Pirate Festival => Port of Call => Topic started by: Captain Jack Wolfe on May 12, 2008, 07:16:06 PM

Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on May 12, 2008, 07:16:06 PM
Copyright Notice: 
This entire work ©2008-2009 by the respective authors.  All Rights Reserved.
Dead Man's Tavern I ©2008 by the respective authors.  All Rights Reserved.

For those of you just joining the story, we humbly recommend you start here, with Dead Man's Tavern I (, where Welsh Wench's crew joins up with that of Mad Jack Wolfe, her estranged husband.

The complete narrative of Dead Man's Tavern I, compiled by Welsh Wench, will be available for download from this location at a later date.

Picking up from where we left off...

Jack smiled as he poured himself more wine, then held his glass aloft in a salute.  “I have to hand it to you, Brother Timothy.  You don't shake easily.”

The monk gave a single small nod.  Had he heard a hint of respect in the pirate's voice?  “A by product of strong faith, Captain.”

“I suppose,” Jack replied.  He took a sip of wine, then continued.  “You all seem to have heard ramblings and rumours about our destination.”  Everyone at the table nodded and made affirmative noises.  Briggs just shook his head and slugged back his wine.  “Well, it's true.  We are bound for La Ville du Traitre, the former prison colony built by the mongrel French and now run by pirates, for pirates.  We'll lay in for necessary repairs, thanks to the popularity of your Mister Roberts here with certain well armed lunatics.  Will we lose time in our pursuit of the Hammer?  Of course we will.  But we'd lose considerably more if we were to lose a mast, which you all have intimate experience with, or should we manage to get a few more holes blown in us, which always seems to happen whenever your bonny captain sets a stilletoed heel on my deck...”

Honour cleared her throat loudly.  “Would you mind focusing, Jack?”

“You said the Hammer will stretch her lead,” Blackjack interjected.  “By how much, do you figure?”

“Two days, give or take,” Briggs answered.  “The shipwright owes a few favours.”

“Two days?  We'll never catch him!” Lil lamented.

“I wouldn't worry,” said Jack.  “Unless Muir has learned to handle the lines – good dog, but doubtful – it'll be nigh on impossible for Cade to make significant headway.  Besides,” he added, making sure to avoid Honour's gaze, “I have as much reason to chase down that perfidious cur as any of you.”

Elinor's brow furrowed with worry.  “This place you're taking us to sounds ghastly and dangerous!  Is there any place in particular we should stay away form to avoid trouble?”

“The entire island, for starters,” Duckie said, and gave Honour a wink.

“And any place Jack feels comfortable,” added Honour.

Jack gave her a sarcastic smirk, but his expression sobered quickly.  “Let me be clear about this.  Nobody goes ashore alone.  Stay within sight of the ship, and stay together.

Blackjack leaned back in his chair and chuckled.  “And I suppose the bogeyman is lurking round every corner.  Jack, you strike me as too cautious a man to risk your neck, much less your ship, at such a wicked place!  You've done a splendid job getting the womenfolk in a tizzy.  Fairy and hobgoblin stories aside, what's this port really like?”

“Land!  Land ho!  La Ville du Traitre, dead ahead!” came the cry from the deck watch.  Jack gave the former highwayman a knowing smile.  “Let's see just how honest I've been, Mr. Roberts.  Shall we all retire to the weather deck?  Josiah, have the watch hoist our flag and pennants, and pass word to the gun crew to have the appropriate salute ready.”

Briggs made his way to the Lobo's main deck with the rest of the group in tow.  As he went about passing along orders, Jack led the Knight Hammer's crew forward.  He made a grand sweeping gesture toward the sunset bathed island that lay before them.

“Behold.  Hell's forward outpost on earth.”

La Ville du Traitre was, to be generous, a filthy, pestilent dung hole masquerading as a port of call. Tortuga, Port Royal, Charlotte Amalie, and other famous dens of iniquity were garden spots in comparison. If one wanted to find the dumping ground for society's refuse, this was the place.

The island's most prominent feature was the massive prison fortress that seemed to grow right out of the top of its solitary central hill. A majority of the inhabitants of this forbidding place lived within the walls of the former prison, its cell blocks having long ago been refashioned into flats and hovels. The ramshackle town that sprang up between the ominous structure's gates and what was now a disjointed jumble of a dockyard offered anyone with money a variety of diversions devised to satisfy their whims, from subtle to gross. Snaking its way amongst the docks was a grand bazaar where nearly anything, or anyone, could be purchased for the right amount.  The little island's sole redeeming quality, a tiny crumbling chapel, long ago ransacked and now used a storehouse for powder and shot hidden well within the impenetrable walls, stood testament to the soullessness of this place.

Honour glared incredulously at Jack. "You didn't say it was going to be this horrid," she spat.

"What part of 'hell on earth' wasn't clear to you?", Jack asked.

"We're upwind of that cesspool, and it already reeks!"

"Maybe so, but remember; it's got shopping.  Has to count for something, yeah?"

Honour crossed her arms and stared at the island. "You'd better have one hell of a line of credit here, Jack," she grumbled.
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Welsh Wench on May 12, 2008, 08:48:59 PM
Wench continued to stare at the island and then gave a big sigh.
"I can imagine you know where every den of iniquity is on that God-forsaken rock, Jack."
He gave her a sly grin and whispered in her ear, "You can get anything you want at Alice's tavern."
"And I just bet you've had everything on the menu, too."
She turned to her crew. "It's late and I suggest that we all get a good night's sleep while we still can. Jack, I am guessing you are putting the anchors down and we shall be disembarking to this armpit of the world in the morning when we have a fighting chance?"
"You guess correctly."
"Then I shall say good night to you all."

Everyone left the Captain's mess to go their separate ways. Martin touched Wench's sleeve and said quietly, "Will you be alright, Wench?"
She nodded. "I've survived Captain Swazey and Undead Daemon, I'll survive this one."

She went to the quarters that were formerly Briggs' and were now hers. She closed the door and crossed the room to look out of the porthole.
'Jack, what have you done to us? Taking us to the soiree in Hell you've always talked about? I'm betting you are sitting on the Devil's right...'

She dropped her breeches and flung her shirt in the corner. Reaching for her chemise, she pulled it over her head and then turned the covers down, slipping between the sheets. Within moments, she was asleep.

Jack headed back to his quarters with Briggs close behind. Jack whirled around and said, "And where do you think you are going, Briggs?"
"Well, seeing as how the missus has commandeered my quarters, I'm bunking with ye. Remember?"
Jack glowered darkly. "Briggs, there is no way I am sharing my quarters--let alone my bed--with you. I suggest you bunk down with Davis until I can make Honour see reason."
"Reason? Honour? We talking about the same woman? The woman that threw ye out of yer own bed?"
"She didn't throw me out."
"Oi, right. Out of yer own cabin then."
"Look who's homeless, Briggs. Not me. You."
With that, he shut the door in Briggs' face.

The moonlight streamed through the porthole window, illuminating the sleeping form that had a sheet gliding over her.  He made his way over to the bed and gently brushed the tendrils that escaped her braid away from her cheeks. She stirred and her eyes opened. Opening her mouth to scream, he gently put a hand over her mouth.
"It's just me," he whispered.
He took his hand away from her mouth and she said in a hushed voice, "Jack, what are you doing here? If you think there is going to be a repeat of last night, you are sadly...and what do you have in your hand?"
"This? Only a bottle of the finest Madeira wine. It was from the same lot as the bottle we drank on that night on our way to Castara Bay. I thought it was only fitting I share it with you."
She sat up and pulled the sheet up to her chin.
"Jack, you always have an ulterior motive. You never do a kindness--well, rarely--unless there is something in it for Jack Wolfe."
He laughed softly and didn't answer. Pouring two wine glasses, he handed her one and said, "I just wanted to share a drink with you before we set on La Ville du Traitre."

She took a sip of it and closed her eyes as it traveled down her throat. "As good as ever."
Jack chuckled, "I seem to recall you said the same thing that night but it wasn't in regards to the wine."
"Keep it up, Jack, and you can add Briggs' cabin to one more place I have kicked you out of."
He looked at her and then said, "Damn it, Honour! Why do you have to be in Briggs' cabin with the moon shining down on you when you could be in OUR cabin lying in my arms?"
She looked down and said softly, "There is too much we have done to each other, Jack. Too many bridges burned."
He gently put his finger under her chin and raised her face to his. Their lips were within inches of each other.
"I say we build another one. Or find a rowboat. Or swim. But for tonight, let's find our way back to each other....."
He kissed her and then put his hand to her hair. With one gentle tug, her ribbon loosened and her braid came down as her hair flowed around her shoulders.

She felt her pulse quicken and her breath starting to catch.
"Jack..." she started to say.
He drew her close and kissed her. Her arms went around his neck and she pulled him back down as she leaned back against the pillow. His hand caressed her cheek and trailed down her neck as his finger ran slowly along the neckline of her chemise, gently tugging at the drawstring.
He looked deeply into her eyes and said in a gentle whisper, "And can ye serve under a captain such as me?"
She nodded, finding the words hard to say with the rising heat, "Aye. At least for tonight...."
Her chemise slipped off her shoulders and his hand slid under the sheet...

With a start she woke up.
There was no Madeira.
There was no Jack.
Only the gentle sound of the ship rocking as it moved with the currents and swayed with the anchors.
The moon shone down on her. And that was it.
She was alone.

Let the writing begin!
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on May 15, 2008, 10:18:45 PM
Blackjack whistled lowly and feigned surprise at the sight of the island he had once taken refuge on to escape Malcolm and heal after the debacle in India. It wouldn’t do for Mad Jack, or for that matter anyone else aboard, to know that he had spent three months there before signing on for the near disastrous voyage to Singapore. The less the captain of the Lobo knew about him the better.

“I’ll give ye this, Captain.” He spoke lowly, making sure to keep his eyes wide with false surprise. “Of all the scum ridden ports I’ve seen what pirates make their own, this hell hole tops the list!”

Mad Jack swelled slightly with pride that he had succeeded in shocking Roberts. “Now you can see why I ordered that no one,” he made certain to look Blackjack in the eye for emphasis, “and I mean NO ONE, is to go ashore alone.”

Blackjack raised one hand in front of him. “No worries there, Mate.” He grinned. “I’ll not be settin’ foot there by me lonesome.”

Mad Jack scowled for a moment before returning his attention to his estranged wife, but whether it was from distrust of Robert’s word, or Duckie had informed him of Blackjack’s ploy of playing the ignorant pirate, Roberts couldn’t say for sure. All he did know was he intended to keep his word, after a fashion. All that remained was which member of the Knight Hammer crew he would take with him to see Old Pew.

Gaining the ingredients he needed to make the antidote for the zombie powder was no problem as none would suspect, save for perhaps Lil, or Gander. Lil he could trust, but Jack still had his doubts about Duckie. The physician was far too knowledgeable and his loyalty to Mad Jack made him too much of a risk to be trusted completely.

Drake Gander. Jenny’s uncle. Still Blackjack had to wonder if he secretly held him responsible for her death and was waiting for him to take his revenge on Sir Terrance before exacting his own on Blackjack. Roberts knew all too well the hollowness of words and how easily they could be twisted to gain a advantage. It had proven to be a hard lesson, but one that he had learned well.

When he had come to from Duckie’s shaking the Black Lotus had still held him in it’s grip and his mind barely registered the concerned man standing above him. He certainly did not recognize him as an ally.

“Jack! Jack! Are you alright?! I almost couldn’t wake you! Who’s Mi Lin?!”

“A….a girl I knew in Singapore.” Blackjack scowled still muddled. “And who are you?”

“You know damn well who I am, Jack!” Duckie frowned, checking Robert’s eyes. The pupils were so dilated that the were almost pure black with a slight ring of blue green color. He felt Jack’s pulse and noted the clammy coolness of the pirate’s skin. “What the hell have you been doing to yourself?!” He demanded.

Blackjack’s mind cleared as the last of the potent flower burned its self out of his system. “Not a bloody thing, Sawbones.” he chuckled. “Yer more nursemaid than anything else if ye ask me.”

Duckie scowled. He knew enough to realize Roberts had taken some form of opiate, but none he knew of caused such delirium. Almost bordering on hallucinogen. This was new to him, and quite possibly dangerous. He was also a bit perturbed that Roberts insisted on continuing his charade with him, even though they were alone and he knew better.

