The port was quiet; this strange country of respect and clinical violence.
"Arr," said the Captain, looking to the First Mate and a couple of deck-hands.
"Arr," agreed the First Mate.
The deck-hands knew when it was better to pipe-up.
Shadows moved over the deck, moving from coiled rope to mast to rigging; silent these wraiths, head-to-toe in black. The only sign of their movement was a breath of wind to fill their absence.
They gathered in a circle about the pirates, concealed. They could wait. Respect and dignity demanded they wait.
The pirates continued their conversation.
In the distance, far across this tiny ramshackle port, an owl sounded its lonely vigil.
A samurai sword unsheathed, arm floating through sliced air, slashing one of the deck-hands.
"Arr!" screamed the deck-hand as he collapsed in two pieces.
A throwing star embedded in the first mate's forehead.
"Arr!" screamed the First Mate.
A swirling mass of black, twisting and turning, leaving any eye unable to follow. A kick to the knee, breaking bone and cartilage, another to the solar plexus, and a final chop to the left ear.
"Arr!" the second deck-hand reeled before meeting a final fist to the nose.
The shadow disappeared.
The Captain looked at his decimated crew, astounded. When he looked up, a black figure was before him.
"Arr?" asked the captain.
The figure moved.
The captain lay dying on the deck.
"Arr," he said, finally understanding.