's
more fair this way.”
“What's more fair?” Minerva asked.
“That you kids get the bedroom and us teenagers have to sleep outside in tents.”
“No fair!” Minerva complained immediately. “I want to stay in a tent!”
“If you come back when you're a bit older, I bet they'll let you stay in a tent instead of in
the house,” Sterling said appeasingly.
“I'm almost a teenager,” Minerva added with a slight frown.
“Almost doesn't quite cut it, I'm afraid,” Troy said with a shrug.
“Just because you're bigger doesn't mean you need to be condescending,” Minerva
“It's not condescending, just the truth,” Troy shrugged. He stood up. “Gotta take a call
—don't let anyone steal my seat.”
“Troy's gonna kill you,” Sterling grinned as Balthier slid into the recently vacated seat.
“I can take him,” Balthier shrugged. “Besides, I'm the oldest—“
“Fine, second oldest. If I can't get dibs on seats, what's the point?”
“Sometimes I really don't understand big kids,” Minerva muttered to Zeus when he
wandered into the room. “They think the weirdest things are important. Like chairs.”
“Oh, I don't know,” Zeus said, settling in to sit between his oldest cousins. “I think
having the best seat is kinda important. And the middle seat is the best seat on this
kind of couch.”
Sterling and Balthier exchanged grins over their cousin's head.
“Can we watch tv now instead of arguing over chairs?” Minerva asked in a plaintive
voice, plopping down inches from the set.
“Ohhh... this is the life,” Kennit said in a blissful voice. “Warm sand beneath me, hot
sun above me, and no homework in sight.”
“Why are all the others inside?” Arabella asked scornfully. “They're totally wasting their
“Well, Balthier said something about not even wanting to look at the water ever again.”
“That's because he's dumb.”
“He did get pretty sick on the ship, Arabella.”
“Well that was dumb too,” Arabella insisted. “If he's going to be the heir, that means he
gets the ship, and if he can't even stand to be on the ship, how's he going to be a good
captain? Captain Whedonberry knows how to do everything there is to do on the ship.
Balthier can't even stop barfing long enough to learn how to run rigging or splice a
“If he wants the ship, he'll learn all those things,” Kennit shrugged, rolling over. “And if
he doesn't want the ship... maybe he'll give her to me. That's what I hope.”
“I bet he will let you,” Arabella said. Reaching over, she dumped a handful of sand on
“Hey! What did you do that for?”
“So you'd get up,” Arabella said matteroffactly.
“You could have just asked,” Kennit grumbled, standing up, shaking out his beach
towel, and slipping it into his inventory. “What's so important that you had to get me up
off of my blanket?”
The cousins busied themselves about the grounds of their vacation house until the
clarion call of a cowbell sounded from one end of the property to the other. Further
investigatino revealed that dinner was being served in the small dining room.
“I bet you're real glad to be eating real food again,” Zeus said, staring hungrily at
Balthier's plate. “I bet you're gonna eat that whole salad all by yourself.”
“I was planning on it, yes,” Balthier said warily.
“So you won't let me have that bit of avocado just there?”
“You have plenty on your own plate, Zeus.”
“Yours looks yummier.”
“So Grandpa said we could explore the whole island tomorrow!” Sterling said excitedly.
“I can't wait to see everything and meet the locals and stuff.”
“You already have met a local,” Karat pointed out. “Uncle Jim is a local.”
“Yeah, but he's lived on Pirate Island practically forever,” Sterling said dismissively.
“And I already know him. This trip is all about meeting new people, as far as I'm
“I thought Grandpa said we were supposed to use this time to get to know all of our
“I'm the oldest,” Sterling said. “I've known everyone since they were born. No offense,
but you guys are a little boring compared to all the exotic islanders.”
“Steal another avocado and I stab you with my fork,” Balthier said, wielding said
“It was only a little one,” Zeus said placatingly. “Here, have one of mine. According to
the law of inverse food property, food stolen from someone else's plate tastes five
times better than food from your own plate. So my avocadoes should taste way better
than yours—to you.”