“Don’t lie to me, Roberts!” He replied icily. “I know full well the effects of a drug when I see them. You were also seen entering the galley when I strictly said for you to rest! Are you trying to kill yourself, Man?!”

Blackjack laughed. “Ye lot would’ve left me to starve down here if’n I hadn’t, Sawbones. I had a bit o’ laudanum in me sea bag, so I used me a bit ta get ta the galley and some grub. Perhaps a bit more’n was good fer me.”

Duckie sighed exasperatedly. It was obvious Blackjack was going to tell him as little as possible. For a few moments he wondered what the man had gone through to make him so mistrusting of others. Roberts exhibited all the marks of a man deeply betrayed at some point in his life.

“Very well.” The lobo’s doctor said at last. “I’ll let it go for now, but if you have need of medicine, I would advise you get it through me.”

“If’n it’ll ease yer mind, Sawbones.” Roberts grinned.

“It will. By the way, the captain requests your presence at dinner tonight in the Captain’s mess. If your strong enough.” Duckie added matter of factually.

“Any idea why?” Blackjack asked, his eyes narrowing in suspicion.

“We’re nearing La Ville du Traitre and he wants to brief you and a few others of the Knight Hammer crew.” Gander said. “Think you’ll be up to it?”

Slowly Roberts stood up from the bunk, but this time he didn’t sway, or seem dizzy in the least. “I think I’ll be able to manage.”

“Good.” Duckie smiled. “Till then you rest. Or by God I’ll have you tied to that bunk!”

Blackjack sat back down and mockingly saluted Duckie. “Aye, aye, Sawbones!”

Duckie rolled his eyes heavenward as he turned to leave.
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Martin Montgomery on May 18, 2008, 04:42:49 AM
Martin stood next to his Captain ..... Bright? and nearly choked as she commented under her breath "Damn you Jack!! I'll bet that the bootshops here don't even carry any decent stilettos!!" She spun and stomped back towards the bowells of the ship,purposely gouging small circles into the otherwise pristine deck. The big man looked once more towards the forboding island that loomed just off the starboard bow and looking up he saw the "Lobo's" Skull and Crossed Bones flag flying high above the crow's nest. The symbol of pirates everywhere snapped and popped in the stiffening breeze,sounding to Martin like a volley of musket fire. Shaking his head and starting for the galley to catch some sleep and prepare himself for the landing party he whispered to himself "I wonder if we do find everything that we need and can afford the prices here,will we all return in the same shape we left in?"
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on May 18, 2008, 08:14:18 PM
Elinor's curiosity got the better of her, and after supper, she ventured to the main deck to take a glimpse of the island they had all but arrived at. Shivers seemed to creep up her arms and send goosebumps in their wake, causing her to think fleetingly of the warmer clothing she had in her room. There was no doubt about it: the place was foreboding, and somewhere in her head she knew it wasn't just because of the fact it was night at present. From what Captain Wolfe had said, she knew better than to think the shadows on that island would fade with the morning sun.

Deciding she'd had her fill of the sight of La Ville du Traitre, she turned away and headed for the Infirmary. There was no doubt Lil would want a good look at her wound before she went to sleep for the night.
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on May 19, 2008, 07:33:53 PM
Blackjack thought hard about the shore party. That he would sooner or later be recognized on that accursed island he had no doubt. Though his stomach churned at the thought of the depths he had sunk to, just to gain enough respect to semi survive and be accepted.

Still one was a fool to take one’s eyes off one’s back there for any reason. As long as none knew how well he knew the island he stood a better chance of slipping off with his chosen ally. Perhaps he should take Captain…..Bright was it now? As long as he went ashore completely armed they shouldn’t have any serious trouble. The again… would be sure to attract Mad Jack’s attention, and he didn’t want that.

Perhaps Lil? One hell of a dangerous lass to be certain. They certainly wouldn’t have to worry about their backs. Brother Timothy would also be a good choice….few seamen, no matter how depraved risked harming a holy man. Plus, Jack would bet his eye teeth there was more to that monk than met the eye.

Blackjack would have to tell Pew this time. The last piece to the puzzle, Old Salt. Tell me what I need to know, return my sea chest, and you will know at last. I promised you that. “Funny a blind man would see me enough to know I’d keep that promise.” Roberts thought.
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Hibernian on May 19, 2008, 10:10:59 PM
‘In the darkness of the evening the eyes of my heart are awake to you.
I seek your graces of healing.
At the heart of the brokenness around me and in the hidden depths of my own soul.’

The monk paused in his prayers to listen to the ship’s bell, he had been leaning here against the starboard rail for some time, watching the night fall on the island that lay just a good cannon shot away. The Lobo lay anchored far enough away for an evening of safety but still close enough that one could hear the rise and fall of the crowd’s voices as the evening progressed. “I wonder if my prayers shouldn’t be for them rather than ourselves?”

“May I join you or is this rail reserved for members of the clergy?”
He knew the voice and without turning replied, “Ah good Kate, what fair wind blows you in my direction; for the hour is late and perhaps you should be abed?”
“Why Brother is that an offer?”
“If that is an offer, then it expired twenty years pass and unlike Lazarus will not rise from the grave. Consider it a friend watching over another knowing that tomorrow brings the unexpected.”
“It has been said a wise man follows his own advice. You are burning the candle late this evening.”
“Enough Kate, let me finish my prayers and I’ll extinguish the candle.”

“Fair enough good Brother, but tell me who do you pray for this evening?”
Kate stepped beside the monk and matched his leaning upon the railing. She turned to face him and for the first time noticed the lines around his eyes. His face told her this was more than a simple evening prayer, while he may not admit it to the crew, he was worried.

He gestured toward the island, “I pray for all the lost souls, that they may be found. I pray for our friends upon this very ship that tomorrow we do not add to the lost souls on that island.”
“Come now Brother, we know Captain Jack was laying it on thick, that island didn’t sound like anything the crew of the Knight Hammer can’t handle.”
“Keep telling yourself that Kate, and pray you don’t ever believe it. There is evil upon that island, I’m not saying it can’t be beaten but I’m concerned that perhaps the Captain didn’t lay it on thick enough.”

“Still we’ll watch for each other, make our repairs, may be have a drink or two and get out of port as soon as the repairs to the Lobo are completed. We don’t bother anyone and they won’t bother us, how hard can it be?”
“More experienced crews than ours have entered this port and barely made it out again.”
“You sound as if you speak from personal knowledge, perhaps there is more to you than a brown robe?”

The snort of a laugh escapes, “even monks were young once and not always monks. No, I have never visited the Isle of Traitors but I know members of my Order who have been here. We will find very few friends here.”

No more words were spoken, the monk and Kate just quietly watch the darkening night.

Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on May 20, 2008, 09:12:41 PM
Jack walked the quarterdeck, unable to sleep.  Partly because of La Ville du Traitre, and partly because of, well... Honour.  He fetched the rum bottle from the binnacle and took a long tug, then went to the rail and watched the shimmering lights of the island as he worked out in his mind how he would deal with Ahmet the Turk.

His concentration was broken by what sounded like multiple cannon reports from far overhead.  The strangest falling star he'd ever seen cut across the night sky, drawing a long trail of luminous green mist behind it.  It was followed by another, and yet another.  They seemed to follow an almost intelligent trajectory towards the most densely populated region of the Spanish Main.  He watched with curiosity as the trio of objects trekked silently through the heavens toward the southern horizon when, without warning, a crewman who also witnessed the spectacle cried out with all his might, "Uuuuuuullaaaaaahh!"

"Singhal!" yelled Jack, clearly startled by the man's wailing.  "What the hell are you squalling about?!"

"The green falling stars, Captain!" the Indian man explained.  "I have heard about them before, when I was in Jamaica!  Very bad omen.  Very wicked spirits that come down from the skies!"

"So, you what?  Decide to chat them up as they pop in for tea and biscuits?!"

"I was making the call I was told they use to talk to each other, in hopes they would think us kin and pass us by!"

"Well, knock it off!" Jack ordered.  "First a blue box that's there one moment and gone the next, now monsters from the sky.  Indeed.  A ridiculous story that wouldn't sell a penny dreadful," he muttered as he returned his attention to the flickering lights of the island.  "We've monsters enough of our own to worry with."
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Martin Montgomery on May 21, 2008, 04:29:24 AM
In his galley berth, sleeping only in his breeches  unable to drift off for more than a few fitfull minutes at a time,Martin swung his legs out of his oversized hammock and bent to put on his boots. Oddly enough the action made him think of his petite blonde Captain,not with the thoughts that entered most men's heads when they first met the winsome Wench,but with thoughts of how he could protect her from herself! "How can I go ashore on an island that was meant to be a prison but is now  populated by vile cutthroats, thieves, evildoers and Pirates! How can I find and purchase provisions for the "Lobo",keep from having them stolen or destroyed before they reach the ship,stay away from dangerous situations, keep my head attached to my neck and my soul inside my body and keep WW from bringing the entire island down around their ears!!  He spoke in a low voice to the ship's cat,Lil Puddin' as it crossed the floor to his feet,a delighted "Mmmmrowwww!" escaped his lips at the sight of the rotund cook,who had replaced the nasty,one legged man who had banished poor Puddin' from the galley and his sight! Puddin' tried to help the cook's mood,by rubbing itself ruffly on Martin's booted feet. Reaching down and stroking the silky coated animal Martin came to a decision. "The "Lobo" and the needs of her crew must come first! I must get the best possible deal on the massive amount of supplies needed and get them safely back to the ship,I can't be in two places at once and WW is a grown woman. Ask your Master "He snorted,and began to run his massive hand from the happy feline's head to it's tail. "Our little Captain Bright can cut a man worse with her tongue than she can with her sword! Captain Wolfe will have to assign one of  the others to be her guardian." The cat stretched it's body and began to purr loudly,voicing it's pleasure under the large man's ministrations. "But for now,all I can do is be ready for first light and the shore party! Standing and slipping his shirt over his head and setting his ever present beret atop the shaggy head ,Martin began to ready his kit. "I may not be a pirate,or been born to the seas but I have been a merchant for many years and I firmly believe that No One on this forsaken island can best me while I have my wits about me!" The words made him feel better but somehow he felt that the statement was mere bravado  knowing that he would have to be at his best,for the good of the Ship and her crew, he prayed that he was up to the task at hand!!   
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: lilaney on May 21, 2008, 12:35:18 PM
"That's you done, Elinor. I cannot see where my help in the healing will do much more good. It's all up to you now."
Lil gently patted Elinor's good shoulder and smiled a hopefull smile.
Elinor concentrated and flexed her hand, slowly and with determination.
"See? Just keep that up and it will all work out right."
Her high spirits seem to be catching with Elinor, who smiled a tenative smile as she walked
back out of the surgery, still slowly flexing her hand open and close, open and close.
"Here's hoping you get it all back, sister of the water. That is a hard blow for anyone to take."
Lil whispered to her dissapearing shape.
Her mind wandered as she dithered in the surgery. She was not tired, nor hungry anymore.
She was excited, yet terrified of the land beyond their bow. She knew of that place.
She was sworn to never set foot on it.
'I wonder if an apoligy will work? Or, am I doomed?' she thought while swiping a cloth haphazardly along the countertop.
"You know, you could simply stay on board."
Gander. Always him.
"Do you ever introduce yourself? Or, will you forever wish to startle me into attacking you?"
Drake smiled a caustic smile.
"You couldn't harm me, even if you wanted too, so give up the threats. They are empty. Much, like our surgery. Thank God."
"OUR surgery?" Lil put the cloth down.
He nodded and a bit of sad humor played across his eyes.
"Aye, our, you proved yourself these past days. I am not an unfeeling man. I will share space with you for the art of healing. As long as you don't touch anything, or move it out of place."
Lil watched his face. There was something there, but, he wasn't saying it.
"And?" she encouraged.
Dr. Gander gave a confused smile.
"And what?"
"You tell me."
His poker face remained intact. Lil wasn't fooled. Before she let her temper go, she walked out.
"When you are ready to really have a conversation. Find me. Until then, good night."
Her words were called over her shoulder, she was to the ladder leading up, when one of the Lobo's sailor's stopped her.
"He be wantin' a word with ye."
Lil was puzzled, "Well, that narrowed it down. Which, 'he'?"
The sailor smiled a toothless grin.
"Them's the one that be called BlackJack."
Lil blinked.
"Tell him, I will see him in the morning. He needs his rest."
The sailor made a grab for her elbow and was on the deck in one swift movement.
"Nay, he be wantin' to see ye now missy."
Lil stood up and allowed the sailor to scramble to his feet. She smiled at him.
"next time, speak first, then grab. Better chance for you to keep your head for further use."
The Sailor smiled like a lunatic and wandered off.
'Wander what he wants?' Lil thought and walked in the opposit direction of the berthing.
'he can wait until morning. Must not be all that important, if he didn't come for me himself.'
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on May 21, 2008, 07:28:26 PM
“Thank ye, Mate.” Blackjack grinned, tossing the toothless scallywag a doubloon from Sparrow’s rapidly dwindling supply. “Should have played that last night in The Dead Man’s Tavern a little closer to the vest.” He thought to himself. “Not that it will matter once I have my sea chest back.”

