Author Topic: DEAD MAN'S TAVERN II  (Read 41887 times)

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Offline Blackjack Roberts

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Re: DEAD MAN'S TAVERN II
« Reply #60 on: July 19, 2008, 05:38:41 PM »
"Damn you, Roberts!" Drake hissed beneath his breath after Lil had left to check on Elinor. "Had I known for one second that the man you were dead set on killing was Squints....." He let the murmured threat hang in the air. "As it is be thankful for my oath, otherwise I'd just as soon let you bleed to death on this bloody isle."

"N-not his f-fault." The weakened sound of Malcolm's voice brought the doctor around.

"Malcolm! You should rest. The hole this blackguard put through your lung needs time to heal." Duckie pulled his stool over to the prone man's cot. "We can catch up later."

"N-no!" Dagget coughed and grimaced with the pain. "You must understand. Jack Roberts is my cousin and I am the man responsible for what he has b-become now."

Behind Drake Gander the still form of Blackjack Roberts belied the effect the hallucinogen known as the Black Lotus was having on his mind. So strong was the dosage that he had used on himself when he saw the object of his hatred come ashore with Malcolm that his mind now relived the events of his past with a reality which could not be distinguished from any other waking moment he ever had.

Flames engulfed the hallway Jack stood in, the heat forcing him backward a few steps. Just a few feet beyond was the door he had last seen Mi Lin vanish into before the flame rocket had smashed into this section of the compound. The cries of the young ones echoed from the quickly burning death trap it had created.

Li Chan suddenly appeared beside him. "Jack! The Emperor's army is but moments away! We must take those we can and flee into the mountains!"

"Nothing I would like to do more, Brother." Jack stared at the flames barring his way. "But Mi Lin just ran through that door to try and save the children."

"We'll never make it through those flames!" Li Chan shouted in frustration. "They will die!"

"Then I guess You'll see me in paradise with your sister!" Jack grinned as he backed up several steps and pulled the loose fitting tunic from his chest. Li Chan stared in amazement as the European suddenly charged the wall of fire and leaped as high and far as he could.


"Your cousin!" Duckie almost shouted in surprise. "Then it only shows how low he has sank, Squints. Even with you trying to bring him to justice for a crime he says he didn't commit. You were only doing your duty."

"He didn't kill Jenny." Malcolm's eyes misted over with a mixture of shame and regret. "I heard Sir Blackthorn confess to the crime with my own ears. Just before Jack sent h-him to the Hell he deserves. God, I was so naive!"

Dagget glanced over to where the freshly sewn body of Blackjack lay as still as death. "When I think of the pain I put him through over the last six years."

Gander reached over and placed one hand reassuringly on Malcolm's forearm. "You couldn't have known, Squints. Even I had my doubts about his involvement, and I knew that snake Blackthorn well."

"Y-you don't understand, Duckie!" Malcolm was becoming more upset by the moment, causing the Lobo's doctor to reach for a bottle of laudanum as his old school chum continued veamently. "Because of the shame I felt over Jack's supposed crime I hounded him like no other. I drove a good man into becoming a vicious cut throat like none I have ever seen before! I m-made a monster out of my own blood!!"

"I don't think you broke him as far as you believe you did, Squints." Drake spoke reassuringly as he measured out the drug. "After all Blackjack risked his life to get you here, unless I'm mistaken. Now take this and rest, don't make his effort for nothing. We'll talk more after you've healed a bit."

Suddenly Malcolm gripped Duckie's free arm with a strength that amazed the physician. "Only if I have your promise that no more will happen to Jack!" The desperation in his old friend's voice misted Gander's eyes. "Promise me you will do all in your power to keep my cousin from more suffering on my cause!! Promise me, Duckie!!"

"I promise, Malcolm." Duckie said softly, noting the relief in the brown eyes that bore into his.

After the laudanum had taken effect and Malcolm again rested quietly  he walked over to stare down at Blackjack's unconscious body. "Your a puzzle to be certain, Jack Roberts. Still, thank you for avenging Jenny's death and saving Squint's life. Perhaps one day you'll find a way to forgive yourself for her demise."

Offline Captain Jack Wolfe

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Re: DEAD MAN'S TAVERN II
« Reply #61 on: July 19, 2008, 07:53:47 PM »
Jack and Briggs stood on the quarterdeck watching the island as the sun set.  They had been talking at length about the event of the day, with Jack doing his best to explain the convoluted chain of relationships involved.

“So let me see if I got this straight,” said a confused Briggs.  “Roberts and this Squints fella are cousins, and Squints is an old friend of your'n and Duckie, and Honour and Squints--”

“You've grasped the picture,” interrupted Jack.  “Honestly, whether it had been Squints Daggett or Davy Jones himself, I'd have handed Roberts over without batting an eye.  Been a nuisance from the moment he came aboard, and he's costing us a fortune in medical supplies, not to mention the lives of three good men.”

“Aye, that he has.  The crew's made wagers as to if he'd get himself killed this time around.  A few took even money on some miraculous recovery,” Briggs laughed before taking a draw on his pipe.  “I have to ask, with him bein' part of Honour's crew, how'd ye have figured to turn him over without her kickin' up a fuss?”

“Oh, something would have presented itself, I'm sure.  Either way, I'll not have my ship endangered for the whims and caprices of one man.  Save myself, of course.”

“But ye always pull us through, Jack.  God knows how.  Stubbornness, most like it,” Briggs chuckled.  “Four days to Sangraal on Castillo de Fuego, then what?”

“We hand Squints over to his ship, hopefully get some useful information on where Jennings and the Knight Hammer are bound, and we take it from there.”

“Gettin' rid of one ghost to chase another,” mused Briggs.  “Why?  Most men wouldn't bother.”

Jack smiled ruefully.  “Simple.  Because my Honour is at stake.”
« Last Edit: July 20, 2008, 11:34:56 AM by Mad Jack Wolfe »
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Offline Blackjack Roberts

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Re: DEAD MAN'S TAVERN II
« Reply #62 on: July 20, 2008, 11:51:02 AM »
The light knock at the door of the surgery gave Duckie no hint as to the size of the man who entered at his permission. A veritable giant well over seven foot tall stooped to enter. "Excuse me." The mountainous black man rumbled in a soft deep voice, thick with the liquid accent of Africa. "My name is Rubin. I am looking for my friend Blackjack Roberts. I was told he would be here."

Gander swallowed hard and pointed to where Roberts lay inert. 'This is all I need.' He thought. 'If this one holds a grudge with Roberts I'll never be able to stop him by myself.'

To Duckie's surprise the huge Kushite knelt beside the cot where Roberts lay as still as death and took the man's right hand in his own massive paw. Drake could have sworn he saw tears swimming in the ebony eyes that focused on his troublesome charge before he turned his bolder like head to the physician.

"He's not...." The giant let the words trail off as his voice cracked ever so slightly.

"N-no." The doctor blurted out. "He lives yet, but I can not say for how long. He took some type of drug to save the life of his cousin and has not moved since his shipmate brought him here to stitch him up."

"Thank Allah!" He heard the man breathe beneath his breath as he released Roberts and stood to leave. Keeping his back to the Lobo's surgeon he spoke loudly. "I owe Roberts far more than I can ever repay. Should I hear that he has died from any form of neglect I shall return. He is a good man at heart and deserves a better fate. I must now see to my men, but remember my words well, Healer."

Lil and Elinor entered just as the huge African opened the door, their eyes wide and mouths open in shock they quickly moved to one side, Lil palming a dagger out of instinct. "My pardon, Ladies." Rubin said as he stooped again to leave, pulling the door gently shut behind him.