“You are one weird kid, Zeus. Did you know that?”
“Daddy says I take after Papa an awful lot, but with a lot less doom and a lot more
zoom. And boom!”
“I would be worried if your avocadoes started going boom.”
“Don't worry, they're perfectly safe. Auntie Toshiko made me leave my xylophone at
That evening, Lee built up a roaring beach bonfire and the eight cousins plus
grandfather spent a congenial evening roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories
—though not too scary, as Lee wanted the younger children to fall asleep without any
“Grandpa, tell us about the first time you came to Pirate Island,” Arabella insisted, poking at the
flames with her marshmallow stick until Lee took it away from her.
“Oh, that was a long time ago,” Lee said with a fond smile. “It was on my honeymoon with your
Grandma Grace, right after we got married.”
“I don't remember Grandma Grace,” Arabella said pensively. “Was she a nice lady?”
“She was my heart,” Lee said.
“You must miss her an awful lot.”
“I do, every day. But seeing you and your brothers and sisters and cousins helps. You see, a
little piece of her lives in each and every one of you. For instance, you, Bella Bella, look just like
her only with red hair. And Minerva and Zeus have something of her personality and outlook on
life, as does Troy. She was a Fortune sim, like me, and them.”
“Money is well and good,” Arabella said, “but my very favourite thing is spending time with family,
just like this.”
“Same here,” Karat said happily, while Kennit nodded his agreement. She turned to
Balthier. “What about you, Mr. Grumpypants? Are you having fun yet?”
Balthier shrugged. “Dunno. It doesn't suck here.”
“You keep up that kind of attitude and you're going to find yourself hogtied and forced
into having fun,” Karat declared.
“With my full approval,” Lee chimed in.
“Gee, way to make a guy feel welcome,” Balthier muttered. “Maybe I will go off
tomorrow and see about finding an island girl.”
“If anyone is going to be finding an island girl tomorrow, it's going to be me,” Sterling
declared. “And if you even attempt to ditch your cousins, Balthier, you're going to have
to get past me first.”
“And me!” Zeus chimed in. “I might be small, but I'm ferocious.”
“Now, now,” Lee said with a laugh. “That's enough about manhandling. I'm sure
Balthier was kidding about going off on his own.”
Balthier's only response was a sullen glare.
“You know what I think?” Sterling said after the awkward silence had stretched just a
little too long.
“What?” Minerva asked, obviously relieved that someone was going to speak before
she had to.
“I think I need more marshmallows.”
“B, man, you do need to relax and chill a little,” Troy said once his sister had dashed
into the house for the sugary confections. “You're totally harshing the mellow of the
Balthier shrugged. “I'm just not having fun yet, okay? I want to have fun. Believe me.
But it's just not happening.”
“Maybe you need to forget all the stuff that's been bugging you,” Minerva said
hesitantly. “If you forget about it, it can't make you sad... or mad.”
“I have been forgetting it,” Balthier said. “That's the problem. I didn't think about any of
it for months, and then I got sick on the ship over and didn't have anything else to do
but think about it.”
“Thinking about the harsh treatment you received is fine,” Lee said gently, “but you
can't let it dominate who you are and what you are doing. That's not living, Balthier.”
“I'm still here, aren't I? I'm trying. And I'd really appreciate it if you would all stop trying
to psychoanalyze me. It's bad enough coming from the teachers at school.”
“Fair enough,” Lee said. “But we are all here if you do need to get things off your chest,
Balthier.” He fell silent for a moment. “Have I ever told you kids the story of the time
your grandma and I explored the haunted ship?”
The rest of the evening passed in companionable chatter, though if Balthier was mostly
silent only Lee really noticed. Finally, the grandfather of all eight Buccaneer cousins
rose regretfully to his feet.
“I, for one, am about to turn into a pumpkin,” he announced. “Come on, you three—“
he gestured to Minerva, Arabella, and Zeus—“Time for bed!”