“At th’ lease she knows I be want’n a parlay with her.” He said aloud.

“So what be so important ye be needin’ at see that Hellcat? If’s ye don’ mind me askin’.” The Lobo crewman asked.

Robert’s head threw itself backward with the force of his laughter. “Need ye ask, Man?!!” He asked in feigned disbelief. “Surely ye haven’t been at sea so long as ta not notice the lass be cute as a button!”

“And as dangerous as a coral snake! Ye be a man what tempts fate, Matey. Mark me well.” The grizzled salt replied, remembering the ease he had found himself on his backside. “But, aye. I sees yer point.”

After the pirate left Blackjack opened his sea bag and dumped the contents onto his cot. Quickly he searched the lining until he found the hidden pocket and retrieved the gift he needed for his first choice to help him. If not he still had others to make the attempt with, and the crew of the Knight Hammer would be a little better armed for a trip onto that hell hole.

Time to put the old skills to the test again. Although his wound had settled into an annoying headache now, he decided he was fit enough to make this little run without artificial aid. He made his way to his door and presses his ear to it. Then bending down he carefully felt the boards of the floor, searching for any tale tail vibration.

Satisfied the small hallway was as empty as it could be near the door, Jack cracked the door enough to see out. Slipping into the hallway he shut the door behind him , them laid a hair across the latch.

Lil walked to the bow of the anchored pirate ship and stared out at the island. The lights of the pirate’s den known as La Ville du Traitre gave a peaceful illusion when compared to the faint sounds that wafted across the sea. Shouts, cursing, and from time to time the occasional scream and pistol shot.

Unbidden thoughts of Tortuga came back to her. She had heard more than enough truth about that place to have sworn never to set foot there. Even as another part of her thrilled to the challenge of testing herself against the worse humanity had to offer. Some so vile that they dared not set foot off the island again.

“Not the best port to make repairs in is it, M’Lady?” the familiar voice came from low behind her.

“Between you and Gander, Roberts. I’m wondering which one of you is going to get pinned to a wall, or mast first!” She replied coolly.

“Sorry, Luv, but if I can pull this off without being seen, then so much the better.” Blackjack smiled sitting in front of a few kegs and tarp near the forward mast. Effectively hidden from the angle of the watch’s view.

“Pull what off, Jack?” Lil turned around, but kept her eyes trained on the watch, and Blackjack in her peripheral vision. Roberts grinned, the lass knew her stuff, he hoped she would agree.

“I’m afraid I am in need of a helping hand, Lil.” He spoke matter of factly. “From someone I can trust.”

Lil grinned inwardly. The newest member of the Knight Hammer’s crew had put his full trust in his crewmates. “And just what do you have in mind, Blackjack?”

“I need to gather some supplies that I’d rather the good doctor not quite know about, and I need someone to slip off with me to visit a old salt that may have a key to trapping Cade Jennings.” Roberts explained in the same tone. “I’ve brought you a present that will make it much safer for us as well.”

With the toe of his boot Blackjack nudged the small parcel to Lil’s feet. Lil pulled a dagger and ‘accidentally’ dropped it. Kneeling down she retrieved both from the deck. Turning back to the island she opened the brown wrapper to find a matching set of ringed bracers.

“What’s this?” She asked curious.

“Look inside them, Luv.” Jack answered from behind.

Lil opened the bracers, and her eyes grew wide. The moonlight glinted from six bits of metal secretly sheathed inside the bracers, three in each. She delicately drew one out to find a small throwing dagger made entirely of metal. Perfectly balanced and razor sharp with needle points. The craftsman ship was exquisite. She whistled lowly and replaced the deadly projectile.

“Nice, but what good are they strapped against your arm out of reach? Lil asked.

“Push upward on the center ring on the outside edge, Luv.” She heard Blackjack chuckle.

To her surprise the ring moved and the handles of the daggers now projected from the tops of the bracers. “Odds are none will ever suspect you have those six daggers with you, Lil.” Blackjack spoke seriously. “You now have a secret reserve of six daggers that none know about, so none can take from you.”

“And if I refuse to set foot on that accursed island?” Lil smiled with her back to Roberts as she strapped on her new bracers.

“The daggers are yours, regardless, Luv.” Roberts smiled. “A thank you for attempting to pin Dagget to the deck.”

“I would have had him, too, if the Pride hadn’t fired at the same moment!” Lil scowled.

“Of that I have no doubt, M’Lady.” She heard Jack say sincerely.

“All right, Blackjack. We have an accord.”

“Agreed, Lass.” Roberts replied. “Once we are ashore, make an excuse to go to the herbalist, and ask me along. Once we have what we need there, we’ll go see Old Pew, and I’ll explain the rest then.”

“One more thing, Blackj…” Lil’s words trailed off as she turned around to find the spot Blackjack had been sitting in vacant and the man no where to be seen. “Damn,” she whispered to herself, “and I thought Duckie was sneaky!”
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Martin Montgomery on May 29, 2008, 05:07:20 AM
"You are far to young to be talking to yourself young lady!" The long shadow cast by the mainmast released the ship's cook who,for such a large man,moved rather stealthily Lil admitted to herself. "Martin!" She hissed even as she spun and brought her dagger up to his throat! "The next man that feels he can sneak up on me shall pay a steep price!!" "Little One,I meant you no harm!" The look on his face was outwardly calm but his expressive eyes showed the pain of betrayal and the woman felt a deep pang of regret as she quickly reversed the blades direction and sheathed it without looking. "My apologies Martin!" She stepped forward and hugged the rotund man's expansive waist,feeling his arms encircle her for a second then release as she stepped away.Motioning towards the nearby island with an offhand wave she stated "I guess that this mess has gotten to me." Looking at the island himself, Martin plainly heard several small caliber shots drift across the open water,then a deeper roar that he associated with a swivel gun which was followed by an eerie silence broken only by the waves gently slapping the "Lobo's" hull. Lilaney's breathing seemed loud and he realized that he had held his own breath,straining to hear something else from " La Ville du Traitre",something that didn't evoke a feeling of dread. He turned back to her as she laid a gentle hand on his arm "Martin, I need you to help me do a few errends when we go ashore tomorrow." She knew that Blackjack Roberts had trust issues,but Lil thought that the kind hearted cook was as trustworthy as any aboard the "Lobo" except for Brother Timothy. "Anything that I can do,Little One!" The big man said immediately "You have but to ask." With a wide smile he said "Though,it may be easier over a cup of hot chocolate!"  Lil grinned and added "And some of those brownies that I smelled you baking this afternoon?" With a conspiracle look the two friends went below to the galley,to talk and await the morning.       
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Hibernian on May 29, 2008, 09:53:00 PM
The quiet night echoed with the sound of the ship’s bell. Two chimes followed after a short pause by a third. The morning brought activity to the Lobo’s deck as the new watch moved topside. Their eyes still half closed with sleep or hangover the crew shuffled about the ship performing their duties without thought or comment. Even the sight of Brother Timothy and Kate sitting together on deck, in the dark, apparently all night, drew little in the way of comments.

It had been a good night with a slight breeze keeping the main deck cool with a slight hardly noticeable rocking of the ship from the waves and currents. Last night’s view of the cities nightlife was now replace with the rays of the rising sun bracketing the port city. Kate stretch out her arms, stifling a large yawn “I wish our entry into port could be as quiet as last night, but I imagine that’s just wishful thinking on my part.”

“If wishes were horses beggars would be riders Kate. I’m afraid that you are correct. Any ship coming into a port such as this is always a noticeable affair. The mere fact that our dear beloved Captain Wench is involved, heck just her being on board the Lobo changes those wishes into sure thing.”

“I’m not sure how or when, but I suspect we will make a grand entrance, probably when we least expect it. Ah, speaking of grand entrances the sun has arrived.” Kate leaned back against the mast resting her eyes for just a bit more, Brother Timothy on the other hand stood and went to the rail for a better view as the rays of the rising sun illuminated the port.

Suddenly, a sharp piercing beam of light blinded Brother Timothy, his arm raised above to shield his eyes, he took a good look about. “Kate, do you see the light?”
“Sorry, Brother, while I respect you and all I’m not really ready to join up yet.”

“No Kate, not the light as in a vision but the beam of light reflecting from the port.”
“Can you tell what it’s hitting, where its coming from?” Kate joined the monk at the railing looking toward the isle and trying to pin point what was reflecting the sun toward the ship.

“It appears to be, amazing enough, a church steeple.”
“A church in a pirate haven?”

“Keep in mind that this was originally a outpost of his most Catholic majesty the King of France, so a church would not be unusual. In fact, I seem to recall a story of a parish right here though I have to admit I thought It would be long gone by now.”
“What kind of story, anything of interest or profit to us?”
“I suspect anything of profit has long since disappeared into the midst of the current populace, but I do remember the name of the parish was a bit of a joke.”

“How does a church make a joke on a prison island?”
“Well, I remember the patron saint for the parish was St. Dimas.”
“Brother, keep in mind many of us normal people, who did not benefit from a Latin education, how about saying that again in the vernacular.”

“Oh yes, while most people know of St Dimas, very few actually know that they know him."
"Brother your slipping out there again, focus."

"What better irony than to name the church on a prison island after one of the thieves from Calvary. You see St. Dimas was the good thief, so to speak, who was crucified with the Christ.”
“This is your church’s attempt at humor, what I said earlier about not joining up is doubled.”

“Remember Kate, to err is human and forgive divine. But the fact that this church might still be standing is incredible. I really have to see it and see what left. Perhaps my Order could start a mission here. Kate once we dock do you feel like a walk, go see the joke up close and personal?”

“Oh Brother…”
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on May 31, 2008, 01:08:50 AM
Oh, god, why did I let you in? We shouldn't be doing this, Jack,” Honour said breathlessly.

“Of course we should,” he said, and kissed her once again. “I'm a captain, you're a captain, and we're still married...”

She kissed his neck in a way that had never failed to make his blood burn, her jasmine perfume intoxicating him nearly as much as her touch.  “Don't spoil it, she whispered. They kissed again with a smouldering sensuality that verged upon bursting into flame. Their hands played over each other's bodies as the former lovers reacquainted themselves, every taste, scent, and sensation driving their pent up desire for one another ever higher. He loosened her chemise and slowly drew it down over her creamy shoulders, their eyes locked and ablaze.


“What was that?” Honour asked.

“My heart,” Jack answered, and hungrily kissed her waiting lips again. All thoughts of the strange noise faded from her consciousness as she was swept away by his embrace.


The sound was even louder this time. “I think your heart just ran into the hull,” she said.

“I've said before how you effect me like no other woman, my love.” He drew her close once again...


“Shhhh,” Jack said as he gently placed a finger across Honour's lips. "Josiah will take care of it, whatever it is."  She smiled temptingly at him, and he moved his finger away to kiss her.

“I know what it is,” she said playfully as she pressed her body seductively against his.  His heart raced at the warmth of her breath against his chest.

“Tell me later,” purred Jack.

“The pilot be here t' guide us in t' that stinkin' hell hole of a harbour, Jack! Wake up!” said Honour, but the voice belonged to Briggs.

Jack cried out and sat bolt upright with a look of horror on his face. He looked around frantically and discovered that it was morning, and he'd fallen asleep on deck. “Master Briggs!” he snapped. “What have I told you about sneaking up on me when I'm sleeping?!”

“Well, I hated t' bother ye whilst you were smilin' and mutterin' to yerself, but th' pilot's boat is along side. What were ye dreamin' about, anyways?” asked Briggs.

“Erm... puppies.”

“Must've been some really special puppies.”

“You have no idea.”

“Shall we go an' welcome the pilot aboard, then?” Briggs asked.