"Who the Hell was that??!!" Lil asked to no one in particular, staring at the door.

To Li Chan's amazement Blackjack somehow cleared the flames and rolled to his feet on the opposite side unscathed. The man's joss at times defied explanation. "Li Chan!" He heard the pirate shout over the roar. "See if there are any yet inside over there! I'll try to get Mi Lin and the children out and meet you all at the sanctuary if I succeed!"

"I will do my best, Gweilo!" Li shouted back. "I pray Buddha your joss holds out a bit longer!"

'As do I, Mate.' Jack thought as he raced for the door he had seen Mi Lin vanish into. The dead end corridor led him to a windowless room where Mi Lin was doing her best to keep half a dozen children from panicking as smoke began to roll down the hallway.

"Jack!" She smiled at the sight of the bare chested foreigner as he raced into the room. Leaping to her feet she caught him in a passionate embrace, kissing him deeply. "I thought I would never see you again in this life, My Love." She breathed.

"We're not dead yet, Mi Lin." Blackjack hugged her closely. Though he had never lied to her, and had warned her that none would ever replace Jenny in his heart, he did care for the Asian beauty. Mi Lin was content for what he could give to her of himself, but ever hopeful of more.

"But the walls are of foot thick cedar wood, Darling." She held him closer. "We will die here together and for that I am grateful. I would rather spend my last days in your arms than live to see the day you sail away without me."

"That day is yet a long way off, Luv." Roberts winked, disengaging himself from her arms gently. "Besides hasn't Master Liang Hu often told us, "It is the wood that should fear you. Not the other way around."?

Blackjack circled the room tapping on the walls until he found the hollow sound that he had been searching for. Stepping back he dropped into a fighting stance and began to gather his Chi, just as the aged Lin Qui master had so often taught him. With a sudden shout he unleashed one devastating side kick after another on the point he had chosen.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2008, 02:23:22 PM by Blackjack Roberts »

Offline Welsh Wench

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Re: DEAD MAN'S TAVERN II
« Reply #63 on: July 20, 2008, 09:22:11 PM »
"Duckie? Is he allowed visitors?"
Dr. Gander turned around to see the feminine side of the co-captains respendent in the dress of burgundy silk.
He gave her a wry smile.
"Angel of mercy are you now, Honour? Charitable works and all that?"
She shook her head.
'I'm checking up on Black Jack as he is my crew. And how is Mal--how is Mr. Daggett?"
"You can use his first name. I already know that you are acquainted with one another."
She blushed furiously. "It's not what everyone thinks. Well, maybe it is but it isn't!"
"How so?"
Her past had come aboard. Before it was different with Cade Jennings. Cade's relationship with her had a little more substance, a less tawdry air to it.
"Malcolm was....just a lonely night. Weekend. Alright, a week."
 
Drake sighed. "Do you want to provide us with a game board and the rules? We'd like to know who and how many. It could be called 'Clue'. I can see it now...it was Malcolm Daggett. With a dozen roses. In the bedroom."
 
Wench stamped her foot.
"It wasn't like that at all! And why am I having to defend myself to YOU?"
Duckie rinsed his hands and wiped them dry on a towel.
"Why indeed, Captain? Your affairs are your affairs. There is only one man you need answer to and he's up on the quarterdeck."
She retorted, "Oh, and like he's been a celibate saint for the last two years? Somehow I doubt it."
Duckie said, "I'd say tit for tat but you'd slap me, wouldn't you?"
She said quietly, "Can they have visitors or can they not?"
"They cannot. Black Jack Roberts is coming out of whatever he has taken. He needs complete immobility and rest. The outcome will depend on how strong his constitution is. I'm betting he comes on the winning side."
"And what of Malcolm?"
"Malcolm is another story. His lung has a hole in it but I patched him and we need to watch him for internal bleeding and infection. The next twenty-four hours are critical."
"Then he can rest up and I'll come back in a few days."
"Provided he is still here."
"I'm sure he'll pull through. You are the best, Duckie."
 
Dr. Gander hesitated. "Did you know that Jack was willing to put Squints on his own ship this afternoon?"
"WHAT?"
"He's uncomfortable with having one of your dalliances on board."
"Oh, he is, is he?"
"That's what he told me. In so many words."
 
Wench turned on her heel.
"Where are you going, Captain?"
She flung over her shoulder, "To make sure these men stay intact."
She looked down and muttered, 'Damn heel!' 
And hobbled off towards the hallowed ground of the quarterdeck.
 
Jack and Briggs were standing on the quarterdeck enjoying their pipes and a bottle of brandy when Wench came charging onto the deck. She took the pipe out of his mouth and dumped the tobacco over the side.
Josiah discreetly hid his pipe behind his back.
 
"Hey! What's the big idea? I just lit that!"
"You know how I hate tobacco!"
"Well, you weren't here when I lit it. So there!"
She stood there with her hands on her hips and a glare on her face. Briggs tried to slink away. She collared him.
"Oh, no you don't, Briggs! Youi are in this too!"
Jack's eyes glittered with a returning fire. "Are you sure you want Briggs here to hear the dirty laundry I think you are about to trot out?"
"You sure didn't waste anytime talking to Duckie about this. And I am sure Briggs is your confidant."
 
Briggs looked from one to another. "I really do think this is best left to the two of you. And when it is over, someone come tell me if I need to keep the black flag we have or exchange them for pink bloomers to run up next time."
Wench gasped and Briggs took that opportunity to escape.
Jack chuckled, "Briggs always does get off easy where you are concerned! Now...what seems to be on your mind, darling? And see if you can do it all without the benefit of crockery."
She tossed her hair back and said, "Why were you willing to risk Malcolm Daggett's life at the risk of saving your pride?"
"Simple, my sweetness. Your dalliances has now become a face. Before it was a notion I tended to ignore."
"Well! Now you know what I felt like when that French strumpet met you at the docks and gushed, 'Oh, Jackeeeeee! At last I have found you!' There she was, in the flesh. And what about Bonita? And that was on our honeymoon to Castara Bay! Having an ex-paramour--and don't you dare deny it!--make our bed and run your tavern?"

Jack stood there not knowing what to say. He did the one thing he could think of doing to shut her up. It always worked before.
He grabbed her and kissed her.
 
She broke away and all her anger seemed to melt. Jack took her in his arms for round two and whispered, "We have wasted so much time, Honour. Maybe our lives would have been alot different if we had stayed together. If I hadn't gone off looking for LaFourche's diary. If we hadn't had the plantation bought out from under us. If we had settled down and had a family."
 
Wenh broke away at those words. She found she couldn't look him in the eyes. Turning on her heel, she went to her room and slammed the door.
 
Jack turned back to the rail and relit his pipe. 'So many mistakes, Honour. Will it ever end?'
He sighed heavily.
Life.
Strange, isn't it?
 
Show me your tan lines..and I'll show you mine!

I just want to be Layla.....

Offline Captain Jack Wolfe

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Re: DEAD MAN'S TAVERN II
« Reply #64 on: July 21, 2008, 08:42:32 PM »
“So many mistakes, Honour.  Will it ever end?” he asked the wind.

So many mistakes, on both sides.  So many missed opportunities.  So many injuries, intended and accidental.  And oh, so many regrets.