“Aww, do we have to already?” Arabella asked, trying and failing to hide a big yawn.
“You do,” Lee said, gently but firmly. “You've had a long day, and besides, we've got a
lot planned for tomorrow.” He turned to the teenagers. “You can stay up a little later,
but I'll be making breakfast at eight in the morning, sharp, and our first tour is booked
for ten o'clock at the quay. Don't be late!”
The three younger teenagers immediately broke into a new bag of marshmallows and
assured their grandfather around mouthfuls of the sticky treat that they would go to
bed just as soon as they were done eating. Balthier gave them all a disgusted look and
wandered a little further down the beach before sitting down and staring at the waves.
“Mind if I join you?” Sterling asked, plopping herself down on the sand beside him.
“It's a free country,” Balthier said. “At least, I think it is.”
“So what about you?” Troy asked, flashing Kennit a conspiratorial wink. “You seeing
anyone we don't know about, Ken?”
The redhead shrugged. “Maybe. There's nothing official yet, but we've gone on a few
“Her name, doofus!” Karat prodded.
Kennit just grinned.
“I don't get why you don't want to tell us,” Troy said. “It's not like I'm going to try to steal
her. I get plenty of action on my own, especially since I started working. The ladies
seem to like a guy with disposable income.”
“Don't pay my twin any attention,” Karat snorted. “The only girl he's dated is Sarah
Pseudo, and everyone has gone behind the bleacher with her, if you know what I
“A true gentleman does not kiss and tell,” Kennit said airily, inspecting his marshmallow
“Kennit, you aren't old enough to be a gentleman,” Troy snorted. “Fess up. It's good for the soul.”
“My soul is in fine shape,” Kennit said. “Just look at the sky and the sea and the moon. It doesn't get any better
“Unless you're making out with a hot girl who appreciates your fiscal management abilities,” Troy said.
“Nah, she's the one with fiscal management abilities,” Kennit said.
“Ooh, she's a Fortune sim?”
“Is it Arta?”
“Ooh, I know who it is,” Karat said suddenly.
“Listen to them,” Balthier said bitterly, waving a hand in the vague direction of his
cousins. “Nattering away about things they know nothing about. There's no such thing
as love, you know. So there's no point to dating. Or kissing.”
“Oh, I don't know about that.”
“You shouldn't be so optimistic. Your relationship history is almost as bad as mine.”
“Balthier, my girlfriend and I only broke up because she moved to Paris to go to
university,” Sterling said. “It's not like she cheated on me with my best friend.”
“That's because I'm your best friend, and Nigella isn't interested in guys.”
“Oh, you know what I mean,” Sterling said. “I'm just saying that you shouldn't write off
dating and girls and the whole crazy experience just yet, Balthier. You've barely dipped
your toe into the shallow end of the pool. Much too early to be making sweeping
statements and generalizations.”
“Yeah,” Balthier said, “but Brittany is the only legacylegal girl I've met and liked,
Sterling. More than liked, if you want to know the truth.”
“You loved her.”
“Still do, when I don't hate her.”
“And what's this about needing to date someone legacylegal?” Sterling persisted. “Did
your mom name you the heir?”
“All but,” Balthier said. “It's an open secret, though I think Kennit would do a better job
than I possibly could. He wants kids, he wants the Pearl, he—“
“He's not interested in dating a townie, or a dormie,” Sterling finished. “From what I've
been hearing, Kennit's been seeing a bin sim, Balthier. And I know he tells you
“You may be somewhat close to the truth there,” Balthier said.
“And Arabella is probably too young to be heiress,” Sterling said. “That leaves you.”
“Which is why Brittany would have been so perfect, if I hadn't gone and screwed things
“Back up just one moment,” Sterling said, holding up a hand. “Since when did you
mess things up? She was the one who cheated!”
