Adreal: a shapeshifting, half adopted, talented, pirate, who gets into minor trouble more often than she should. However despite her mischievous and pranker side, she is loyal and a natural leader at heart. She gets a new job looking after and training a new cabin boy who she slightly dislikes, but deals with him nevertheless. The world, well worlds, she lives in are various planets throughout the galaxy where aliens, humanoids, and hybrids are an everyday sight.
PS: The title, Querencia is a spanish word that means ‘a place from which one’s strength of character is drawn' or ‘A place in which we know exactly who we are. The place from which we speak our deepest beliefs.’”


3. Truth

Adreal's POV

"Hey Mace! Can you get over here and give me a hand with this?" We've just finished patching up the sails from yesterday's incident with the dragon.

"Yeah, be right over, A," Mace came hustling over, grabbed a corner of the sail and started to scale the mast. I simply sprouted wings and started attaching it to various, complicated ropes, clips, and knots. We finished fairly quick, as Mace and I are some of the best riggers on the ship. We climbed/flew down from atop the masts. Based on the sun's position it's a little after 12. Seth should be up with lunch in- Yep, there he is. He looked up from the platter he carries.

"C-correct me if I'm wrong," he stuttered, "but you didn't have wings yesterday, right?"

"You haven't told him yet?" Mace chuckled behind me.

"Nah, I thought I'd have a little fun first. Seth, you're right, I didn't have wings yesterday," my wings disappeared as I morphed into a leopard and let out a snarl. Seth stumbled backwards and the crew that has gathered behind me laugh. I leap at him while transforming into my normal, pirate, self, so that when I land, I was simply standing next to him. "Can I have some lunch?" I inquired. His jaw dropped as he handed me the platter, I smirked and brought the food to the guys. "Hey," I called as Seth walked away, "come'n eat with us. I won't try to kill you again."

"Really?" ha he was still in shock.

"Yeah, you're part 'o the crew now, you deserve it, kid," one corner of his mouth turned up in a half-grin which I found, strangely, mildly, attractive. I mentally punched myself and took a bite of apple.

About 10 minutes later, Ace walked up to us and we all stood; Seth followed the action.

"At ease," he smiled kindly and we all relaxed again, "I am to alert the crew that we are 4 1/2 clicks from our destination. That is all." I had a always admired how well spoken Ace was. I still haven't figured out quite what he is. He has dark brown skin and looks like a human other than the fact his eyes almost glow a lightning blue color and he is abnormally physically strong. He joined after Bates helped his village win a battle. I came just six months afterwards.

I turned back to my seat to finish eating, but was stopped by Ace. He held my left upper arm.

"Adreal, the Captian requests an update on your job training the new cabin boy, Mr. Callahan."

"Oh, yeah it's going good. He has learned quick," I noted.

"Very good, thank you. Captain Bates is pleased with your work," he added with a soft smile.

"Thank you, sir," Ace nodded and walked away.

"What was that all about?" Mace inquired.

"Oh, nothing, just a work update," I waved away the question and we all finished the meal with excitement for our next stop. We should be there in about 25-35 minutes, we will dock, spend maybe 4 or 5 days on land, pack up with new supplies, and we'll be off again.

After lunch I departed from the cheerful group to start a bit packing for the stay on land. Below deck, in the sleeping quarters, I began to fill a pack with various items, including my stash of gold, to trade in the town. "I know you followed me down here, Seth. What do you need?" I saw him watch me as I left lunch then heard him walking above when I got down here. I suspect he wants to speak about his near death experience and my possible memory flash. "Two things," he stated, "One, what the hell are you? Two, I need the truth. Do you remember?" 

"I'm a shapeshifter, thought I made that quite obvious a few minutes ago. And remember what, exactly?"

"Anything," he desperately added. 

"Well if you really want to know, it didn't seem like an actual memory, so if it's not a memory then I can't remember it. However, I did see myself, and you." 

"Anything else?" he pried, like he knows the answer to his own question, but is asking me anyways.

"You were just at the bottom of this deep pit, and I was at the top...and my eyes flashed like last night. That's it. Why does it matter anyways?" 

"Because it is a memory. Remember how you said four years ago you couldn't remember anything after that battle and joined the crew?"


"Well four years ago, you escaped that prison. Wherever you went, they followed you and you met up with this ship. Thankfully Bates is also their enemy and the battle between your crew and the guards broke out. They must've taken your memory and left you unconscious to die and Bates found you. Back then, your ah- ability, wasn't developed yet so you couldn't just turn into a bird and-" 

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down, kid. You're telling me we were in the same prision, I got out, ran off, fought these 'bad guys' who took my memory, then they left me to die. By the way, why was I in prison?" 

"Yeah, uh we kinda rebelled against the rulers of this one planet, got captured, and were sent to prison here," he rubbed the back of his neck. 

"And you've known this how long?" 

 "Uh, most of it for...four years."

"And you didn't tell me 'til now," I glared at him. He looked down and rubbed the nape of his neck again.

"Well I, uh,-"

"Oh shut it. I need some time to think." I pivoted back around to face my bed and unfinished packing as I heard him sigh and quietly depart. Well that information was highly unexpected; and it's all true, I could tell he wasn't lying. I don't know what to think, I guess I just have to accept that it happened. It's behind me; in the past. My eyes fall down to the leather pack still resting on the blanket and I opened a buckled pocket on the side.

Reaching in, my fingers faltered on a cold metallic trinket, I pulled it out. It's a ring, a simple silver band with a smaller band of black running around the middle. When did I get this? I slid it on my right ring finger, it's a bit large and very subtle.

"All hands on deck! Prepare to dock!" Ace's voice echoed from above. I quickly slid the ring off and dropped it back to it's place in the leather pouch. Running back up to deck, I resumed my duties closing the sails for landing. Within 20 minutes or so we were secure to the dock properly and everyone on board was gathering their things for the stay, except for Cruz, that is, he was taking the first shift to stay with the ship. My bag was pretty much packed so I just threw in a few things from my bunk and headed out to the dock. 

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