She had been right, of course.  Daggett's arrival was ironic sauce for the goose.  Twice now Honour had come face to face with a former lover of Jack's, and twice she had bravely pretended not to feel the icy stab of jealousy as it pierced her heart.  For Jack to take such a self righteous stand was the height of hypocrisy, and he knew it.  They were equally guilty of adultery, the scales more even than than either wanted to know or concede.

While both indulged to hurt the other, Jack was also trying to forget.  No other woman had touched him the way Honour had, and he quickly discovered no other ever could.  He had found the solitary diamond amidst the gravel, and he'd let it slip through his fingers once.  It was a mistake he had no intention of making again.  If only they could overcome the mountain of heartache they'd built between themselves.  He knocked the last bit of tobacco from the pipe bowl and left the quarterdeck for his own cabin.  The door to the surgery was still ajar, so he paused to see if Duckie was there.  The doctor looked up from the book he was reading and gave Jack a somewhat sour look.

“As you can see, Jack, I now have two patients in my care.  Come to pick one to put off?  I'll tell you what-- I have a coin.  Shall we make this sporting?  Heads Dagget, tails Roberts.  Your toss.”  He flipped the coin at Jack, who caught it out of the air.

“Are you done yet, Duckie?  I've already gotten an earful from Honour.”

“It depends.  Have you come to your senses yet?”

Jack flipped to coin back to his friend.  “I get it.  My chickens have come home to roost.  But I'm not changing my mind.  Squints needs to go back to his ship.  Keeping him on board will only let the Knight Hammer get further away, and that's where we need to be focused.”

“I suppose you're right,” sighed Duckie.  “When is this going to end, Jack?”

“When is what going to end?”

“Don' t be thick.  You and Honour!  Everyone can see the way you act together.  Two weary fencers who want nothing more than to give up the fight and be with one another, but can't bring themselves to drop their swords.”

“It's- it's not that easy...”

“You're right about that.  It's hard.  Hard for the both of you to swallow your damnable pride and be honest about what you want and need.  You two would sooner confess you hearts to the wind than confess to one another.  One of you needs to try if you want the other to.  Silence is what got you into this, Jack.  It won't get you out.”

“All this advice, and no offer of brandy or rum?” chuckled Jack.  “You're a poor bartender.”

“The bar's closed, and so is this surgery.  These men need their rest.  And you,” said Duckie as he pointed in the direction of Honour's cabin, “you know what you need to do.”

Jack exhaled, then with a wan smile he left the surgery.  Soon he was outside Honour's cabin.  He bit his lip, and gathered up his courage to knock upon her door and tell her the fullness of what was in his heart.  But at the last moment his courage fled, and his arm dropped to his side.  After a few moments more, he walked the last few feet to his cabin and quietly closed the door.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 09:20:50 AM by Mad Jack Wolfe »
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Offline Hibernian

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Re: DEAD MAN'S TAVERN II
« Reply #65 on: July 22, 2008, 09:19:26 AM »
“Oh, it never ends. Kate what is it?”
“Look at the window!”

“Look at the window? Yes, they’re very nice windows, but really you must realize I’ve seen more than my fair share of stained glass saints. One is very much like another”
“No, you are not listening, look at that window!”
“Yes, fine it’s a saint in the window and its very pretty. Now listen I’m a wee bit disappointed and with the sun going down I think we should head back to the Lobo.”

“Not until you listen to me. Now turn around and look at that window.”
“There are times like this that I thank the heavens for the rule of celibacy. Fine Kate, you win, look where?”

“The third window, the man is wearing a robe like yours…”
“Yes good Kate he is, I would say with a robe like mine the man is a member of a monastic order; excuse me but is this fashion observation the cause of your frantic must see?”

“No it is not, and stop acting like an weed puller it doesn't suit you.  Look at the picture as a whole and then look at the cross held aloft by the monk.”
“The cross looks familiar, the window is glass but the cross for some reason doesn’t look like glass, it looks almost solid.”
“Yes it does and in the better light which was here when I first call for you to come, that cross in the window looked just like the cross you are wearing around your neck! And that cross in the window was casting a very definite shadow! Remember that rhyme, the clue?"

The supposed clue to the treasure of St. Dimas ran through the monks head...
The cross that brought Dimas to his side
Is the guide you’ll need to find
Held aloft to honor the sun
In it’s shadow you will find the one.


As he turn it over in his mind, the hand slowly reached up and palmed the cross that hung around his neck. No, it couldn't be. It was pure luck that he even had this cross. When his personal celtic cross was stolen with the rest of the Knight Hammer old Father Jerome gave him this one to wear. What were the odds, after all when they sailed this island was not even a consideration, but then again doesn't He who is above us all work in mysterious ways?

"On bother, I think you may be on to something."
Kate looked up at the monk with a gleam in the eyes and a smile on her face, "Excuse me do you have something to say o' learned one?"

"Well, have to remember you're never to old to..."
"Cut out the fancy footwork Brother and get to the point. I'm did find something, didn't I, I of all the people who ever searched have found the secret and without digging a single hole!"
"I believe you have."
"Great, now tell me what I found."

"What you have discovered my friend is a play on words, so that the clue was there right in front of everyone."
"So they hid the clue in plain sight where everyone could see it."
"Yes, that is correct."
"Then why didn't everyone see it?"
"Because the sun was in their eyes."
"I don't understand."

"Neither did I until you show me the stain glass window. Now listen to the rhyme, 'The cross that brought Dimas to his side Is the guide you’ll need to find' obviously that refers to the cross of St. Dimas, the very cross upon which he was crucified and whose image is seen high atop the steeple. It is also of course the same cross I now wear around my neck. Next line, 'Held aloft to honor the sun in its shadow you will find the one' Everyone heard the word 'sun' and assumed the clue meant the cross high atop the church steeple, the cross placed high toward the sun and so they dug a hole everywhere that cross's shadow fell. But that wasn't it was it?"

By now Kate was being drawn in, her mouth open but no sound came out as she nodded her head with the question.

"That right  Kate, the answer is no, that wasn't it and I thought I had figure it out and just now searched the altar for the secret but was wrong. I imagined that the cross above the altar cast a shadow downward but I was wrong, disappointed, and feeling sorry when you called. But now I see and I believe you have found it!"
"What did I find, found what?"

"Kate look at the window again, even in this fading light you can make out the cross, look the monk is holding the cross aloft, he is holding it high, in honor of not the sun in the sky but the son of He who is above us all. People heard one word when it really was meant to be another. I believe the shadow we should be chasing is not the one outside cast by the steeple cross but the stain glass cross's shadow here inside the church."

"But Brother Timothy the light's gone and as such so is the shadow, I can't remember where the shadow fell. What do we do?"

Taking several candles from the sanctuary, he lit them,  and sat down with his back against the wall so he was facing the stain glass window of the monk holding the St. Dimas cross. "We wait."
« Last Edit: July 30, 2008, 08:08:52 AM by Hibernian »
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Offline Blackjack Roberts

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Re: DEAD MAN'S TAVERN II
« Reply #66 on: July 23, 2008, 12:11:41 PM »
Mi Lin watched in shock as Jack unloaded kick after kick on the weakened spot in the cedar he had chosen to attempt their escape from the burning compound. The smoke from the hallway began to creep into the small room and the children were again beginning to panic. She had little hope that her gweilo lover stood a prayer of making it through the seasoned wood. Turning to the children she tried to calm them with words she did not believe herself.

"Hush now!" Mi Lin spoke sternly. "Jack is here and soon he will have us all free, but he needs to concentrate and your cries will only distract him!"