“I'd really rather not stand at the moment, if you don't mind.  Bring him aboard and I'll see him here,” said Jack.

The quartermaster shrugged. “Aye, all right, then.  I'll have him here shortly.”

“Take your time! No rush, none at all. Has anyone seen my pipe?”

Briggs walked down the steps to the main deck, shaking his head.  “Puppies, me Aunt Fannie's arse!  This be that Obeah woman's doin', I'd wager anythin' on it,” he groused.  “Those two keep dancin' round one another like moths round a candle.  No sooner do they get burned, they're havin' another go.”  He reached the deck as the rope ladder was being lowered over the side.  “Lively lads!  Have the man aboard.  We don't want to stay on this accursed spit o' land a day longer than we have to.”

The pilot struggled his way up the side of the ship.  He was a squat, red-headed man, built more like a tree stump than a anything else.  His scraggly beard did little to hide the numerous scars on his face, ringing an enormous jaw that jutted out to give him the appearance of a buldog.

“Welcome aboard El Lobo, mister?” Briggs entreated.

“Whiskey!” the man said abruptly.

“Mr. Whiskey?  There's a right odd name...”

“Nay, ye daft beggar!  Toss yer formalities and gimme a drink!  Otherwise we ain't getting' near that god forsaken maze,” the pilot demanded.

“Aye, ye'll be getting' yer drink soon enough, but I'll be havin' a name before I take ye to the captain to discuss payement.”

The little man squared his shoulders and looked Briggs squarely in the eye.  “Name's Kreatcher!  The best pilot in all these waters for the money.”

“Kreatcher, is it?  And they say there's no irony left in the world.  So, Mister Kreatcher, just how long have ye been the best?” asked Briggs.

“Two days.  No, three.  Tragic accident led to me current status, sorry t' say,” said the toadstool of a man.  “A tender carryin' our 7 best pilots was taken in a storm.  Sad.  But I don't mind getting' t' raise me price, there's a bit o' truth!”

“Our lucky day,” Briggs said sarcastically.  “Cap'n's this way.”

“Oi!  Were be my whiskey?”

“You'll get it once ye talk with Cap'n Wolfe, not before.”

Kreatcher stopped cold.  “Not Jack Wolfe, is it?”

“Aye, he be owner and master.  Why?”

“That means good whiskey,” the pilot said greedily.  “But I'll be asking payment up front!”

The two men reached the quarterdeck to find Jack gazing wistfully into the distance, the smoke from his pipe carrying the scent of tobacco, chocolate, congac, and cherries wafting through the air in wispy tendrils.  As they approached, they could hear him softly singing.

O bide, lady, bide.
Your lust for me, don't hide.
This tarry lad will be your love,
So lay aside your pride.

Briggs cleared his throat loudly, jarring Jack from his reverie.  "Cap'n Wolfe!  This here's the harbour pilot, Mister Kreatcher."  The odd little man shambled forward with an almost defiant air.  Jack started to extend his hand in welcome, then reconsidered.

"Quite the eponymous name, sir," said Jack.

"Heard that said a time or two before, but I don't know a thing 'bout horses.  Don't know where they get th' idea," Kreatcher complained.  "Now, where's me whiskey?  And me money, Cap'n Wolfe.  I've heard a thing 'r two about ye, I have."

"Not surprising you'd have friends in low places.  Master Briggs, see to it he's accommodated.  The sooner we're quit of this place, the better.  The helm is yours, Mister Kreatcher.  Mind what's left of the paint job."

The trollish little man received his money and drink, and an hour later El Lobo del Mar was moving on a drunken serpentine course through the hazards of La Ville du Traitre's wreck strewn harbour.  Jack kept an eye on how his ship was being handled, but his mind was awash in worry.  There was so little he knew about Honour's crew.  He silently cursed the circumstances that had delivered them to this awful place.  Would they be all right?  Could he keep them all safe?  And would he lose Honour for good this time if he couldn't?
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Martin Montgomery on June 02, 2008, 01:01:17 PM
Lilaney and Martin had each finished two cups of his good chocolate,that which he had reserved for WW's cultured tastes,and half a pan of soft,moist brownies when the call went up from the deck "Pilot tender coming alongside!" They had just began to talk about the manner of the errends she would need him to accomplish while they were on "La Ville du Traitre" when the loud Thump-Thump of the harbor pilots boat sounded several times running down the "Lobo's wooden sides. "Methinks that this man went to the same school of "boat driving" as our lovely blonde Captain!" Martin said to Lil as she scampered out of the galley towards the berth that she and Elinor shared. "It would seem so!" She called back over her shoulder "But at least she PASSED!" A final rasping scrape alongside and the cook heard the deckhands call greetings to the crew of the tender. I guess that it would be best to keep our "Hosts" happy." He thought as he picked up the tray holding a coffee pot and several cups,then shook his head and added two bottles of good Irish whiskey from one of "Lucky's" stashes he had found when scrubbing out the galley. "This should help lubricate the gears a bit this morning!" He headed up to the main deck looking for Captain Wolfe or Briggs and was slammed into by a short foul looking little fellow who had been scuttling along as if the Lobo were under way in rough seas instead of lying safe, gently anchored on the lee of an island. Holding the tray high the rotund cook had been caught in his midriff by the strangers protruding jawline that appeared to have suffered as many bumps and scrapes as the small forlorn gig made fast to the Lobo's side. "Make way! You overgrown son of a.." The squat man backed up three steps and stopped when he came up against Mr Briggs. Closing one bloodshot eye and squinting up at Martin,who was still trying to catch his breath,he murmured to Briggs over his shoulder "Is that a man or have you taken to shippin' out with shaved gorillas?"  Briggs stiffled a laugh and said "Mister Kreatcher,may I present to you our cook,Mr Montgome......" Kreatcher spotted the two bottles on Martin's tray and interupted Briggs "Ahhhhh! My Whiskey!!" Taking a bottle from the tray he tore out the cork with his teeth,spit it over the side and took a very,very long pull. "Ahhhh! Good stuff!" He said when he came up for air. "Now,where's Jack Wolfe?! I want to be paid and ashore before the Traitor's Rest fills up!!" As he said this he quickly took the second bottle from the tray and secreted it in an inner pocket of his worn coat. Martin followed the two men to where Captain Wolfe waited and served him and Briggs coffee,then took a position behind the pilot and to his left because the wind was blowing his unwashed stench to the right.
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 02, 2008, 08:41:04 PM
The dawn of a new day shone through the porthole right onto Wench's face. She opened one eye and groaned, then put the pillow over her head.
'No, no, no, no, no....too early...too early....'
She heard the lock rattle and then Jack's voice yell, "We're porting! Don't make me get the boarding pike again!"
'Get stuffed,' she groaned.
She rolled over and landed on the floor.
'Damn! It's not a double!'
Wench stood up and rubbed her bum. 'Next time I make sure I get a spot on the HMS Sheraton.'
She took her time getting dressed. She slipped a white gauzy shirt over her head and tried to get her breeches up. She couldn't get them over her hips. She laid on the bed and tried to thrust herself into them. Then she took a dagger and tried to pry them a bit looser.
She stood up with the pants around her hips. Briggs should have some implements...
But the momentum of her forward motion was more than what her legs could keep up with and she did a face plant on the side of the bed.
"AAAAHH!!!" She gingerly used the coverlet to hoist herself upright.
Bunny-hopping, she made it over to the chest and opened the lid.

'This will work!' She took out a belaying pin and threaded it through the top buttonhole and then took a grappling hook and hooked it over the doorknob and threaded a line through the pin and then inched backwards...slowly...slowly...until the waistband stretched out and snapped. She fell back again on her arse.
'Martin and his damn brownies! I'd better see some action soon or I'll be getting captain's quarters for my arse!'

Reaching under the bed for her boots, her hand came onto something smooth and elongated.
She pulled it out.
A freshly emptied bottle of Madeira wine.
She sat there with a confused look on her face and turned it upside down. A few drops fell onto her hand and she licked it off.
She looked at the locked door and then to the bottle of wine.
'No...he isn't....couldn't was all a dream....wasn't it? I mean, incubus were just a thing to scare us with at the Order of St Brigid...I mean..well, Gwydion was a rumoured shape-shifter even though I never saw it..but Jack?....JACK?? Sure, he's always bragging about better parties but....'
She threw herself backwards on the bed and wailed at the ceiling, 'I'd better not be carrying the spawn of the devil!..I mean, there was that woman Rosemary and everyone said her child, impossible! Briggs left it behind. He's always raiding the stores...'
She pushed it from her mind and thought, 'I'll deal with it later...'

Wench scabbarded her sword and went to the top deck. Jack was standing at the rail so  she made a quick detour to the other side. All of a sudden, a chill washed over her from the start of her neck and spread down to her feet. There was only one reason she ever felt that. The last time was in Dead Man's Tavern.
And he was there.
Her mentor.

She couldn't tear her eyes away from the island. It was as if something were drawing her in. A connection that she couldn't explain but sure understood.
Gwydion who taught her everything, in all things. The ways of the Druids and the ways of life and the start of the ways of love.
She whispered, 'No. NO! He can't be there. He can't...'

She folded her arms and leaned against the rail, her breath coming in gasps. Maybe it's the breeches...yes, that has to be it! Too tight...but then why is it affecting my breathing? That should be a circulation  thing...

The last time she saw Gwydion....was it really only a few months ago? He forced her to draw on her strengths and what he had imparted to her to heal his crippled leg that Amber had torn up. And his last words were 'this isn't over, I'll be back...'
Was it the book he was upset about? Or was it compounded by the fact that his star protégé slipped through his grasp?

Wench's eyes were riveted to the island as they were coming closer to it. Her training to listen to her inner sense and block out all other thoughts were kicking in. And all of it spelled 'disaster'. 
He can't be there...he just can't. The nearer they got to the port, the more drawn she was to it. Like a magnet to iron. Like a compass that pointed north...
Gwydion filled her thoughts. And that was his special gift.
A horrific thought came over her.
If Gwydion could change shapes, why could he not shape himself into Jack? That would explain the locked door and the intense lovemaking....

A hand on her back...
Captain Jack Wolfe stood there with a look she had seen a dozen times--at least--before.
She stood there with her hands on her hips. "What are you trying to do, give me a heart attack?"
He laughed and stepped closer to her. "No, my dear. It is just I feel compelled to do this..."
He reached towards her hip and she jumped backwards.
"What IS giving you a case of the heebie jeebies? We aren't anywhere near Bonita or Castara Bay. I just wanted to point out something..."
He reached into her scabbard and took out her sword. "How many times do I have to tell you that a rapier is NOT good for close combat? It makes you look--"
"What? Fat? Are you trying to say I look FAT? I told you I don't know how many times that the rapier draws the eye to a diagonal line and it is very slimming. So don't tell ME what looks good and what doesn't!"
Jack held up his hand and said, "What I was TRYING to say, Captain Bright-Wolfe--or is it Wolfe-Bright, I forget--is that it makes you look a bit incompetent and..."
"Incompetent? Am I still standing? Am I still alive? Did I not run Daemon Vardus through? Did I not kill that English soldier?---by mistake I might add--and did I not...."
"Yeah, yeah, you're a regular killing machine whether it be men or trees."
She took the sword back from Jack and scabbard it.
"What do you want, Jack?" She asked crossly.
"I want to thank you for last night."
"The delightful company of you and your crew. That is quite an eclectic assortment you have there, Honour."

She took a deep breath and then grabbed him by the lapels of his frock coat. Jack leaned in and closed his eyes when all of a sudden, Wench took his hat off and ran her fingers through his hair. She slammed the hat back on his head.
"What the hell was THAT for?"
"Your hat was on crooked."

She looked over at La Ville du Traitre and said to herself, 'If Jack has horns, he certainly keeps them well hidden....'

Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on June 02, 2008, 09:33:30 PM
Blackjack finished secreting the last of his ‘surprises’ and placed his caviler’s hat over the spare black silk headscarf. He had removed the bandage that covered Lil’s stitches, it wouldn’t do for any on that forsaken hole to realize he had been injured. On La Ville du Traitre that was tantamount to blood in the water with sharks. Particularly if any of his old acquaintances should meet up with him. More than a few carried a grudge from the last visit, he was certain, at least the ones he had allowed to live.

