Jaya: … "So, let's say you come and play nice. Maybe we experience an ideal world where everyone talks peace and reaches some nice accords and no violence breaks out at all. Maybe you lay the groundwork to do this particular deed in a more subtle way after the Summit. Or, maybe you have the opportunity to do a little violence, and you take it. I can tell you for certain, though, if you don't attend, you'll be wondering what everyone there says about you, what deals they're making regarding you, where you're being left out."
Oh Zaire had made up his mind already, from the second Jaya had said Francesca would be there, but he liked hearing her persuade him. He'd always enjoyed having his ego stroked, after all, as a man, a pirate, a captain and now a King. So Zaire listened, nodded here and there, and let her continue lubricating those strokes with plenty of disparaging commentary on his biggest adversary…
Until Jaya quieted and a ripple spread through the hum of voices and laughter and song from outside the tent.
Zaire's bearded chin lifted, his questioning eyes going to Chione, and the gunner took a few steps toward the door only to have Oseanie go tearing past her. There was a scuffle from outside, sand kicked against the canvas tent, and Zaire was just rising to his feet as Oseanie screamed her warning: "Attack!"
The tent erupted into action, the gathered pirates on their feet and drawing weapons even before Zaire could bother with an order. How was there an attack, though? While the Island's location wasn't exactly a secret anymore, it was plenty protected by the cannons aboard each ship, the small fort that dominated the eastern shore of the island, and the merfolk continuously on the lookout for any strange ship in their waters. So how had anyone gotten close enough to reach land?
It took Zaire all of three seconds to make sense of the scene before him as he stepped out onto the beach, his eyes going to the seemingly dead body at Oseanie's feet to the strange flying contraption above them, and then he was drawing the short axe from his belt and handing it to his daughter. "Take its head, Oseanie," he told her, then turned to quickly survey the rapidly blossoming chaos around him as he drew his sword. Where were the rest of his children? His wife?
His men were scattering to find their own families, desperate to protect them in the one place they should have been safe...
"Chione! Alby!" he shouted, catching the attention of his two fiercest pirates and, conveniently, two without families of their own. "Find my family!"
Then Zaire turned to those still gathered near him, those who didn't have wives and children to locate, and beyond them caught the eye of one of the other captains, "Spread th'word, ye bilge rats! Your King expects the 'ead'uv'a vampire from eachaya when this is over!" He lifted his eyes to the flying craft above them, a direction that none of them had ever considered an attack from, "Now get out there an' protect yer 'ome!"