To her surprise the small ones instantly became calm, wiping the tears from their cheeks as they focused all their attention on the foreigner who was attacking the wall with what seemed to be increasing force. Mi Lin fought the urge to run to his side, her only wish was that if this were to be her last day she could spend it in his arms. Suddenly her mouth dropped open as she heard a loud crack come from Blackjack's direction.

Roberts grinned to himself as he saw a hairline fracture open in the thick wood of the wall. Stepping back he ignored the smoke that was rapidly filling the room now. Ignored the crackle of the ever nearing flames and increasing heat. He thought back to all the times Liang Hu had admonished him for not gathering his Chi before attempting a particularly difficult task.

For what seemed an eternity he stood stock still, reaching deep within himself until he felt the rise of his internal strength within. Closing his eyes he fed the inner sensations causing them to grow to a level he had never achieved before. The lives of Mi Lin and the children depended on his success. He would be damned if he would fail them. He drew the building energy deep within, like the tension of a mighty spring coiled to it's limit. As soon as the sensation grew to a point he was sure he could no longer withstand it's force his blue green eyes flew open and he unleashed a scream that startled the children.

Blackjack's foot flew through the air with such speed that to Mi Lin it looked as if the man had a huge fan attached to his hip. With a explosion that nearly rivaled that of the gweilo cannon the wood burst outward. Fresh air rushed into the small room from the three foot hole that now led to the outside.

"Hurry, Mi Lin! Get the children over here! We've not much time!" He shouted as the flames filled the doorway.

Soon they found themselves outside near the rear wall to the Lin Qui training compound. Mi Lin noting the pronounced limp Roberts had acquired as they raced to get the children out the secret back door that led into the mountains and safety. Blackjack had broken his right foot in his bid to save their lives. Weeks later as he lay convalescing with his foot wrapped like a mummy in herb soaked bandages, Liang Hu came to visit, an oblong package under his right arm.

Jack began to rise to properly greet his Sifu when the aged master held up one hand stopping him. "Please, allow your injury time to heal, Jack."

"Forgive my weakness, Teacher." Blackjack placed his open hand over his fist and made as good a bow as he could from a seated position.

"Weakness?" Liang Hu echoed, raising one eyebrow. "Is that what you think, Jack?"

The leader of the White Tiger clan chuckled. "I would call what you did anything but weak. Because of your actions and determination those children now play beneath the Jasmine trees and my granddaughter has not gone to visit the Ancestors."

"In truth I would not have expected many who have trained much longer to have succeeded in what you accomplished. I even have my doubts that I could have done it. You are the only gweilo to have ever been trained in the Lin Qui arts. I've no doubt there will not be another after you."

"You give me too much credit and honor, Sifu." Roberts bowed a second time and held it out of respect for the master.

"Nonsense!" Came the smiling reply. "You give yourself too little credit, my pupil. I have a friend in Japan. After you saw your charges safely back to us I sent word to him, and some ideas for a gift of gratitude. Please honor us all and accept it."

Blackjack carefully removed the rice paper from an ornate wood box emblazoned with dragons across the top and sides. His turquoise eyes grew wide as he reverently opened the lid. There inside lay a sheathed cutlass the likes of which he had never seen before. The craftsmanship was undeniable with it's ornate basket and black jade handle. This paled in comparison to the blade its self.

The slightly curved steel was like none other he had laid eyes on. a strange wavered mark about three fourths of an inch wide covered the edge. He had just started to test the sharpness when his Sifu grabbed his wrist in the iron grip that belied the man's age, stopping him before his thumb came near the blade.

"You would have severed your thumb had you done that." Liang Hu explained. "My friend is a master sword maker. I had him apply his skills to make this sword especially for you. There will never be another like it. It looks the same as any other European sword you seem to favor on your ships, but it is made to the same specifications as the ones he makes for the Samurai. He has also added many of the things known only to us to your sword."

"Master!" Jack breathed. "This is too much. How can I accept such a valuable gift?"

"With grace." Was the simple reply. "Besides you will need it, My student. You have demonstrated that you have the training you need to survive your enemy and fulfill your vow. The Emperor now knows there is a gweilo among us. For your safety and ours you must return to your people now." Blackjack could have sworn he saw a tear in the old man's eye.

Two weeks later Blackjack Roberts was aboard a pirate ship bound for the Mediterranean. Before he left he had shipped the cutlass, box and all to Pew. The letter he sent with it explained that he would come for it when the time was right.


Offline Welsh Wench

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Re: DEAD MAN'S TAVERN II
« Reply #67 on: July 23, 2008, 01:40:19 PM »
The sun broke free over the horizon. In spite of the chaos that reigned the night before on the ship, the deck showed only minimum scars from it.
Wench walked out to the starboard gunwale and looked over to the town of LaVille du Traitre. In spite of the bountiful shopping, something was drawing her to the port. Something she couldn't quite put her finger on
'It's just my imagination. That's all.... just my imagination.'
 
She leaned against the rail, biting her fingernail and deep in thought. The thought of that chemise in black silk was a notion she was beginning to entertain. And when Captain Wench had a notion, there was no stopping it until it was fulfilled.

No one was around. Apparently Jack hadn't come out of his cabin yet. Briggs was nowhere to be seen and she knew Duckie was in the infirmary as she had seen him go in. The look Jack had given her when Malcolm Daggett finally recognized Jack as his long-lost school chum and then realized that Wench was actually Honour Bright.....
 
'Like you were a saint in those two years, Jack Wolfe?  I know you better than you think. You consider yourself a cuckold? Well, I'm a cuckold-ette. Doesn't matter if you paid for them or if it was gratuitous...you were no better than me!'
But the fact that one of her indiscretions had come face to face with Jack...she couldn't get the hurt look in his eyes off her mind.
She brushed it away like cobwebs. 'No matter..I'll be extra nice to him and that should make up for it...maybe buy him a new shirt...'
 
She slipped her cloak on and pulled the hood up over her head. Her hair was like a beacon and she didn't want to draw any undue attention to herself. Quietly she walked down the gangplank and headed towards the market stalls.
 
Only one problem--Captain Jack Wolfe was up and enjoying his pipe and early morning cup of fortified coffee. He looked over to see Wench wrapped in a cloak and walking off the ship. And without the benefit of her escorts.
'This can't be good!' He signaled Briggs over and whispered, "That shroud with the strut on the dock. Look familiar?"
Briggs grinned. "Only one person walks like that. Even with the cloak, it looks like two puppies tusslin' under the covers!"
Jack raised his eyebrow and Briggs coloured. "Aye. Yes, well...."
Jack handed his cup to Briggs and said, "Watch the ship. I have to see what she is up to this time."
He jumped over the quarterdeck rail and quietly began to tail his wife.
 
'Let's see....third stall over by the man with the watered green silk...and one stall over from the manacle salesman....hey! Maybe I should get Jack some.....no. Not a good idea. Even if they ARE ocelot-lined.'

All of a sudden, a hand clamped on her wrist.  She looked up and into a pair of dark smouldering eyes. Eyes that could be as cold as obsidian or warm as melted chocolate. All depending on his mood. And it wasn't a chocolate kind of day.
"At last we have caught up with each other. And I don't see your monk friend around. So now it is just you and I."
"Um..hello, Gwydion. Look, I'm really kind of busy right now. I've got to buy something for my...oh, did I tell you I got married? Um....yeah. I guess I forgot to send you a wedding invitation. Well, it was a small affair, not even family and friends and it was one of those spur-of-the-moment things and..."
"I don't care! You know what I want! And I want it NOW. Where is it? And don't say you don't know what it is."
She looked up at him. Jack started forward but something stopped him. It must have been the body language that Honour was conveying because he had seen her take that stance before. Usually before she hurled some projectile be it hot wax or cold inkwells.
Jack sent up a small prayer thanking God that for once he wasn't in Gwydion's shoes.
 