He sighed heavily at the memories. This damnedable isle had caused him to commit atrocities that still caused his stomach to turn. He could be fairly sure he may have to repeat some of those acts and hoped for Lil’s sake he was wrong. At least this time he was far better equipped to deal with any misfortunes than he had been the last time. He thought about using the Lotus again, and instantly dropped the idea. He couldn’t afford to be incapacitated if forced to push himself too hard.

“Damn!” He cursed aloud. “I had hoped never to set foot there again.”

“So you have been to La Ville du Traitre before, then.” Drake’s voice came from behind him and Jack cursed himself for a fool. He had gotten so lost in his thoughts he had not heard the doctor enter the empty cabin.

Blackjack turned slowly to face the man. Wondering just how far he should push his luck. The scribe was easy, no one had even mentioned his disappearance. Roberts guessed the same could not be said for the ship’s doctor. “Aye, Sawbones. That I have. Near four years ago if memory serves, and never was I so glad to leave a port in me life.”

“How long?” Duckie asked, only to be met with stony silence. “Why don’t you trust me, Jack? I’m not the enemy.”

Blackjack stiffened and for a moment Drake saw near murderous rage fill those turquoise eyes. “I’ve heard those words before, Gander.” He hissed between near clenched teeth. “They were a lie to drop my guard then and I’ve little reason to believe them true now. I’ll not be making the same mistake twice in one lifetime.”

Duckie stared into Roberts eyes for a moment, then let his gaze fall. “Mores the pity then, Jack, because this time they are true.” He had been right Blackjack had been betrayed and from the depth of the emotion he had just witnessed by someone close to him.

“No matter, then. I’ll let the matter drop for now and keep the knowledge to myself.” The Lobo’s surgeon sighed, a little disappointed. He had caught glimpses of the man Blackjack kept buried inside himself and rather liked what he saw. “The pilot is aboard and we’ll be making port soon. I’ll leave you to ready yourself for shore.”

Roberts watched the doctor close the door behind himself, his eyes boring a hole in the man’s back. How could he ever explain the pain he felt, especially when the last time he had heard those exact words they came from a man he had trusted with his life. His own second cousin, Malcolm Dagget.

Jack had been preparing to leave England. The first of the wanted notices had been posted and the reward for his capture of one thousand gold crowns could be more than enough to have him at the gallows. That had been something he could not permit, not until he had his chance to kill Sir Terrance Blackwood. Since he had buried Jenny there was little reason to stay in the cottage anyway. The urgent knock at the door brought him up short and he pulled his flintlock before he answered.

“Malcolm??” He grinned at the sight of his cousin, remembering the games they had played with Cade when they were just lads. “Come in, Man! You’ve no idea how glad I am to see you!”

“Jack.” Malcolm smiled and hugged his cousin. “I’ve heard you’ve gotten yourself into a spot of trouble for sure this time.”

“To say the least, and with your employer no less.” Jack frowned. “Until I can prove my innocence, I’m afraid I’ll have to leave England behind.” it was then his words struck him. Blackjack had been so happy to see a potential ally he had forgotten who Malcolm served, and he went white with the thought.

Malcolm smiled warmly, noting the change in Jack’s demeanor. “Have no fear from me, Jack. After all we’re family and I’m not about to turn my own cousin over to the redcoats. Where were you planning on going?”

Roberts stared at Malcolm, his hand twitching on the butt of his pistol. “Why would you be concerned with that?” He asked suspiciously.

“Why don’t you trust me, Jack? I’m not the enemy.” Malcolm looked hurt. “I’m your cousin, Man!”

Blackjack had relaxed, and shoved the weapon into his belt. “I’m sorry, Malcolm. This business with Lord Blackwood has me more than a bit jumpy. Of course I know you wouldn’t cause me harm.” He sighed. “I thought about going to the colonies. Perhaps to New Orleans.”

Malcolm picked up the bag Jack had been packing. “Well then, I’d say it be high time we got you to the dock then, Cousin.” He grinned. “The sooner your out of Lord Blackwood’s reach, the better.”

No sooner had they walked out the door when no less than six footmen came from the corners of Jack’s cottage. He whirled around with accusation in his eyes only to see Malcolm’s gloved fist land between his eyes, stunning him. He hit the ground, desperately shaking his head in a vain attempt to clear it faster.

Malcolm stood over him, framed in the rifle barrels that all pointed into his face. “How dare you, Jack Roberts?!” Dagget shouted. “I thought I knew you! To cuckold a good man, and take his wife??!! Then murder her in a fit of jealousy??!! Your no cousin of mine, and I’ll be happy to personally escort you to the gallows.”

Blackjack walked to the door. He had been lucky enough to escape before they had made it to London. Stopping only long enough to take the gold he had hidden at his cottage and burn it to the ground. His world had turned completely upside down. His own blood had tried to have him killed. Had refused to even consider his word above his master’s. He had learned well though and it was not a lesson he would soon forget.

Regardless of what his motives were, the doctor was still in service to Mad Jack. Just as Malcolm was in service to Terrance Blackwood. “No thanks, Mate” He thought. “I’ll keep my caution where you are concerned. I know who my shipmates are and I’ll keep my trust in them.”

He walked into the tight hall openly for the second time since being shot. Instantly the “devil may care” grin he had used since becoming a pirate leapt to his face. As he sauntered off to find Lil before going ashore he began whistling a sea chantey.
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on June 03, 2008, 04:56:49 PM
Elinor felt warmth upon her face as she slowly awoke to the loud bangs of the pilot's boat coming towards the El Lobo. Her hand feebly clutched the quill she'd be attempting to write with the night before, the paper on her lap stained slightly with ink that bore no resemblance to readable letters. She was making strides, she realized, with a smile. Soon her fingers would be deft at writing again, and her position on the crew of the Knight Hammer could commence once more. "And all without that wretched Julian," she murmured under her breath, finishing the statement with a yawn. The mention of her fellow scribe's name gave her pause. She hadn't seen him recently. I wonder, she thought...

Just then, Lil came bounding into the berth. "Putting your fingers to the test, I see," she commented. Elinor nodded sleepily, lifting her arms high in a stretch. Glancing down at her parchment, once again spying the disorderly splotches. She blushed. "It's not as it looks," she replied, embarrassed. "I fell asleep."
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on June 04, 2008, 09:12:18 AM
The battered vessel drew close to its slip, where men stood ready with mooring lines and long gaffs to receive her.  Despite Kreatcher's drunken braggadocio, he'd proven to be a competent pilot after all.  Crewmen scurried about, working the lines and preparing the ship to nestle into her temporary home.  Amid the bustle, Honour remained at the gunwale, her brow furrowed in worry. Her eyes scanned the docks, hoping against hope she was wrong about Gwydion's presence.  She tried to focus her will as he'd taught her to shield herself from his far-reaching gaze.  Had he really reached out to her in the night,or was something else at play?  Had Bonita taught Jack some dark art, or was it simply her desires getting the better of her?  No matter how hard she tried to ignore it, her body ached.  She knew she could have Jack with just a wink and a smile, and that made the stirrings even worse.  But she had her pride.

Honour could hear him walking the deck, shouting orders peppered with epithets as was his customary fashion.  She looked over her shoulder and saw him standing there, the wind tugging at his clothes and hair.  To her surprise he met her gaze.  There was an unexpected softness in his eyes she'd seen what felt like a lifetime ago on the sands of Castara.  An involuntary thrill ran through her, and she could feel the heat rise quickly in her cheeks as a betraying smile revealed itself.  She turned her head quickly, silently cursing herself for letting him glimpse what burned within.  But the Judas smile would not leave her lips.  She closed her eyes tightly and tried to salvage her composure.  That's when she heard the sound she wished would not come.

The sound of Jack's boots approaching.

She inhaled sharply when she felt his arm gently slip around her waist.  She hadn't allowed herself to remember how delicate his touch could be.  His closeness was at once uncomfortable and welcome.  They stood there side by side for what seemed to her the longest time, but she made no offer to move away.  Finally Jack broke the silence.  His voice was pitched soft and low, meant only for her.  It was the same voice he spoke in when they shared a marriage bed, when they'd lay in each other's arms talking and laughing for hours about everything and nothing.

"I was beginning to think you'd never favour me with that smile again.  The last time was on our honeymoon to Castara.  You know, it just struck me how much I've missed that smile.  How I've missed you."

The confession caught Honour completely off guard.  She took a few moments to gather her wits before she answered.  "That was a long time ago, Jack.  Other men have seen that smile since then."

Jack chuckled.  "I hope you're not trying to shock me, love.  I couldn't help but know.  You made certain of that."  He turned to face her.  At first she resisted looking at him, certain he was looking for an argument.  But when she finally met his eyes, the softness was still there.  If anything, he looked a little sad.  "I made a mess of things in Barbados.  I know that, and I've paid for it ever since."

By this time, Honour was completely confused.  Where was this coming from, and why now?  It had to be another one of his games, she just knew it.  "What are you after?  I won't play along," she said, not nearly as defiantly as she'd intended.

Jack smiled.  "I'm trying to apologize, you mule-headed girl!" he said with a teasing lilt.  His smile faded suddenly and he took her softly by the shoulders.  "Know this, Honour.  I will never let any harm come to you."

"What?  Quit talking in riddles!  What do you mean by-"

The side of the ship made contact with the dock, and the vessel lurched suddenly.  Honour lost her footing, and Jack grabbed her and held her close to keep her from falling to the deck.  Their faces were close enough to feel one another's breath.  They lingered for a moment...

"Ahem!"  They both looked in the direction of the couch to find Duckie, Lil, Eleanor, Kate, Martin, Briggs, and Blackjack standing there with bemused looks.  Brother Timothy was behind the group, gently swinging a bucket back and forth like an icy pendulum.

"While it would do my heart a world of good to see you two actually get back together without killing one another," proclaimed Duckie, "I'm sure we'd all appreciate it if you didn't reconsummate your marriage on the open deck?"

Honour looked aghast, and pulled away from Jack.  Jack on the other hand burst out in laughter.  "We were just chatting, Duckie.  But thanks for the concern."  He pointed at two crewmen.  "You there!  Step lively and get that gangplank in place.  With a will!"

The men worked to move the gangplank into place, and the group moved off in anticipation of going ashore.  Jack paused, then leaned close to Honour.  "What I said before the battle still goes," he whispered.  He turned on his heel and went to join the rest of the group.  Kate walked over to her stunned friend.

"That all looked pretty intense.  What on earth did he say say to you?" asked Kate.

"He apologized to me.  That bastard!"

The gangplank banged down hard against the dock, and Jack wasted no time leading the way off the ship.  He still had no idea what was bothering Honour so, but he hoped it was the same thing that was driving him to distraction.  Perhaps they could reach a mutually satisfying accord once their business on the island was over.  Right now, he had to worry about buying her life back without her finding out.

“Everybody, remember where we parked!” he instructed loudly.  “Briggs, you and Duckie keep an eye on Honour.  Let nothing happen to her while I'm gone, am I clear?"

Briggs gave his friend a puzzled look.  "Damn, Jack, you're actin' squirrelier than usual today!  Where ye be off to in such a rush?"

Jack fidgeted.  "To... see Ahmet," he muttered.

"Ahmet!?" Briggs hissed.  "Mother's love!  You  didn't."  He measured the guilty look on Jack's face, and his shoulders sagged.  "Aye, we'll keep her out of harm's way.  Ahmet's Redeemers won't get close to her if Duckie and I have anything to say about it.  Shall I tell him?"

Jack sighed.  "Hopefully you won't have to.  Last time he got angry with me over something stupid I did where Honour was concerned, it was a year before he settled down."

"Ye have to admit, last time was pretty stupid.  Almost as stupid as this."

"Thanks for the critique," grumbled Jack as he turned and headed for the heart of town.
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on June 04, 2008, 10:14:49 PM
A light knock brought Lil and Elinor’s attention to the door. “Come in.” Elinor shouted happily, her smile widening as the face of Blackjack Roberts edged it’s way around the door with a wink before he entered the room.

“Hello, Luvs.” The roguish pirate beamed as he made his way over to the two women. “Well now…look at this. I see your well on your way, Little Sister.” His pride in Elinor’s accomplishment evident. “You’ll be catching up with the logs in no time.”

Elinor hugged him tightly. “And all without that know it all Julian’s interference.”

Roberts looked idly off to the porthole at the mention of the Lobo’s scribe. Lil placed one hand on her hip. “Blackjack, you didn’t kill that pest, did you? Now that Elinor has mentioned it, no one’s seen hide nor hair of him since the first day you came to check on her.”