“Well, obviously I did something wrong to drive her into Chandler's arms,” Balthier
spoke as though he were explaining the obvious. “Otherwise, what could she see in
him? The guy is kind of an idiot—all he ever talked about was girls and grilled cheese.”
“Maybe she was after his ooey gooey filling.”
“That's just gross, Sterling.”
“But possibly true, and not in that way. She's known him longer than you have... maybe
she just fell for him.”
“But she'd already fallen for me!”
“The human heart is more than capable of loving more than one person at a time. No
two types of love are the same, either. She may not have realized how much she felt
for Chandler up until she kissed him. I do know she would never have wanted to hurt
“How do you know that? I thought you didn't like her very much.”
“I didn't, and still don't, but I've seen the way she looks at you. Yes, even now. The girl
is obsessed with you, Balthier.”
“Well, she can go on obsessing,” Balthier said. “She's not getting me back.”
“I thought you wanted her back.”
“What ever gave you that idea?”
“Why else are you still moping?”
“I just... that is to say... umm...” Balthier stopped and locked eyes with Sterling. “I've been an
idiot, haven't I.”
“Just smack me over the head once and get it over with.”
Sterling smiled cheerfully. “Nah, that'd be too light a punishment. You're just going to have to
make up to all of us for your bad behaviour so far.”
“I was really awful, wasn't I.”
“Well, I think I'm done being a brat, and done being awake,” Balthier declared. “C'mon, Sterling...
let's get to sleep.”
“Aww, but Karat snores!”
“Yes, and we all get to experience it,” Balthier said. “The tents aren't soundproof. Besides, Kennit
might not snore but he is the gassiest sleeper I've ever known.”
Sterling snorted. “So share with Troy!”
“Uh uh,” Balthier shook his head emphatically. “When a guy is talking about kissing that much
before bed, you don't want to sleep next to him.”
“Goodnight, Balthier. The entire world cannot contain enough brain bleach to wipe out the
traumatic mental images you're trying to scar me with.”
“What can I say? I'm back!”
The teenagers may have talked half the night away, but they were bright and cheerful in the
morning when Lee got up to make breakfast.
“Arr, and who be this young scallywag?”
“You know very well who I am, Grandpa Jack,” Troy said, shaking his head. “Sheesh, only
been a bear for five generations and already going senile. I don't think plushy afterlife is a
“I'll have you know that my faculties are as intact as they have always been,” the bear
insisted. “It's just *hic* that I may have been a wee bit inebriated when I retook this form after
my short reanimation.”
“You mean you're drunk.”
“Don't be knocking the rum, youngling. Besides, it hasn't scrambled my wits at all, savvy?
I've been drunk since before you were born.”
“That's quite enough out of you,” Lee said sternly. He put the bear in the linen closet. “Who
“I vote that we check out that old shipwreck down the beach,” Troy said eagerly over
breakfast. “It looked really cool when we sailed past yesterday morning.”
“I think that sounds lame,” Balthier said scornfully.
Sterling shot him a look.
Balthier blushed. “Sorry, that came out differently than I wanted. What I meant to say
is, if I ever see another ship it will be too soon. I wouldn't mind checking out one of the
ancient temples, or maybe the hotsprings, though.”
“How about a helicopter tour?” Kennit said. “There was a coupon in today's paper.”
“Ooh, coupons are always great,” Troy said. “I vote for the helicopter tour too.”
“I think I wouldn't mind staying on solid ground,” Sterling said, rubbing her stomach
gingerly. “I think I had too many marshmallows last night.”
“There's no reason we all have to do the same thing,” Troy said. “Sterling is eighteen.
Anyone who wants to do stuff on the ground can go with her, and those of us who want
to do the helicopter tour can go with Grandpa.”
“I want to try to find that old witch doctor,” Karat said. “That sounds way cooler than a
helicopter ride or even a shipwreck.”
“Why, hoping he'll give you a fertility charm?” Balthier sneered.
“I thought you were trying to be nicer,” Karat said, scowling at him.