"If it is about that book, I don't have it! How many times do I have to tell you?"
Gwydion grasped her to him and hissed, "The book disappeared the same day you did. It wasn't hard to figure out who took it."
"What would I want with your old book anyways? There were no love scenes in it. No steamy couplings, Gwydion. Come on! I need something with a little zing in it! That book would have put anyone in a coma!"
He tightened his grip on her and dragged her out of the marketplace.
 
Jack's hand tightened on his cutlass as he walked through the crowd, pushing people aside. His eyes never lost sight of Honour even though she moved in and out of his line of vision.
 
Finally on the other side of the market place, Gwydion led her to a small copse of trees. On the other side of it was a clearing that overlooked the cliffs leading down to the sea.
He shook her and her hood fell back from her head. "You know that the spells were not to be written."
"Well, Gwydion, I guess you had some explaining to do to your father, didn't you?"
Jack hung back, listening to every word.
Honour's voice took on that edge that bordered between taunting and what Jack liked to refer to as 'sass with class.'
And Honour had passed that class with flying colours.
 
She put her face up to Gwydion's, her eyes glittering with satisfaction.
"Oh, I learned a few things, Gwydion. If anything, you were a superb teacher. In all things, I am sorry to say. You left me out to dry when it all came down on the two of us. And for that I shall NEVER forgive you! But oh, I learned so well from you!  SO well!  You taught me things from this earth--yes, you were a wonderful first lover---but you also taught me things that I wasn't ready for. I studied you. And learned."
 
Gwydion flung her down to the ground.  Jack was ready to come to her defense when something strange happened.
Honour began to speak in a foreign language.
Jack had recoginized it. It was hen gymraeg. He had heard it once when he had sailed into Holyhead, on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales.
And once he thought that he heard Honour mutter in that language when she was in the throes of one of her nightmares in that month they were married.
In that ancient language, she said, "You want to play games, Gwydion? Let the games begin!"
 
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 06:07:18 PM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline Welsh Wench

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Re: DEAD MAN'S TAVERN II
« Reply #68 on: July 23, 2008, 01:41:08 PM »
Jack ducked behind the tree, ready if Honour should have need of him or his cutlass.
Honour laughed derisively at the Druid. "Well, Gwydion...catch me if you can!"
All of a sudden Jack saw a cloud rise where once his wife had been on the ground. Then the Druid disappeared.
A lightning bolt barely missed the cloud.
 
The cloud dropped to the ground and there in its place was a butterfly. A spider materialized with a web. The butterfly skirted around and was caught in the web. Jack started forward but again he stopped.
He rubbed his eyes as he couldn't believe what he saw next. A small white rabbit appeared and a large Irish Wolfhound came racing out of the brush to chase it. The rabbit ran behind the rocks and just as the hound was about to catch her, a horse appeared from behind the rocks.
 
She was a pretty little mare with blue eyes and a light blonde mane.  Her body was slim and delicate. Jack moved forward to get a closer look when all of a sudden from the trees behind him, a black stallion reared up.
 
The mare took off running. There was no doubt in Jack's mind what the intent of the stallion was. He had seen enough of that from the feral horse herds in the Pentland Hills of Scotland where his grandmother lived and Jack had spent the summers.
As Jack was about to yell, "Hey! That's my wife!" the stallion almost clipped him. The mare ran as if her life depended on it and the stallion had caught up to her.
Just then the mare was gone and Honour stood in her place. She was out of breath and panting. The stallion was gone and in its place stood Gwydion.
 
Jack couldn't move. Gwydion and Honour collapsed to the ground, both clearly spent.
Gwydion managed to catch his breath long enough to gasp, "Witch!"
She caught her breath long enough to give him a brittle laugh. "I told you I learned a few things from you, Gwydion."
He said, "You couldn't have unless you had the Book of Enchantments! That is the only way you could ever shapeshift!"
She sat up and pulled the hood back. "Oh, no. I watched you and studied you. Marvos told me all about the shapeshifting. When we were together, Gwydion, there was more than a physical exchange between us. You were my mentor and teacher. I was your student. And your lover. How could you not impart any of this power to me?"
"Impossible!"
"Is it? You yourself always told me the ways of the Druids cannot be explained."
 
She could barely stand but managed somehow. "I don't have your book. I don't know where it is. And by the way, I see you are back to your old self, Gwydion. You are healed from when Amber tore your leg up and looking as fit as ever. You were always mesmerizing if you were anything."
Gwydion stared into her eyes and she stared back.
"It won't work, Gwydion. I am no longer your student."
She gave him a mock bow. "But I do bow to the master. I have to admit. You caught me as the stallion."
Gwydion gasped, "And as the stallion I would have had my way with you except that my concentration was broken by a shadow over there."
He nodded towards where Jack was hiding.
Honour gave him a grim smile. "Yes. Once contact is made, there is no shapeshifting back until the act is complete. Marvos taught me that."
 
Gwydion got to his feet. "This isn't over, Rhiannon. Not by a long shot. It will NEVER be over until that Book of Enchantments is returned to me. I'll dog you the rest of your days."
"No, you won't, Gwydion. You'll miss me."
 
She started to head back to the market stalls. Gwydion caught up to her and grabbed her by the wrist again. "And just where is Taliesin?"
"Taliesin?"
"You know damned well. Where is my stallion?"
Honour gave him a sharp laugh. "Now THAT I will confess to stealing.  He's being well taken care of."
"WHERE IS HE?"
"MY horse is with Athena. You remember her father? He was the gypsy horse doctor. If he couldn't cure the horse, you had better start digging the hole."
 
She jerked her wrist out of his grip. "It's over, Gwydion. I don't have your Book of Enchantments. Now I have a bit of shopping to do. And I don't want to see you again. The student may not have matched the teacher but she certainly avoided what could have been disastrous. That accounts for something."
She pulled her hood up over her head, turned on her heel and walked off.
 
Gwydion yelled, "Dyma mo ar eto, Rhiannon!"
She turned back and said, "No, Gwydion. It IS over. You sold me out and are still a Druid third level. Not bad for someone who fell from grace. I paid the price. In full."
 
Jack shakily followed her from a respectable distance. Had he really seen what he thought he did? Or was it the pipeweed he took from the ship the Haight-Ashbury?
 
Honour stopped by briefly to make her purchase and headed back to the ship.
 
Once there, she walked up the gangplank and onto the ship. Briggs looked at her and then saw Jack on the deck. Jack hung back.
"Hello, Briggs. I'm going to my cabin and I don't want to be disturbed for a few hours."
He watched her walk to the cabin and closed the door.
 
Jack came up the gangplank and Briggs said, "So...what's she been up to?"
Jack opened the binnacle and poured himself a tankard of rum, taking a deep drink.
"You wouldn't believe it, Josiah. But throw that tobacco out!"
 
Once in her room, Honour hung up her cloak and laid down on the bed. A wave of exhaustion swept over her. She flung her arm across her eyes and sobbed.
The shapeshifting took more out of her than she realized. Before she knew it, she was sound asleep.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 06:09:36 PM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline Captain Jack Wolfe

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Re: DEAD MAN'S TAVERN II
« Reply #69 on: July 26, 2008, 11:28:21 PM »
Briggs climbed the steps to the quarterdeck where Jack was standing at the taffrail pouring over a book.  “Every last bale of tobaccy we took from that ship full of-- what did ye call 'em?”