Elinor held her breath. She had been a ships scribe long enough to be aware of the ways of pirates, and she had seen Roberts make a very real threat to Julian’s health. While she wasn’t that fond of the man, she wasn’t certain she wanted him dead either. She smiled when she heard her new friend speak.

“Nay, lass.” Jack chuckled. “I didn’t kill him. He is safely tucked away for the moment. The blighter will be up and about after we get the supplies I need ashore. Though I dare say he’ll have drunk deep of the river Lithe.”

“What?” Lil’s brow furrowed, and Elinor giggled.

“It’s the river of forgetfulness in Hades.” Elinor explained.

Blackjack held one forefinger up to his lips and winked. “The less said aboard ship, the better, Luvs. Needless to say he’ll be fine, but no longer a threat to any of us.”

“That reminds me, Jack.” Lil grinned. “I invited Martin to go with us on our errand.” She waited to see how he would react to the news.

“Excellent, Lass!” Blackjack’s smile grew wider. “Martin would make a good choice for where we are headed. Having him along should discourage the smaller fish from making things difficult for us.”

“Is it that bad.” Lil wondered aloud.

“Aye,” Blackjack said solemnly. “Even for this accursed isle it’s a rather rough area, Lass. Nothing we shouldn’t be able to handle, but I for one will feel better with Martin’s added muscle with us.”

“Now if you’ll forgive us, Little Sister, it’s time we made our way above and onto shore.” Roberts gently kissed the back of Elinor’s fingers, then he and Lil left for the deck.

Elinor watched them go and wondered just what Blackjack had done with the Lobo’s scribe. How had he managed to keep the man safely quiet and hidden for so long? She turned back to her practice, it would certainly make for an interesting entry into the ships log once she found out.
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: lilaney on June 05, 2008, 11:35:20 AM
Elinor struggled. Her hand and mind were not quite talking right to each other.
"Now, look you."
She said sternly to her hand that clutched the quill.
"Into the ink, then out, then onto the page."
She tried, ever so slowly, watching as her hand as it made its way slowly to the inkwell, dipped in, a bit too far, back out and left ink drips across the page.
She held it poised over the page, and concentrating hard she began to scratch our her name.
She was gleeful to see letters forming on the page, she concentrated harder. Her eyes bulged in surprise at the word she wrote.
'That's not my name' she whispered. She stared strangly at her hand.
"bugger!" she shouted and pushed up, the scribe things left abandoned as she made her way topside.
'I wonder what is for breakfast' she thought as her stomach rumbled.
She made it topside just in time to her Captain throw herself onto Captain Jack.
At Dr. Gander's bellowed words, she laughed with the rest of the crew.
Martin slung an arm around her shoulders and gave her a fierce hug.
"Stay aboard lass, their is plenty to eat in the Galley."
Martin stared down into Elinor's face.
"You will all come back?"
Martin gave her a solem look, "I swear that we will all come back."
"In one piece?"
The sides of Martin's lips quirked.
"We will come back" he repeated.
"Sure, Elinor, we'll be back in one piece." Lil came over and stood next to Martin.
Her new bracers in place, and her other blades and sundries resting comfortably against her skin.
"I would hug you, dear, but, I fear I might accidentally skewer you."
Elinor gave a cautious smile.
Her other crew members bid her farewells in their own way.
Elinor watched as the crew trooped off the ship down the gangplank.
'Please come home.'
She thought inwardly.
She trusted BlackJack, but, her curiosity was coming to the top.
'Wonder where he is?'
Her mind may not be able to get her arm and hand to work, but, it communicated really well with her feet.
Soon herself was wondering all over the ship.

Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Hibernian on June 05, 2008, 08:52:39 PM
The arrival of yet another vessel flying the black flag was old news in this port. As the gangway was extended the usual collection of beggars, old salts down on their luck, cons, and carts selling at least one of everything you never needed, gathered to watch the crew of the Lobo descend. As soon as the first crewman hit the wood of the pier a chorus of cries erupted and mass confusion involved everyone.

Now don’t imagine for a moment that there are no women on this island. Of course there are women and some are more approachable than others. Yet there are no women the equal of those who came in on the Lobo. At the first sight of the black boots with the stiletto heels, every eye on the pier was focused on the same spot. Men who would sell their mothers for a tankard of rum knew, without even checking their purses, there was no hope that these women would be of the approachable type. Besides, these women had protectors with them whose mere look and size, lord the one over there was as big as a mountain, kept the average pirate far distant.

Yet even the size of Martin or a deadly look from Blackjack could not totally end the various catcalls and suggestions being heard. The interplay between the Lobo’s crew and the locals continued in fine form each giving as well as they got. The crew started to relax just a bit as matters seem well in hand.

Captain Jack looked about and thought to himself that this was good, this was normal, this just might work. Jack, Honor, Lil, Martin and Blackjack were on the pier waiting as the rest descended from the ship.

Just as quickly as a press gang’s belaying pin will drop a drunken sailor in Portsmouth the noise on the dock ceased. Jack’s hand dropped to his pistol but he kept it in his belt as he looked about. What had happened, what had changed, he slowly spun in a circle trying to see everything. Everyone was here, nothing had changed, and as he looked to the head of the gangway he saw Brother Timothy.

“Oh my, now this could be interesting.”
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on June 05, 2008, 09:28:26 PM
Having no idea where to locate him, nor whether she wanted to locate him, Elinor wandered aimlessly, her mind buzzing with thoughts. Concern for her crewmates that had just left the ship mixed with curiosity and a bundle of other feelings she couldn't identify associated with Julian.

Amidst all her thoughts, she found herself stopping in front of Julian's door. She peered inside the room, wondering if he was taking a nap or lazily working on the ship's accounts. No, she thought, he likes to record the ship's logs outside on the deck...

She briefly entertained the thought of going out on the main deck and attempting to find him there, but decided in the next moment, when pride and fury rose up in her once again, not to go looking anymore. "I don't care if he's lost, trouble," Elinor declared to the silence, trying to sound more certain than she was. "He was rude, and didn't care about me, so I won't care about him!" She finished, flouncing upon a nearby chest. She sighed, and glanced at her left arm, which still wouldn't cooperate to her liking.

"Stupid man, stupid bullet, stupid stubborn boy...cause that's what he is, a boy, that's all..." she muttered, working the anger inside her to the surface. "And now I'm wasting my time looking for him, when I should be perfecting my penmanship! Stupid boy..." She glanced up once more. "Well, you can stay lost, Julian, for all I care! You are not worth my time anymore!" She yelled. But Julian was indeed nowhere to be found, and the space echoed with her exclamation.

And then, as if to answer, the chest gave a lurch right under her, sending her once more to her feet, screaming.
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on June 07, 2008, 09:57:17 PM
Blackjack stood beside Martin, shooting his most “no-nonsense” look into any direction that a catcall, or lewd suggestion would come from. Many of the old salts who knew him immediately dropped to silence at the sight of his whip hand resting idly on the handle of Old Hob. The other hooked thumb first into his wide belt just a fraction from one of his trademark French flintlocks. Luckily none of them had yet to whisper his name aloud. He prayed it would stay that way.

Suddenly all went silent, and for a moment he thought that the scum had finally gotten the message he, Lil, Captain Wolfe, and Martin were projecting. He discounted Honour only because she presented a more stylish picture than threatening. If only the fools knew how deadly she could be when she wished. From the side of his eye he caught Jack looking up at the gangplank. There was the reason for the sudden quiet, Brother Timothy had appeared and calmly made his way to the dock.

“Well, that seems to have curbed their tongues.” Lil leaned over to whisper to him.

“Aye.” Roberts whispered back. “But, love me if I knows exactly why. Even though most seadogs are a superstitious lot, the sight of one monk wouldn’t seem to be able to curb their tongues this easily.”

“Perhaps they know something we don’t.” Martin spoke lowly to his two conspirators.

“Of that I would have little doubt.” Blackjack grinned up at his friend. “This bloody isle is a veritable storehouse of secrets.”

“Look who’s talking!” Lil snorted quietly as Martin chuckled lowly. “Most of our crew know by now that you keep much close to your vest, Blackjack”

Jack reddened slightly, cocked his head to one side and raised his right eyebrow. “Who me, Luv? I be naught but a simple pirate what does his best ta live and let live. Savvy?”

Lil put one hand to her lips to hide her growing mirth at Roberts sliding so easily into his ignorant pirate role and Martin clapped him warmly on the back. “If you say so, Blackjack.” The man mountain grinned down at him good naturedly.

“My God!” Jack suddenly exclaimed. “That’s it!”

“What’s it, Jack?” Lil started for a moment, a dagger quickly in her hand to ward off any sudden danger.

Blackjack quickly lowered his voice so that only Lil, and Martin could hear him. “Look at the cross he’s wearing!” He hissed lowly, pointing with his chin to the descending monk. “It’s a dead ringer for the only bit of gold left at the church. The cross that tops the steeple. It’s the cross of St. Dimas!”
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 09, 2008, 04:48:16 PM
A steady staccato rhythm hit the deck. All eyes looked to see a pair of black leather stiletto boots walked in a measured gait down the gangplank.
The eyes of the miscreants followed their line of vision from the heels up to the shaft of the boot and continued towards the heavens.
Jack looked over and uttered an epithet. "She's wearing a skirt. Damn her."
Honour looked over at the crowd of men who were unusually quiet. 'Well, now..that is more like it,' she thought. She tapped the hilt of her rapier in a constant beat as she surveyed the great unwashed of the island. Her nose wrinkled up.
"So...this is what Hell on Earth is like."
Jack whispered, "Not exactly the best party I've been to."
She tilted her head and tossed the feathers on her hat behind. "I've a mind to do some shopping while you do..whatever it is you need to do, Captain Wolfe."
Jack nodded to Briggs who came to his side. "I won't permit it unless Briggs goes with you."
Briggs' jaw dropped. "Me? ME? Why me? I need to go with ye for the mast, Jack."
Jack took his arm and squeezed it tight. Under his breath he said, 'I need to see Ahmet the Turk."
Honour looked up from tying the laces on her boots and said, "Who is it?"
"You said you just met a jerk."
Jack waved her off. "Just a business associate that I need to see about a contract. For a mast. Honour, Briggs goes with you."
Honour mimicked his voice, " 'Honour, Briggs goes with you'. Only on one condition. Duckie goes with me too. He was telling me about some batik silks that would look great on me."
Jack turned to Duckie and raised his eyebrow. "You going funny on me, Duckie?"
Duckie laughed and said, "No, Jack. But last time we were here I bought some bolts of silk and sent them home to my sister. You remember my sister Rose quite well,don't you, Jack?"
Jack turned red and ignored the barb. "If Duckie is inclined to shop for nancy-boy things to ship home to Sissy, there is nothing I can do to stop him. As long as Briggs goes too."
Honour sighed. "As long as he doesn't complain. Come along, Briggs. I just may treat you to tea and frosted cakes."
Briggs turned haplessly to Jack and Jack gave him a 'shoo! shoo!' motion.
'Get no respect, I don't. Need to go with Jack, says I. Instead I be lookin' fer frou-frou things wit' a woman who requires constant upkeep. Well, I ain't peelin' 'er grapes or skinnin' 'er peaches...'
"What did you say, Briggs?"
Briggs answered, "Wonderin' where I can get a fruit salad, that's all..."
Honour linked her arms through Briggs' and Duckie's arms. "Won't this be FUN?"
Over her shoulder, she said, "Ta, Jack! We'll see you later!"

Duckie and Honour walked arm in arm through the narrow cobblestoned alleys, Briggs bringing up the rear and scowling.  The bazaars were lined with tents and canopies. There wasn't anything that couldn't be bought. Carpets, silks, jewelry and leathergoods...Honour inspected them all.
"Duckie, I don't just seems alot of this is pillaged goods and why should I buy them when I can just wait for El Lobo to take a vessel?
The good doctor held up a bolt of silk.
"Aye, Mrs. Wolfe--I mean Captain Bright--where else can you find a silk in ocean blue striated with emerald green that would bring out your eyes?" Duckie waved it under her nose, watching her eyes glaze over.
No fair, Dr. Gander. You know my weakness!" He laughed.
"Do you want it or don't you?"
She turned to the seller and asked. He gave her a price, she haggled a bit and walked away with the silk.
"Briggs? Here. Hold out your arms."
"Just do as I tell you to."
Honour heaped the silk bolt onto his outstretched arms.
"Hey! Jack didn't say anything about me bein' yer pack mule!"
Duckie laughed and said, "Indulge the lady, Briggs. It will be as close as Jack lets you get to her silks!"
Briggs muttered, "First she takes over th' captain...then the ship...then that infernal moggie of his...."