“I'm just going to stop talking today, that's what I'm going to do,” Balthier declared,
shoveling pancake into his mouth. “Ehwyfig I shay twfdf if clrming ouf wrngf.”
“And if you do open your mouth, we'll ignore you,” Karat said, turning her back to her
While the cousins scattered to the four winds to experience the different things the
island had to offer, they met up again at the local hotsprings just before suppertime.
“How was the beach?” Balthier asked Karat.
“Oh, fabulous,” his younger cousin said happily. “We bought a ton of overpiced
souveniers and even managed to wake up the ghost of Captain Dregg. He said he
used to sail with Grandpa Jack.”
“Grandpa Jack is the most famous pirate to ever sail the seas, possibly because he
suffered the most humiliating mutiny at the hands of his crew,” Balthier said. “All of the
pirate ghosts claim to have known him.”
“I dunno, I rather like Grandpa Jack's crew,” Karat said.
“What are you talking about, Karat?”
“Well, Captain Whedonberry sailed for Grandpa Jack. Honestly, Balthier, sometimes I
wonder if you're cut out to be legacy heir. Arabella even knows that.”
“I don't think I'm the only one who's being a bit of a jerk,” Balthier muttered, turning to
talk to Minerva and flatly ignoring Karat.
“You know, he is tryinig to be nicer,” Kennit admonished.
“He hurt my feelings this morning,” Karat pouted.
“That doesn't mean you have to retaliate,” Kennit said. “Ignore him if he's being an ass,
but don't feed the beast. And baiting him is feeding the beast.”
“...and that's when Kennit decided that firedancing was probably not a wise career
move for him.”
“It sounds like you're feeling way better now,” Troy said approvingly.
“Oh, much,” Sterling agreed. “I think I was just in need of some real food and not more
marshmallows or sweet stuff. I had this grilled mahi mahi that was just excellent.”
“That sounds expensive.”
“A little, but oh so worth it. If you've got enough spending money left you should try it,
“If you try some can I have a bite?” Arabella asked in a plaintive voice. “I bought a
souvenir for my mom and now I don't have any money left in my piggybank.”
“Of course you can try a bite or two,” Troy promised. “Just as long as you don't eat all
of it, Arabella. I've seen how much you can eat!”
“Don't listen to her plea for sympathy,” Sterling said, rolling her eyes. “She's still got a
ton of money left. She just bet Minerva she could get you to spend more money on her
than on Minerva.”
“Is that so?” Troy asked. He grabbed Arabella by the hands and started spinning her in
a circle. “Are you trying to cheat me out of my hardearned cash?”
Arabella giggled. “Go faster, Troy!”
“Just as long as you promise you won't get sick on me!”
“Hey, you might not want to do that,” Balthier observed. “Arabella just ate this huge
sundae over at the food counter.”
“We gotta ask Uncle Borusa to get us one of these for Christmas,” Minerva declared as
she eased herself into one of the steaming hot springs that were the entire reason for
visiting this part of the island in the first place.
“Don't you kind of need a volcano or something to have a hot spring?” Zeus asked.
“Well, it helps,” Minerva said importantly, “but you can get anything you want if you
spend enough money. Even a hotspring somewhere you wouldn't find one normally.”
“I will keep that in mind,” Zeus said solemnly.
“Surely, my young friend, you have come to partake of the hotsprings, yes?” The oddly
dressed native clapped a friendly hand on Kennit's shoulder.
“Why, then, do you stand about in the rain? If you are going to get wet, it might as well
be because you are indulging.”
Clapping an arm around Kennit's shoulders, the local began gesticulating wildly. “The
hotsprings of Twikki Island are well known for their healing and nurturing properties.
Only a fool would stand with the rain making his hair go all frizzy when the springs are
but fifteen feet away. And you are not a fool, my young friend—what was your name
“Ah, may I call you Ken? Very good, Ken. As you can see, the hotsprings are a miracle
of nature, and are in fact why this island was settled in the first place. I do advise that
you avoid drinking the water, but a soak of several hours is required of all guests to thei
“Okay!” Kennit said, shrinking away from the overly familiar local. “I'll get changed and
get in! Sheesh!”