“Hippies,” said Jack as he checked the compass and went back to reading.

“Aye, hippies!  All of it's off the ship, just as ye asked.  Why the big hurry to get rid of it?  We'd have had pipeweed for a year!”

“I have my reasons...”

“Any of 'em have to do with the state ye were in after comin' back after Honour?  Ye never did say what went on to rattle ye so,” Briggs pressed.

“Nothing!  Nothing happened!” Jack said quickly, obviously uncomfortable about the subject.  He knew what he'd seen, but he still couldn't believe it really happened.  “Josiah, are there any horses on this island that you know of?” he asked uneasily.

Briggs thought for a moment.  “Just a couple of old bony draft horses that pull a lorry around.  Why?”

“No Arabians, Andalusians, Fresians?”

“Jack, the only purebred anything on this godforsaken rock is the rats, 'cause we know the French are liars about such."

"Hmph.  Settles that, then.  All right, you!" Jack called out.  "Move those barrels to the other side of the mast!"

Briggs looked out over the main deck, and what he saw left him baffled.  The normally orderly arrangement of ship's equipment had been strangely scrambled.  Rope coils near the middle of the deck instead of their proper place near the mooring points, barrels left unlashed and in the crew's way.  He stepped closer to Jack and peered at the mysterious book.

"Redecoratin'?" he asked.  Jack picked up the book and showed him the cover.    "What the hell is 'Fang Shooie'?"

"It's Feng Shui.  By changing the way things are arranged on the deck according to the methods in this book and our alignment with the compass, it may buy us a bit of much needed luck," explained Jack.

Briggs thought about what he'd just been told for a bit.  “So shufflin' things about the deck will make us lucky?”

“Yes!” replied Jack in exasperation.  “By allowing the Qi to flow more freely, everything will be better!”

“And how many barrels of this 'chee' stuff you figure we'll need?”

“It's not something you pour out, Josiah.  It's energy, life force!  The vital energy in everything!”

“I think that tobaccy still has yer head muddled, says I.”

Jack shoved the book at him.  “Here!  Read it for yourself.  It's all there.”  Briggs skimmed through a few pages, flipping back and forth to make sure he had the gist of things.

“So ye say we shift gear and cargo based on what the compass says,” he said carefully.

“Now you're getting it!” said Jack.

“One question... what happens when we change headin'?”

“What?”

“When we change course, what happens to all this here fancy rejiggerin'? “

Jack glared at him for a moment, then snatched the book from Briggs' hands and threw it overboard.  “Put it all back, and step lively!!” he ordered the crew below.  With a dejected look, he leaned against the binnacle.  His intention had been to throw himself into busy work to keep from trying to reconcile what he'd seen and heard.  Another day, and another man from Honour's past?  And the name he'd called her by, 'Rhiannon'...  unlike any other of her aliases, she made no attempt to refute it!  Could it be Jack had finally heard her real name?  And had she really changed her form, multiple times, before his very eyes? 

"Hear me, Jack Wolfe!" Bonita hissed. "Dat woman who share you name and you bed, she is not what you t'ink! She is strong in the Old Ways, but she will not admit to it."

“Dere is somet’ing not of dis world about her, or wit’ her!  Believe it!”

Bonita had tried to warn him with those words a year and a half ago, and he'd dismissed her out of hand as being jealous.  Had she been right?  If so, why didn't he care?

'Always more questions than answers with you, Honour or Rhiannon, whoever you are,' he thought.  'There has to be a way for me to find out...'
« Last Edit: July 26, 2008, 11:35:35 PM by Mad Jack Wolfe »
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Offline Martin Montgomery

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Re: DEAD MAN'S TAVERN II
« Reply #70 on: July 27, 2008, 08:40:41 PM »
Martin and his scratch crew worked feverishly,lowering the large woven cargo net down onto the dock beside the "Lobo" unloading the carts and barrows of their piles of sacks,bags,crates,chests,casks and barrels. Rubin's men helped to muscle the carts to the staging area but they held back and scanned the dark alleyways instead of pitching in and loading the ship's newly purchased stores. Martin nodded with professional intrest as the large ebony-skinned man seemed to be everywhere, one minutes he was consulting the Taylor brothers,whom Martin had been training as his assistance cooks, on which items needed to be loaded first the next he was organizing trios of his own men to walk the perimeter of the repair docks that the "Lobo" was berthed at. His men carried no obvious weapons yet the street vendors and beggers gave them and the "Lobo" a clearly defined area,almost as if someone had painted a line on the wooden planks ,then told everyone "Do Not Cross!!"  Tim Taylor was down on the dock checking off items as they were loaded in the cargo nets and his brother Tom did the same as the nets were unloaded and the stores were packed away in the ship's larder. Martin stepped up and helped to push the last of the many carts up to were the rear net was being lowered one last time,as the rear gate was lowered the big cook reached up and muscled a full cask of dried beef onto his shoulder with a grunt of effort. Walking forward to the center of the net ,he gently lowered the heavy cask to the ground. Sighing and standing up straight he jerked around quickly as a huge hand closed on his right shoulder "Martin my friend!" Rubin's dark face split with a bright smile as the startled cook lowered his right hand which he had drawn back in preparation for a powerful blow. " I am always pleased to do business with a man that knows the needs of his ship and goes about getting it ,whatever it takes! That is how I made the dubious acquaintance of our mutual friend Blackjack Roberts!  I assume that everything is in order and each item that you requested has been accounted for?" Whistling shrilly,Martin caught Tom Taylor's attention on deck and gestured to the dark man standing next to him then shrugged,the Taylor brother grinned and nodded giving the large cook a thumbs up, his brother stepped forward and handed Martin the rolled parchment listing all items delivered,each carefully checked off. Glancing down the list Martin's eyes widened and he gave a low whistle. "Everything is in order Master Rubin,and I must admit that I find myself truly impressed! You not only got every bit foodstuffs that I requested but you managed to procure the four bolts of good linen, a fully stocked sewing chest, medical herbs, balms and ointments for Duckie and Lilaney, three one pound bags of good quality pipeweed, a full dozen pair of silk boot stockings that will be a great present for Co-Captain Wench and whatever was in the sealed chests that our friend Roberts wanted! Not to mention the various items that I requested for my own personal use, plus the piece de resistance fifteen pounds of fine CHOCOLATE!" laughing loudly Martin nudged Rubin in the ribs "I've got a Co-Captain,an Assistant Ship's Doctor and an Assistant Ship's Scribe who will be VERY thankfull for THAT!! They seem to think that any situation can be made better by a good pan of brownies!! Chuckling deeply Rubin produced a small ledger from a his belt pouch and handed it to Martin,who after noting the total tonnage and amount signed it with a flourish then added his own mark,two side by side diamonds joined in the middle,a Double Diamond. "Take this on board and find Co-Captain Wolfe or First Mate Briggs,they will make sure you receive your payment. The big man then reached into his own beltpouch and produced a palm-sized leather sack filled to bursting "This should cover the total of my personal purchases with an extra fifty in silver for your men! I appreciate the prompt delivery and professional courtesy in such a..." Looking up and down the dirty streets and at the small groups of hard-eyed men that watched the "Lobo" with close intrest ".....informal setting as this!!"  The huge black man accepted the pouch,turned and waved at a sturdy youth that shared many of Rubin's features. "My son Roland." His eyes showed his pride in the boy as he came forward carrying a large bundle wrapped in oilskin. "Son, this is Martin Montgomery,the cook on this fine ship and a friend to Roberts. He is who the bundle is for." The youth stepped forward and smiled,then handed the cook the bundle,nodding to his father he turned and led the last four men and their barrow down a side street and away from the repair docks. Martin carefully unwrapped the bundle and pulled out a pair of midnight black kneeboots,the supple leather gleamed dully when the light hit them and the tops were folded down forming flared buckets,his eyes widened as his questing fingers found the bare metal hilt of a six inch throwing dagger secreted inside the top of the right boot! "These boots were made for me by the best bootmaker on the island,he makes them specially for me.They are now yours, I will be happy to wait until he can make a new pair for me " Rubin's low voice carried no farther than Martin's ears "They are very comfortable and they hold the best steel money can buy! Treat them well and they will take care of you!" With that the ebony giant turned on the heel of his own magnificent boots and walked up the gangplank. Martin re-wrapped the bundle and chuckled deeply to himself "Captain Wench will be so very envious,she spends all day shopping and I get the best boots in town!!!!"         
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Offline Welsh Wench

