The Archer chronicles
Lost Boy
CHAPTER
30
What Now???
Big Bully’s grip tightened and he roared his anger. “You think to trick me? You think to swindle me?”
His breath was hot on Archer’s back and though he wiggled and tried to kick the pirate, there was no way he could break loose. He tried to yank his head back so he could see if Del and her father were safe, but it was no use.
“You will not escape,” Big Bully whispered harshly, spit flying from his mouth as he leaned in close to Archer.
The pirate glared across the clearing at Magnar. “I won’t let you have him or the prisms.”
The giant spider’s legs slowly crept over the moss and earthen jungle floor. Magnar moved slowly. Deliberately. And Archer wanted to fist pump when Big Bully took a step back.
The pirate growled, spitting to the side. “Men, form a line,” he shouted at his pirates.
But nothing happened. “You scum,” Big Bully shouted, twisting a bit so that he could look over his shoulder. Then he said something that would have earned Archer grounding for a month. Or maybe two. Or even more.
Archer couldn’t see what was happening no matter how hard he tried to twist his body around. “Just let me go. You can’t win,” Archer said, kicking his foot back and—he grinned—hitting something solid.
A noise sounded from behind him and Archer froze. It kinda sorta sounded like the bull/lion-like creature that had charged after him days ago. Big Bully hesitated and with another kick, Archer was able to loosen the pirate’s hold a bit more. The bag of prisms swung from his other hand and Archer kicked out with all his might, grunting like an animal as he connected both feet with the bag of prisms.
The bag went flying out of Big Bully’s hands and both he and Big Bully froze, watching the bag as it sailed above them. A mad series of whirrs and beeps erupted and Archer did fist pump when Dash zoomed past him, catching the bag of prisms and zipping upward, until he floated just behind Magnar.
“You will pay for that,” Big Bully shouted, turning in a circle, both hands now on Archer.
“Archer!” Del yelled, stepping forward, her weapon held high as she took another step.
“Do not come closer,” Big Bully growled. “You don’t want to know what will happen if you do.”
Del and her father came to a halt, while Bruce, in his large, glorious form, flicked his tail back and forth. He was agitated and so fierce looking that Archer had hope that he’d be set free. What could Big Bully do in the face of all this opposition? Behind Archer’s friends, stood an entire army of creepy crawlies, some more of Magnars babies, as well as the beast that had nearly scared the pants off Archer days ago.
“Let him go,” Del shouted. “You can’t win. We have the prisms back and your men have been taken prisoner.” She motioned to the right, and yes, there near the edge of the jungle were the pirates, surrounded on all sides by creepy crawlies. The crab-like creatures began clacking their claws and the noise swelled until Archer wanted to cover his ears.
They stopped suddenly and an eerie silence fell over the jungle.
“Let him go,” Del demanded once more. “You’ve lost.”
“I will not,” Big Bully growled.
“Let him go and we’ll return your crew. You can leave but must never return to this planet.”
Big Bully laughed, a harsh sound that grated on everyone’s ears. “I don’t need these scumbags. I can always form another crew.” He pointed to the creepy crawlies and then turned back, eyes on Magnar. “Try to hurt me and the boy pays.”
Archer felt the pirate’s hot breath at his neck once more. “Make one wrong move and I will make sure your little girlfriend, never forgets this day.” With those hard words, Big Bully pulled a dangerous looking weapon from his side holster.
“Move away from my ship,” he roared at Magnar.
For several tense moments the large spider did nothing. But then Sousha appeared, walking from underneath the large creature. Her ears twitched rapidly and her little cheeks were red. Her eyes were dark, no longer the soft blue that he was used to seeing.
His little buddy was mad but she had no idea how dangerous the pirate was.
When Big Bully saw her he began to laugh, his belly jiggling in mirth. “You think to challenge me?”
She stopped a few paces away. “Let him go.”
The pirate snorted. “And who are you to think that you can issue commands? You’re nothing but a child.”
“Then take me with you.”
“No,” Archer shouted. “Sousha, move back.”
But his little friend motioned to Magnar and said something in her own language, so Archer didn’t understand. Her voice was sing-song, the words like a melody.
The huge spider bowed, and then retreated, his babies following him until they disappeared into the jungle and Archer couldn’t see them at all. Sousha walked toward them and Archer’s stomach dipped.
“Come on then,” the pirate said roughly. “You silly creature.”
He tossed Archer onto the ground, shoving him so hard that Archer fell onto his hands and knees.
“Archer!” Del shouted.
He glanced up and shook his head. The prisms were safe and that was all that mattered. Sousha knelt beside him and Archer had a hard time speaking on account of the big old lump in his throat.
“Why would you do that?”
She shrugged and then held out her hand. He took it and slowly got to his feet.
“To the ship,” Big Bully said, his weapon at the ready. “And be quick about it.”
Archer and Sousha walked toward the pirate ship and the whole time Archer tried to come up with some sort of plan, but with the pirate behind him he had no way of escaping. It looked as if he was going to be leaving this planet after all. Just not with his dad.
Clearing his throat he took one step up onto the platform, but stopped and whirled around. Big Bully was right there, but Archer didn’t care. He glanced across the clearing at Del and—holy, she was crying.
I have to be strong, he thought.
“Tell Father that I’ll be okay,” he shouted. “He’ll be back and you’ll have safe passage with him.”
Del scrubbed at her eyes and nodded, her eyes so sad. How had things gone so wrong?
“Get going you little bug,” the pirate snarled, waving his weapon. Archer turned away from his friends, trying not to cry like a little baby, but it was hard.
Sousha made a soft sound and grabbed at his hand and without looking back, they walked into the pirate ship.

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Chapter 31

The Part Where They Escape...

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