“Eeexcellent,” the man said, chuckling strangely as he sauntered away.
“That was the weirdest—hey! That guy stole my wallet!”
The family gathered around the campfire again that night.
“And what have we all learned today?” Troy asked, standing up and rotating a
marshmallow over the embers of the fire.
“That you are, in fact, a human trash compactor and are able to eat an entire bag of
marshmallows on your own,” Karat said, wrinkling her nose. “Which is completely
gross, by the way.”
“I learned to beware of strange men wearing tophats,” Arabella said. “Kennit, if you
want I'll split what's left in my piggy bank with you. It's not fair you had to lose all your
money because that bad man stole it.”
“I learned that Arabella is a sucker,” Minerva said, nudging her cousin's elbow. “She
bails out anyone with a good enough story.”
“I learned that my sister is a meaniehead,” Zeus chimed in. “She ducked me under
when we were in the hotspring.”
“I learned that sometimes it's fun having a littler brother,” Arabella said, exchanging a
conspiratorial grin with her cousin. “You can boss them around really good. Grandpa,
do you think I could convince mom and dad to have another baby? Or maybe to adopt
“I learned two things today,” Kennit said. “I learned that while Troy can eat
marshmallows, he's not very good at cooking them. And I was reminded how
awesome of a little sister Arabella is.”
“You're just saying that because you don't want her to change her mind about sharing
her money with you,” Karat grinned.
“Nah,” Kennit said, shaking his head and poking at the fire. “Arabella is cool. You
should try having a younger sister, Karat.”
“If our dads had another kid at their age, I'd have to kill them,” Sterling declared. “Bad
enough they're putting my stuff in storage when I leave for college, but if they had
another kid I'd lose my stuff completely. You know how dad is always trying to save
money. He could never justify spending money on new stuff when there's perfectly
functional stuff not being used in storage.”
“Well, none of your parents are likely to have another baby,” Lee said. “They're all
getting too old.”
“Not Uncle Zing and Uncle Shere Khan,” Balthier said, smirking. “They have that whole
legacy immortal thing going on for them, like GreatAuntie Susanna. I've always
wondered if that means they're kinda suspended in age just before they turn to elders,
or if the clock rolls back every so often. Because if that's the case... they could have
“That is too gross to even consider,” Sterling said, wrinkling her nose.
“You know, it wouldn't surprise me if they did roll back their ages,” Lee said pensively.
“Didn't one of the other immortal couples have another child recently?”
“That's right!” Kennit said. “The oldest kid of 'our' generation, Ianto. You'll probably run
into him at college, Sterling.”
“Yeah, I know Ianto,” Sterling nodded.
“I think it's weird how stratified our island is into different generations,” Karat said.
“Shouldn't society be more a continuum?”
“Well, now you're getting into existentialism,” Troy shrugged. “Which is fine. You could
write books about it, and make a lot of money. We already know the world we live in is
strange and wonderful. Things happen at random, and our fates may or may not be
controlled by an insane blue lady who lives up the hill from our house. As long as she
doesn't screw with my life, it doesn't really matter to me.”
“I'm not religious either, Troy, as you know perfectly well,” Karat said, smacking him. “I
just meant it's kind of weird to think about.”
“This is why I brought all of you here together,” Lee said happily. “It warms my shriveled old heart
to see my grandbabies getting along with one another.”
“It's because we're all such nice people,” Balthier explained. “We can't help but get along.”
“I must say I am happy to see that you're doing better, as well,” Lee added, nodding to his eldest
“I'm a work in progress,” Balthier said with a selfdeprecating chuckle. “I'm not at one hundred
percent yet, but I am feeling better. And Sterling and Kennit are kind enough to smack me upside
the head when I regress back into angsty Balthier.”