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Re: DEAD MAN'S TAVERN II
« Reply #71 on: July 27, 2008, 10:03:33 PM »
Wench yawned and stretched out, the sun streaming into the port window.
She dragged herself out of bed and peeked out. Late afternoon, from what she could judge. The shapeshifting incident had left her exhausted. Her energy was depleted.
She slipped her boots on and splashed some water on her face. Braiding her hair, she headed towards the deck.
 
"And what is THIS?" she asked Briggs.
"Something called 'fang shoo-ee' that Captain had in his head. Redecoratin' with a coiled rope and moving the rigging, rearranging the guns in a different order..I swear, where he got his notion, I'll never know!"
Wench stepped gingerly over the barrels that were stacked in order of largest to smallest.
"And what is this?"
"Some chee force."
Wench shrugged. "I'm on my way to the kitchen galley. Hopefully Martin made some of those cookies. I'm really craving oatmeal for some reason."
 
"Well, it's about time you put in an appearance, Captain Wolfe, Junior."
Jack looked over at his wife as she came out of the galley. "And just what are you eating?"
"Carrots. Mmm....! They are really good, too!"
She scuffed her boot into the wood deck.
"Why are you doing that?"
"Doing what?"
"Scuffing...never mind. Where have you...LOOK OUT!"
 
Just then a streak of blue landed on the deck, doing a roll and banging into the gunwale. Wench bent over to pick him up but Jack scooped him up first.
"Why you little.....!"  He had the parrot by the throat and was throttling him. The parrot could only manage to say, "SQUAWK! SQUAWK!"
 
Wench grabbed him out of Jack's hands and yelled, "ARE YOU CRAZY? THAT'S BLUE!"
Jack said hotly, "No, it isn't! That is one of your..."
He didn't finish his sentence. It sounded preposterous even to him.
Wench cuddled Blue like a baby and glared at Jack. "Now look what you've done! His eyes are little X's!"
She held him close to her and crooned, "That's OK, Blue. Big bad man go away!"
 
Jack did a slow burn. Blue opened one of his X-ed eyes and looked like a proverbial cat that ate the canary. Only he looked more like the parrot that drank all the good rum. Jack made a start towards Blue.
'SQUAWK! SQUAWK!'
He dove head first down Wench's bodice.*
She put her hands up to her chest and giggled.
Jack glared, "He seems very at home there."
"Oh, don't be a pris, Jack. He has a talent for finding rum and that is usually the first place he goes. He knows Athena and I would keep our flasks there. Better than keeping our flasks strapped to our thighs, wouldn't you say?"
 
Blue poked his head out of Wench's bodice, looking quite at home between..well, let's just say that Blue looked like he had big earmuffs. Jack started towards him and Blue disappeared between the depths. His little head poked up so you could just see his eyes. Wench scratched his little head.
 
"Jack, I won't have you traumatizing this poor little birdie!"
"'Poor little birdie? He's getting more action that I am!"
"Really! Now you are jealous of a parrot?"
Jack muttered darkly, 'That's not just any parrot!'
You're right. This is Captain Bacardi's little buddy. So he is to be treated like a guest!"
"A guest?  A GUEST? You mean roll out the red carpet? For a BIRD?"
"If you have a problem with that, then Blue is staying in my room with me!"
"Oh, great! You'll let the precious little bird in but you won't let me?"
"There's no need to get jealous of a parrot."
"Jealous? Who's jealous? I'm not jealous! No, not me. Especially of this..this..."
Jack flicked Blue in the head and Wench smacked his hand.
Blue snuggled deeper into the valley. Wench reached into her pouch and gave him an oatmeal cookie.
"Is oo hungwy, oo poor widdle birdie?"
"Honour, he's not a baby."
"He's somebody's baby. And he is visiting so he will be accorded all due respect. I won't hear of anything less. Now, I'm taking him to my room. He must be tired after that long flight."
"Well, how do you know how far he has traveled? And maybe that isn't even Blue. Maybe it is an evil twin?"
"Don't be silly, Jack. He's Bacardi's padawan. Only he gets away with things Bacardi can't!"
 
She walked back to her cabin with Blue.
Jack couldn't be sure....but was there a smirk on Blue's face as he peeked around Wench's bodice?
And was that a tongue the bird stuck out at him?
No.
Impossible.
Just...impossible.

* this appears to be a habit with Blue

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« Last Edit: July 28, 2008, 09:55:58 AM by Welsh Wench »
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Offline Blackjack Roberts

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Re: DEAD MAN'S TAVERN II
« Reply #72 on: July 29, 2008, 08:41:50 PM »
Blackjack's eyes snapped open as the Black lotus released him from it's hallucinogenic grip. It took him several moments to get his bearings. The last thing he remembered was sailing out from Singapore on the Revenge. No. That had been near a year ago. Just where in Hell was he now? Remaining perfectly still he let his eyes roam to their limits. A surgery aboard a ship. It looked familiar. The Lobo del Mar!

The events of the last few days rush in on his mind in a confusing and tortuous flood, threatening to overwhelm his senses and plunge him into insanity. Quickly he closed his eyes, focusing his mind as the Lin Qui had taught him. The visit to Pew, the blow from behind, being drug through the bloody jungle, killing Simon and his men, Malcolm and Blackthorn coming ashore........Malcolm!!

Roberts sat bolt upright in the cot, his right hand reaching instinctively for a pistol he no longer had on him. Duckie turned at the sound as Lil and Elinor rushed to his side. El grabbing the confused pirate around the neck in a bear hug and kissing his cheek.

"Jack! Your awake!" She beamed. Lil stood in front of him with her hands on her hips.

"Aye, Luv. That I am." Blackjack grinned. "One of the more pleasant waking's I've had in a while. If'n ye don't break me neck that is."

"If she doesn't, I MAY!" Lilaney scowled. Just what do you think your doing?! Taking an unknown drug, dragging a man who had sworn to kill you through the jungle, and then gallivanting off to God knows where on the ship before I could get you stitched up proper!! If we hadn't found you......." She let the words trail off as her voice caught slightly.

"It be good ta see you again too, Luv." Roberts grinned like a Cheshire cat and winked.

Lil rolled her eyes to the ceiling and threw her hands in the air. "Men!" She huffed. "Insufferable, the lot of ya! I swear, Roberts if you ever pull a stunt like that again...."

"Ye'll pin me ta the wall afore I can blink." Blackjack chuckled, finishing the threat before Lil. She scowled at him for a moment, then broke into a smile.

"I'm glad your alright, Mate." She said softly.

Blackjack looked over to where his cousin lay on the second cot. He seemed to be breathing well, even if it there was a slight wheeze to the sound as he exhaled. Some of his color had returned. Perhaps Jack's aim had been muddled enough for Malcolm to survive. He shuddered inwardly, keeping the emotion from his face. He had been aiming for Dagget's heart at the time.

"How be he, Sawbones?" Roberts asked as nonchalantly as if he were asking for a weather report. Duckie turned around from where he had been busying himself with his log.

"To be truthful, Blackjack. I do not know." Gander searched the pirate's blue green eyes for any sign of concern for Squints. "The hole you put through his left lung was pretty far over, another inch and you would have missed him completely. With rest and care he should survive. Only time will tell for sure."

Blackjack kept his feelings buried and shrugged. He had remembered enough to know that his cousin was an old school chum of the doctor and Mad Jack. He also remembered that neither of them were too fond of him at the moment. Malcolm's best chance at survival was to put as much distance between them as possible. He hadn't dragged the man over half of the island just to have him turned out now because of his relationship to Blackjack Roberts.

"Fair enough, Sawbones." Roberts steely eyes gave nothing away of his true feelings. "Means nothing ta me either way. Any chance a gettin' back ta me own digs? The less I have ta look at the blighter the better off we'll both be."

Jack began to rise from the cot, Lil put one bell booted foot on his chest and pushed hard. Surprised Blackjack tumbled back onto the small bed and Elinor grabbed his legs pining him into a prone position before sitting on them, her arms defiantly crossed over her chest.

"Your not going anywhere, you arse!" Lilaney bent down till her nose was mere inches from his. "I for one am getting tired of stitching you back together! For once you are going to listen and stay put until you heal. Do I make myself perfectly clear, Mr. Roberts?!"

"As crystal, Luv." Blackjack said. "We have an accord."

"Good!" Lil straightened up with a satisfied grin. "I'll hold you to it. Come on Elinor, let's see if Martin has brought enough supplies aboard to make anything chocolaty. I need it."

After his shipmates had left Blackjack put both hands behind his head and sighed. Duckie pulled his stool over next to the cot and sat down.

"Squints....Malcolm told me that you rid this world of Terrence Blackthorn." He began lowly. "He also told me that he heard the blackguard confess to murdering Jenny. He knows you had nothing to do with it and wants to make it up to you."

Blackjack turned his gaze slowly to look into the physician's eyes. "A bit bloody late if'n ye ask me, Sawbones. Any debt I may have owed ta our family is paid now. He and I are square now. Me only regret is I didn't send him ta hold his master's hand in Hell."

"Damn it, Man!" Gander's patience broke. It was bad enough having to struggle with Mad Jack over Squints. He'd be hanged if he would go through the same thing with Roberts. "He's your cousin! I would think a little forgiveness would be in order!"

"The same forgiveness he gave to me when he first came to my own home to take me in??!!" Blackjack sat up. "The bloody bastard hounded me like a dog for over six of the worst years of my bloody life!! Never once did he stop to consider that I may just be telling the truth!! The things I've had to do to survive long enough to kill the man responsible for Jenny's death would make even your stomach turn, Physician!!"

"Now either allow me to return to my own bunk where I can at least have some peace, throw me off this bloody ship, or kill me yourself! In truth I care not bloody which!! I have done all that I wanted to do. Blackthorn rests in Hell and that's good enough for me!!" Roberts finished and spun around to face the wall as he lay back down. He prayed Duckie would not catch the lie. He had forgiven Malcolm from the moment he had asked. He would never have risked bringing him to the Lobo if he hadn't.

He listened intently as Drake pulled the stool back to his desk and sat down with a sigh to finish his log. Blackjack closed his eyes. With luck Malcolm would be safe now.

Offline Elinor Hakebourne

  • R/F.com Member
  • Posts: 237
  • Bard of the Royal Court/Scribe of the KH
Re: DEAD MAN'S TAVERN II
« Reply #73 on: July 29, 2008, 09:32:07 PM »
Upon hearing Lil's suggestion, she brightened, a smile broadening on her face. "Good idea, Lil!" She exclaimed, and danced happily out of the surgery once more.  "It is good to be back with you, my friend," she said to Lil, putting her good arm over Lil's shoulder. "If I learned one thing on this shore leave, it is that I don't want to be on the ship alone again. Even the Knight Hammer would be too creepy without you, Martin, Wench or the others."

"I bet it wouldn't have been so lonely if Julian were around," Lil replied, winking.

"LIL!" Elinor admonished, her brows furrowing. "You know I can't stand him!"

"Then why, when you had the chance earlier, you didn't give him his due?" Lil asked as they traversed the ship, heading towards the galley.

"Because...because I'm not a ordinarily violent person. You know that! Besides, I figured he'd had enough with being stuffed in that chest and drugged...But that does NOT mean that I have feelings for him!" She exclaimed. "Now, you and Duckie, on the other hand..."

lilaney

  • Guest
Re: DEAD MAN'S TAVERN II
« Reply #74 on: July 30, 2008, 01:19:41 PM »
Lil held the door open to the galley for her friend to pass in front of her.
A waft of fresh brownies passed over them and they paused just inside the door to take in a deep breath of the tantalizing smell.
"Now, that's more like it!" 
Lil grinned and headed towards the kitchen.
The galley was empty; for the night shift had finished eating their dinner hours ago.
Elinor followed and they both paused at the half door to the kitchen where Martin was leaning
back in a chair, legs propped on the table, smoking gently from a pipe.
He saw their wide pleading eyes and winked at them,
letting out a puff of smoke as he gave a chuckle and leaned forward in his chair.
"Ah, I knew that would at least bring one or two of you down here."
Instead of heading for the cabinet where he notoriously kept the chocolate, where in which the heavenly aroma was coming from, he went over to the stove and took a bowl in each hand and came over to door.
Offering a bowl each to the confused pair of faces.
"You'll eat first, before you go filling up on brownies."
They oblinginly took their bowls, both heavy with stew and turned, somewhat half-heartedly and went to the nearest table.
"Stew! Yum!" Elinor sat down and began eating.
Lil sat down as well and began thinking, idling stirring her spoon in the meal.
"If you don't eat! You don't get dessert!"
Martin bellowed merrily out of kitchen.
Lil smirked and began to eat.
"So?"
Elinor had gotten halfway through her meal before she took up the reins of their passage way conversation.
"So, what?"
Lil pretended not to understand.
Elinor's eyes took on a merry glow.
"You and the Doctor! C'mon, it has been ages since we have had a chance to gossip!"
Lil felt her face get oddly warm.
"What between me and the doctor? He is an old confirmed bachelor. And I am certain that it would take something more than what I have in my limited arsenal to sway him to the gentler sex."
Elinor smirked. Lil took the offensive.
"Now, you and Julian! That is a pair I could see actually working. You have talent and he takes orders pretty decent. And! If he doesn't, you could always stuff him in a trunk, till he gives."
Elinor snarfed into her now empty bowl.
"Yeah, I could! Just hafta have your help to knock him out and wrestle him into the trunk."
Lil thumped her spoon on the table.
"Deal!"
Elinor got up and with bowl in hand, went back to the half-door.
Lil was confused.
"What are you doing?"
Elinor smiled.
"I finished first, I get the first brownie!"

 

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