“Yeah, about that,” Sterling said. “I'm kinda worried we're going to do permanent damage. You're
not so much a work in progress as you are... umm...”
“A jerk with redeeming qualities,” Kennit said cheerfully.
“I speak nothing but the truth, dear brother.”
“I think it's time we all headed to bed,” Lee said, and so they did.
“Grandpa, I thought you weren't supposed to get suntans anymore because of skin
cancer,” Arabella said petulantly. “And I'm getting sand in my bathing suit.”
Lee's only response was a loud snore.
“Fine,” Arabella muttered. “I'm just going to build a sandcastle on him instead and bury
him all the way in sand.”
“If you do that, no ice cream for dessert.”
“I thought you were sleeping!”
Grumbling, Arabella rolled up her beach towel and started piling up sand, though well
away from her sunbathing grandfather.
“I'm going to make the bestest sandcastle ever,” she said, getting interested despite
herself. “Maybe I could win a contest!”
“I bet you will,” Sterling said, turning her head and examining the sculpture critically.
“That's pretty good. You've been working on your creativity, haven't you.”
“Mostly I just draw pictures,” Arabella shrugged. “When I get big, though, I want to be
an artist maybe. Something like that, anyway.”
Suddenly, she heard a yelp and looked up to see Balthier dancing frantically on the
sand. “Sunburn!” he squeaked, fanning himself. “Sunburn!”
“Better jump in the ocean! Quick!” Arabella shouted, her sandcastle forgotten. “Put out
the fire! Put out the fire! You don't want to burn up into goo!”
After Arabella's outburst and Balthier's unfortunate lobsterification, nobody was in the
mood for sunbathing anymore.
“Grandpa, thank you soooo much for paying for my lunch,” Karat said in an
embarrassed voice. “I must have left my wallet back at the bungalow.”
“Yeah, that or we've got two suckers in this family,” Balthier smirked.
“Not likely, tomatohead. I haven't seen any top hats all day.”
“Yeah, well maybe he's in disguise.”
“Shut up, Balthier. You're being a jerk again.”
“No, this time I'm just picking on my favourite cousin.”
“Well, you sound like a jerk anyway.”
“I was not being a jerk this time,” Balthier complained privately when they got back to
the bungalow. “I was lightly teasing.”
“I think you might want to ease back into the teasing thing,” Sterling said. “You've been
a jerk for so long that people are just default assuming you're being a jerk again.”
“Well, I'm kind of out of practice at being a nice guy,” Balthier shrugged, then winced as
his shirt rubbed against his sunburn.
“Just lay off the teasing completely,” Sterling said. “One hundred percent.”
“But I like joking around.”
“But people aren't seeing it as joking. They're seeing it as bullying.”
“So noogies are also out of the question.”
“If you even look like you're headed for the noogie zone on anyone, I'll throw Grandpa
Jack at you.”
“But he smells like stale rum!”
“Exactly,” Sterling said. “And you will have to bear the eternal stench of the Bear for the
entire trip home, because I won't let you shower it off.”
“I better be allowed to shower or at least wash on the ship,” Balthier said. “Seasick,
“Yeah, that won't be an issue,” Sterling said. “Grandpa got this skin patch thing for you.
Guaranteed to kill seasickness. So you can learn to run rigging with the rest of us.”
“You mean I have to work?” the teenager whined. “Aw, man.”
“Of course you have to work,” Sterling scolded him. “Honestly, Balthier, you're so lazy
it's a wonder you've accomplished anything in life.”
“Hey, I've accomplished things,” Balthier said.
“Well, simply by being lazy I accomplished turning this charming shade of red. I am
also able to raise the surrounding temperature by five degrees with only my presence.
No work required.”
“That's not an accomplishment!” Sterling protested, but she was laughing.
“Sure it is,” Balthier said. “I'm now a marketable commodity. I bet Troy would agree
“Troy is as bad as our dad,” Sterling said. “He'd sell tickets to see your sunburn if he
thought he could get away with it. Did I ever tell you about the time he gave the maid a
day off to save money?”
“Tell me he at least paid her for the day off.”
“So what did your parents do?”
“Well, Dad Number One wanted to raise his allowance. Dad Number Two said, and I
quote, 'The caek is a lie, Troy. Now u haz to clean litter bocks. Hard workz—do not
Balthier mentally translated. “So he had to clean the house?”
“Just the bathrooms,” Sterling said. “And Kaylynn's salary came out of his allowance
for the next three days.”
“I love our family,” Balthier said happily, leaning against the windowsill and then
jumping back up.
“Well, maybe you should tell them that. It'd be a change compared to what usually
comes out of your mouth.”
The next morning at breakfast, Balthier decided to put Sterling's advice into action and
told everyone just how much he loved them.
“Grandpa, I think Balthier's been sniffing those funny flowers down the beach,” Zeus
Lee chuckled. ”I think your cousin just had some sense knocked into that thick skull of
his is all, Zeus.”
“Oh,” Zeus said. He considered for a moment. “Can I go and pick some of those funny
flowers, Grandpa? Troy told me I could get lots of money for them back on Pirate
“They would die before we get back, though,” Troy said, shaking his head regretfully.
“You don't have to make it sound like it's some big venture of subterfuge,” Karat
complained around a mouthful of cereal. “I went and had a big sniff of the flowers and
they're just ordinary snapdragons.”
“Yes, but everyone knows snapdragons can affect your mood,” Troy said. “They're big
business back home! Or would be, if anyone knew how to grow them.”
“Well, you can learn how if you really want to,” Lee said with a shrug. “It's a marketing
niche nobody else has seized on Pirate Island.”
“But it's weird!” Zeus said, forgetting that only a few moments earlier he'd been
advocating harvesting the flowers in the first place.
“What in the world are they talking about?” Arabella whispered to Minerva.
“Making money,” Minerva said.
“That sounds boring,” Arabella complained.
“It's actually very interesting,” Minerva corrected her. “Or at least it would be if they
could agree on anything. Why does everyone in this room always argue?”
“Because we're all related,” Kennit said, joining them from the kitchen. “And relatives
fight like cats and dogs. It's completely natural. I read a book about it.”
“So does that mean that because we've all gotten to know each other better on this trip
we're going to fight more?” Zeus asked.
“Oh, probably,” Lee acknowledged. “But I hope you're all friends too. Friends can fight,
but they never hold grudges.”
“Not unless someone tells them they're stupid,” Arabella muttered.
“I already apologized for that!” Balthier complained.
“Not that time,” Arabella said. “I was talking about the next time you say it.”
“With your track record, that'll be sometime in the next twenty minutes,” Troy smirked.
“Actually, you've been worse than Balthier the past few days,” Lee said.
“Well, I ran out of money,” Troy complained. “I'm glad we're going home today. I need
to work a shift, pronto! Got a big date next week that I need to pay for.”
“With Sarah?” Karat asked sweetly.
Troy chose to dignify that response by flinging his pancakes at his sister, and before
long everyone had joined in the massive food fight. In the end there was no help for it
but to dive into the ocean to clean up.
“Don't be too long about it!” Lee advised. “The ship should be here in the next hour!
And I want to take pictures first!”
Once everyone was clean, they dried off on the beach in whichever manner they
“One more song, and then I want you all ready for pictures,” Lee called over the samba
beat. “The maid has agreed to take them before we go.”
Finally, the ship pulled into the bay and the next generation of Buccaneers of Pirate
Island boarded to go home.
End of Part B
Dean Whedonberry.....Whedonberry Legacy, by stacilee
Larch Vetinari.....Vetinari Dualegacy, by DocNerd
Norris Tegeneria.....Science of a Legacy, by GintasticNecat
Addie Finch....Puritanical Green Thumb Legacy, by avidreader
Saffron Bohemian....Bohemian Legacy, by DocGirlP