On and on the morning went. Honour shopping for goods that she knew Jack couldn't pillage or she couldn't wait. Briggs was loaded with silks and satins and saris and jewelry and porceleins.
Duckie parted the goods to find Briggs' face.
"What? WHAT?"
"Honour asked if you'd like a repast?"
"I canna hear her amidst all this finery. Of course I want a repast. It's past my re..whatever.
The three of them sat in the tavern, enjoying ale and a bowl of stew. "Now, that's not so bad, is it, Josiah?"
Briggs smiled, his stomach making peace with him.  "It's fairly decent, yes."
"That's not what I meant. I meant the shopping."
"Well, I'm not used to being a pack mule."
After the lunch, Honour wandered over towards the fruits and vegetables. She selected some dates and figs, some pistachios and various other nuts. Duckie raised his eyebrow.
"It's for Jack. He likes them, alright? And no, I am NOT poisoning him."
Briggs said, "Never crossed our minds...after the first minute."
From the shadows of the bazaar, a cloaked figure stood observing the threesome. He pulled his hood closer around his face and whispered,  'Rhiannon 'ch butain. 'ch ddiwrnod chan yn clandro ydy nes na dybi."
 As he walked off, a pirate turned to the other and said, "Wonder what that was all about?"
His companion shook his head. "It ain't good, my friend."
"Some kind of mumbo-jumbo. He put a curse on them?"
"No. It was Welsh."
"Well, what did he say?"
The pirate looked after the cloaked figure who now disappeared in the crowd.
"Strange...very strange. He said, 'Rhiannon, you harlot. Your day of reckoning is nearer than you think' ".

Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on June 10, 2008, 08:03:27 PM
As Blackjack watched the crew break up into separate parties with different agendas he breathed a sigh of relief. This was going to be easier than he first thought. He leaned in close to Lil. “Seems we won’t be needing an excuse to trapes off on our lonesome after all, Luv.” He whispered. “I was near sure Wolfe would be keeping a tighter reign on all of us. Seems he has other things on his mind for the moment.”

“No doubt there, Jack.” Martin chuckled. “What now?”

Roberts eyed the crowd of human refuse for a few moments. If anyone would know it would be….Yes! There he was sitting at his usual begging spot at the end of the pier. Now to pry the information out of him without breaking the bank just yet. He motioned for Martin and Lil to follow once the rest of the crew had been swallowed in the hustle and bustle of the streets.

“First we need to see if Old Pew is still among the living, or changed his address in the last four years.” Blackjack walked steadily toward the beggar. Smiling as he saw Lil constantly scanning the rabble for any sign of trouble.

“Alms. Alms for a poor old sailor what lost his eyes in battle.” The tattered mass of rags intoned as they drew near.

“Here ye go, Mate.” Roberts said as he flipped one of Sparrow’s remaining doubloons expertly into the tin cup.

“Thank ye kindly, M…….Jack!!!!” The blind beggar dropped three shades of color beneath the filth at the sight of Roberts standing above him.

“Aye, Israel. Jack.” Blackjack grinned squatting down even with the beggar. “We be need’n a parlay, you and me.”

“I know nothing’, Blackjack.” Israel quaked. “No need fer ye ta be harmin’ an poor blind man!”

“Bilge water!” Roberts spat. “Ye be no more blind than I, and the whole island knows it! Although I could remedy that fer ye!” Jack’s razor gleamed for an instant in his right hand. Lil’s eyes widened at Blackjack’s new demeanor, and where in Hell did that razor come from? Martin frowned worriedly, not certain himself if Roberts were bluffing, or dead serious.

“Ye wouldn’t dare!” The mass of rags quivered under Blackjack’s steely gaze.

The wickedness in Blackjacks smile sent an involuntary shiver down Lil’s spine as Jack continued. “Now ye know better than that, Israel.” He hissed lowly. “Not only would I dare, I’d happily do it right in front o’ the Boss. Remember Harmon?”

“What d’ye want ta know?” Israel whispered.

“Pew.” Roberts smile instantly became more friendly and the razor vanished from sight. “Be he still alive, and still in his old haunt?”

“Aye.” The blind faker mumbled. “Though I’d say by now he be knowin’ yer back.”

“I’m countin’ on it, Mate.” Blackjack grinned as he stood up and flipped a second coin into Israel’s cup. “I’m countin’ on it.”

As the trio marched off Lil whispered. “Did you have to threaten him that hard?”

“Aye, Lass. I did.” Blackjack said thoughtfully. “The only reason Israel didn’t blow a hole through me with the pistol he keeps under his rags was he figured Martin would have broke him in half for it.”

“The what?!” The massive cook asked incredulously.

“Aye, Mate.” Blackjack Roberts stopped and grinned at his two friends. “There is no such thing as helpless on this isle. If it breathes, it’s dangerous and wicked.” He paused in thought for a moment then grinned from ear to ear and swung his arms out to his side.

“Welcome to La Ville du Traitre, Crewmates!” He said with a half bow. “Now lets head off to see about our supplies before going to see Old Pew.”
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Hibernian on June 11, 2008, 04:49:05 AM
When one is dressed in a brown robe and stands well over six feet, getting stared at is an everyday event. But, as Brother Timothy scanned the crowd gathered upon the dock he thought this was perhaps the first time he has ever heard a crowd such as this become completely silent. When the Bishop enters the Cathedral for Mass, the awaiting congregation draws silent, but not like this, if not for the cries of the gulls overhead he might have thought himself suddenly deaf.

Perhaps being pirates they are not use to visiting clergy, raising his hand, palm open he spoke aloud in a friendly voice  “May the Lord give you peace.”

As if in a single movement the whole of the crowd backs away. Kate walks over, “I think the collection plate going to be a bit light today.”

“Bless me Kate, I’ve never seen a crowd so spooked, and I haven’t the faintest idea as to why.”
“It’s your cross, look at it and then look there…” Kate turned and pointed to the steeple of St. Dimas. “See something familiar?”
“They appear to be the same.”
“Bingo, you got it in one! Now what, good brother?”
“It’s obvious isn’t it?” Looking at Kate’s blank stare, “we must pay a visit to St. Dimas.”
“Any idea how we get there, I don’t see anyone selling maps of the island and from what Jack said we don’t want to get lost.”
“When in Rome, ask the Romans. But as the crowd still seems a bit reluctant still, we may not get an answer to our question.”

A quick scan of the crowd and Kate suddenly walks over toward a stack of crates, knees down and speaks to the shadow cast by that stack. Taking two coins from her purse she offeres them to the shadow. Slowly a small hand emerges from the shadow and without hesitation quickly grabbes the coins. Kate stands up, reachs down into the shadow and draws forth a small street urchin, judging by the size the child can be no more than 8 years of age.
“Brother Timothy, may I introduce our guide, Souris. Souris this is my friend Brother Timothy.”
The small boy gazes upward at the monk stepping closer as if to show he was not afraid, “Are you the one? Are you?”
“Am I the one? Am I which one?”

“Are you the man in the pictures in the church? Are you the one? This lady says you need to go to church, and well the picture windows and the wall story show a man in a brown robe who comes to the church with a cross. A cross like yours, like the one at the church! Are you the one?”
“Well Souris, I would need to see the picture windows and the story on the wall to answer your question. Can you take us to the church?”
“Sure I can but it’ll cost you.”
“I saw Kate already give you two coins…”
”That was just an opening, if you want to get off the dock and to the church safely it’ll be another 10 coins.”
“I offer you 5…"
“How about 8?”
"How about 4?"

"Wait a minute, you did that wrong, you’re suppose to come up to 6 not go down."
"How about 3"
"Hey, did I say 8, I think 5 is just right, deal?"

"This is bad, beaten by a monk, we better go."
The tall monk, small child and woman head off the dock and toward St. Dimas.
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on June 12, 2008, 09:40:43 AM
“You'd think that with times being what they are, there'd be fewer places to shop!” groused Jack as he picked his way through the overcrowded bazaar.  The unanticipated delay served only to heighten his anxiety.  He should have gotten to Ahmet's by now by his reckoning.  Not mired in the island's illicit retail district.  After what felt like an eternity, he spied a gap in the throng and went for it.  He jostled his way through the opening before it vanished and popped out of the crowd lie a champagne cork.  “Look!  Over there!” cried a voice, and everyone turned to look in the direction the man was pointing, including Jack.  Over a bazaar tent, a small blue flag was being hoisted.  The anxious shoppers clamoured toward the fluttering blue pennant in anticipation of deeply discounted merchandise.

Jack quickened his pace now that he was free of the crowd and into the town proper.  He tried to plan out in his mind what he would say to Ahmet in order to clear the bounty hanging over Honour's pretty head, but Duckie's verbal barb back at the ship drove him to distraction.

“You remember my sister Rose quite well, don't you, Jack?”

Why did Duckie have to bring up Rose at all, much less right in front of Honour?  He hadn't thought about Rose Gander in years.

Jack had courted Rose while he and Duckie were still at Oxford.  He was utterly smitten with the shy, sable haired girl from the moment he saw her.  Then and there he vowed he would win her heart, but being a young, less than worldly academician left him ill equipped for the task.  So he did what any bookworm would do: voraciously read everything he could find on the subject.  And it worked.  Jack Wolfe was the perfect gentleman – doting, attentive, kind,  chivalrous, and charitable.  He took odds jobs in between his studies, and he used the money and other savings from many long months of scrimping and saving to buy Rose an engagement ring.  He worked up the nerve to ask her for her hand.  He professed his undying love for her and presented the woman he loved with all his being the gold ring with its tiny diamond.

She looked at Jack with surprise, looked at the ring, put her hand to her lips... and laughed.  “Oh,Jack!  This is very sweet of you, but I could never marry the son of a shipbuilder!”  He was devastated.  The only reaction he could muster was to put the ring back in his pocket, give her a polite kiss on the cheek, and walk away like a hollowed out automaton.  Duckie sat for hours with his heartbroken friend, consoling Jack as best he could and apologizing repeatedly for Rose's reprehensible behaviour.  What bothered him far more than his sister's heartless treatment of his best friend was Jack's metamorphosis from a happy-go-lucky, starry eyed lad with a bright future to a bitter, disillusioned man with a heart of stone and not a penny to his name.

Rose Gander was the first woman to gain Jack Wolfe's love and break his heart.

Honour Bright was the second.

Before long, he found himself outside the garishly painted headquarters of Ahmet the Turk.  Certainly much sooner that he'd originally thought he would.   He took a deep breath to collect his thoughts and focus on the task at hand.  No plan, no strategy, no idea what he would say to save his wife.  So Jack Wolfe resigned himself to doing what he always did in situations like this; take his best whack at it and hope for the best.  What made him most nervous was that it wasn't his life on the line this time.

He pushed aside the curtain of beads that served as a door and began to step inside.  Out of habit, he paused to see if anyone was taking note of his activities.  A brawny man with a swarthy complexion was standing across the street staring directly at Jack.  He wore loose robed in the Arab style, with a red and gold sash around his waist.  The robes were more for concealment of weapons rather than comfort.  He was one of Ahmet's "Redeemers".  Enforcers and assassins for hire who would murder their own children if the price was right.  And they knew Jack was in town.

"Piece of cake," he muttered, and stepped inside.

Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Martin Montgomery on June 13, 2008, 07:34:28 AM
After the "Parlay" with the not so blind beggar,Martin looked with new eyes at the mass of humanity that seemed to ebb and flow around them,the tides never getting too close to Blackjack,the Hard Eyed Pirate,Lilaney,the Restless Lass and Martin himself,the Lumbering Rube. In all of his years of traveling as a merchant,the big man had seen nothing like the streets of La Ville du Traitre! Trodding along behind Lil he spotted the hungry stares of men,barely hidden as they went about their daily lives,many of the men met his eyes with a predatory gleam before he could avert his gaze. Laughter heard from one side was lost before he could find it's owner and the normally self-reliant cook felt that he was causing his small group to be watched and judged with not only theft in mind. Walking along he was stopped short by a firm hand on his chest! He had grabbed the offender by the wrist and pulled his right dueling pistol before he realized he'd been stopped by his own guide! "FOOL!" Blackjack hissed "Put that thing away! Be ye Daft?!? loosin' a weapon without usin' it is a Definite NO NO!!" Jamming the pistol home and releasing his grip on Jack,Martin lowered his gaze to meet the brightly intent stare of his shipmate. "Listen to me ye oversized oaf!" He slapped Martin's cheeks several times,backhand then forehand just to make sure he had the man's full attention "We are going to attract the stares of everyone that resides upon this bloody isle just because we're not regulars! That is fine an' ta be expected cause one of us," A nod in Lil's direction,"Is a right pretty thing and another,"The slaps were repeated much lighter this time. "Is a walkin' talkin' mountain!" Lowering his voice Blackjack looked back at Lil,who's eyes were filled with worry over her friends behavior,yet she still scanned the throng alertly. "Now I have ta get a few errends done,an' with her help it might not cost anymore than I'm willin' ta part with! So we're stayin together till we reach the Market Streets,that's where you can find all the supplies the "Lobo" needs,stay within sight of "The Ship's Stores" it were owned by an old acquaintance o' mine,last time I came through,we'll find you as soon as we return." Lil watched as Martin got his wits back about him and she shuddered as his friendly blue eyes took on the cold glint of ice. He nodded his understanding to Blackjack then stood straight and tall. "My friend ,"He stated in a low monotone "I will not fail to accomplish our goals!"
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on June 13, 2008, 06:34:50 PM
Blackjack allowed his countenance to remain hard and scowling. Inside he hated himself for what he had just had to do, but he knew better than to let the pulled pistol pass without an answer. Any sign of weakness on this accursed isle would be a signal for the rest of the populace to tear the three of them apart and he knew damn well they would be no match for that many assailants. Regardless of the new surprises he had brought with him. Had it been anyone else but Martin he would have had to kill them as brutally as possible.

Inwardly he grinned with pride as the gentile giant stood straight, a look of flint in his normally kind eyes and said. "My friend, I will not fail to accomplish our goals!" It had been the perfect answer, and now the scum would think that Martin was in Blackjack’s employ. Added to his sheer size it would offer him some measure of added protection, as well as offer an excuse as to why Roberts had not killed him immediately.

Out of the corner of his eye Blackjack noted several of his own old cronies nod knowingly as He looked Martin in the eye, as nose to nose as he could get with the man mountain. “Fair enough, Mate.” He quickly winked so that only Martin would notice. “Take this with ye, an’ be certain that him what ya deals with be Rubin. No other. Lil an’ I should be back not two bells from now.” Jack pulled a scrap of parchment from his jerkin. On it was a crude drawing of a skull resting on a bull whip, a dagger piercing straight through it’s top. “That there be me mark, so’s he’ll know I sent ye.”

Leaning as close as he could Blackjack whispered lowly. “Forgive me, Mate. Remember. Show neither weakness, nor mercy for God‘s sake. Any such display will seal your fate before you can return to the ship.” Martin effected a deep scowl and nodded slightly. “Good man.” Jack nodded back.

This next part was far more risky, but it had to be done. Jack said a quick silent prayer he would survive long enough to accomplish it. Without a word of warning he gathered Lil in his arms and placed his head next to hers, quickly grabbing her wrist as she pulled a dagger and whispering into her ear. “For the love of God, Lass, don’t gut me and put your arms around me. Only if they think I have a claim on you will they lose interest in having their way with you.”

Lil allowed Jack to take the dagger from her hand and hugged him. Several knowing snickers came from the throng. “At least he’s clean.” Lil thought.

Blackjack kept one arm around Lil’s waist, flipping the dagger over expertly in his hand to return it to her butt first. “Here ye are, Luv.” Jack grinned and winked, speaking loud enough for the rabble to hear.. “That be what I likes about ya, Darlin‘. I never know when ye’ll try ta love me, or kill me.”

Martin blushed slightly as Lil sheathed the weapon and pulled Blackjack close to her again to whisper in his ear. “Next time warn me, or by heaven I will gut you, Jack Roberts!”

Jack hugged her lightly, whispering back. “Fair enough, Luv. Now that we’ve given them all the wrong idea, let’s be off.” He chuckled thinking back to when he had laid the plan. He knew it was dangerous, but if Lil would agree to go with him to Pew’s it would be better if the trash of La Ville du Traitre thought her to be his woman. That had been the reason for sending the Lobo sailor to fetch her. The rumor would spread among the Lobo’s crew and they in turn would spread it on land. Now Jack and Lil had just confirmed it for all to see.

After they had left Martin to purchase the supplies at "The Ship's Stores" and spending the rest of Sparrow‘s purse on the drugs he needed to make the antidote to the zombie powder, Blackjack led Lil into an area of the island that became seedier and darker with each passing moment. Compared to this the port side of town was a courtyard. “Keep sharp, Luv.” Roberts whispered. We’re in the belly of the beast here.”

Lil needed little prodding from Blackjack, the narrow streets resembled nothing short of the grimiest alleys she had ever witnessed in Tortuga. The alleyways themselves were even worse. Rubbish was heaped against walls, and drunken pirates of all descriptions lay propped against them here and there, most of them losing their few possessions to ragged street urchins who took advantage of their state of inebriation.

“God’s, Blackjack.” She whispered to her friend. “How can men live like this?”

“Very carefully, Luv.” Roberts whispered sadly. “Most of the time they don’t. At least not for very long.”

Suddenly a red haired prostitute in a tattered green dress, badly in need of a week long bath, appeared from one of the black open doorways and made her way toward them. A smile of recognition on a face that would have been lovely if not for the garish make up and smudges of dirt. “Blackjack! So it’s true, ye came back at last, Ducks!”

Roberts came to a dead halt. “Now don’t ye be staggering into me, Sally!” He ordered pointing a finger at the advancing whore.

“I’d do no such thing, Ducks” Sally frowned defensively. “I just want to see an old friend up close for a moment and….Oooops!” Suddenly she seemed to trip on some bit of refuse in the dirt street and fell toward Blackjack.

With a speed that even startled Lil, Roberts had her by both wrists and righted her headlong tumble. “Damn it, Luv!” He cursed. “Ye know full well I’ll not be letting’ ye pick me pockets like some babe fresh off a’ the merchant ships!”

“Why I’d never do such a thing to you, Jack.” The red head looked hurt. “Very well then. I leave you in the grace…..”

“…and favor of the Lord.” Blackjack finished with a wicked grin. “Aye, Luv. Ye’d steal yer granma’s wooden leg, an’ let her hop about on one foot if’n ye figured the price be right.”

Sally huffed and stuck her nose in the air as she stalked off down the filthy street. Once she was no more than ten yards away she whirled around and placed her thumb and middle finger in her mouth, releasing a shrill whistle. “Oh, bloody Hell!” Blackjack cursed as three of the “drunks” leapt to their feet, weapons in hand. Four more poured from the doorway the trollop had emerged from.

Lil and Jack put their backs to the wall. Two of the ruffians suddenly let out gurgling cries, clutching their throats where the handles of Lil’s daggers stuck out. Two more would have fallen an instant behind had she not been stunned by what she saw next.

As Blackjack’s one hand pulled his rapier free of the scabbard his other hand shot out at the closest thug, a ball of flame erupting into the stunned man’s face. With staggering speed Roberts’ sword buried itself into the man’s belly just above his belt buckle and Jack jerked upward, sending the hapless victim’s innards into the filth of the street.

The remaining four quickly decided that discretion was the better part of valor and spun about to take to their heels. Lil broke free of her shock and caught two of them between the shoulder blades with two more daggers. As they crumpled to the street Old Hob’s coils wrapped around one’s throat jerking him backward with a sickening snap. Two strange looking darts with red tassels embedded themselves in the last, just behind his knees and he went down with a startled cry. In an instant Blackjack sat astride the survivor, the hidden razor once again in his hand, and a grin of pure evil on his face. Sally was no where to be seen.

“Gather yer blades, Luv, and wait fer me at the end of the street!” He shouted to her. “Ye don’t want to see what’s about to happen here!”

Stunned by the change she saw in her friend Lil obeyed like a woman in a trance, wiping the blades clean on the dead men‘s clothing before sheathing them. She had no more than made it halfway to the end of the street when the screaming began. An involuntary shudder raced up her spine as she fought the urge to turn around at the pitiful wails. She had seen with her own eyes the man Blackjack Roberts truly was and wondered at what cruel twists of fate could have made this side of him.

Soon the cries of pain ended in one last gurgling cry and Blackjack joined her, coiling his bull whip into a circle before fastening the braided leather to his belt. He deliberately refused to look at her and she noted the shame written on his face. “I had hoped we would be spared something like this, Luv.” He spoke quietly. “I should have known better on this bit of Hell on Earth.”

In spite of what her imagination had told her had just happened, Lil could not help but feel pity well up inside her as he continued. “When I was first here I had to do things that shame me to this day. I would not blame you now if you found that you could not stomach the sight of me. I have added to the sins that will earn me my place in Hell, while my Jenny rests in Heaven.” As he finished Lil noted the single tear that raced down his cheek.

Softly Lil raised one hand to the torn man’s chin and turned his head to her, looking into his blue green eyes. “You did what you had to, Jack.” She said tenderly. “I think no less of you for it and you shielded me from the worst of it. That has to count for something.”

“Do you know how I stayed alive on this accursed isle, Lil? Fear. Terrible gruesome acts of savagery.” Blackjack’s voice was choked with emotion. “If a man attacks me, I flay him alive. If he tried to rob me, I would cut off his hands one finger joint at a time. If he stood up against me, I bull whipped him near to death before I cut the head from his shoulders. A spectacle of horrible acts. That's what maintains the order of things on La Ville du Traitre. Fear, and here I became that which I loathe the most!”

“Blackjack!” Lil spoke sternly. “The only thing that you did was what anyone in your position would have done to survive and I’ll never think less of you for it! I have seen the man that you truly are! You saved Elinor without a second thought for yourself! Willing to risk your life to go and get the antidote from your bunk! I saw you do everything in your power to protect Honour on that English scow! No man who thinks so much of others before himself is evil and I’ll hear no more of it!”

“Thank you, Luv.” Roberts smiled, bringing her hand to his lips and softly pressing them to the backs of her fingers. “You have no idea how much that means to me. Now let’s go see Pew and finish this.”
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on June 16, 2008, 08:23:06 PM
The entire place was decorated in what could only be described as opium den chic.  Stale smoke hung in the air of the main room, mingling with the soot of a few feeble oil lamps.  The light they cast revealed a multitude of overstuffed pillows scattered and piled all around the space.  A few barely animate men lounged on the stacked cushions, expending no more energy than was necessary to draw the smoke from and enormous hookah pipe into their lungs.  Sitting in the middle of it all, tucking in to what should have been a feast for ten men, was Ahmet the Turk.

"Jack!!  Jack Wolfe, you scoundrel!  Come in, come in!  I was just having a bite to eat!  Care to join me, my friend?" the huge man roared with a jolliness that belied just how ruthless and unforgiving he could be.  Jack's stomach rolled unpleasantly as half-chewed roasted chicken and who knows what fell from Ahmet's mouth as he spoke.

"No thanks, mate.  I've already got plans to smear meself with food in an hour or so.  It'd be a shame to spoil it."

Ahmet laughed loudly.  "How I've missed your sense of humour, Jack.  It was a pleasant surprise to hear your fine ship was in the harbour.  I'm sure you won't mind that I've arranged for repairs to start immediately.  They tell me she should be ready to sail in two days, perhaps sooner."

The news didn't sit well with Jack, but he didn't have much of a choice in the matter.  One didn't refuse the hospitality of Ahmet the Turk and retain one's health.  "Much obliged, really.  Wholly unnecessary..." Ahmet's smile began to fade.  "... but greatly appreciated, to be sure.  But I didn't come here to discuss the repairs of my ship."

"Of course you didn't!  Jack Wolfe never walks through my door unless there's a bit of business to discuss.  What is it you would like to talk about, friend Jack?"

Jack tried to relax a little.  As long as Ahmet was still calling him 'friend', things were good.  "Remember that small matter of a bounty I put out on my wayward wife?"

"As, yes!" Ahmet said brightly.  "'Honour', isn't it?  'Honour Bright'?  Lovely blonde little thing, very fond of boots?"

"That's the one!  I'm pleased to tell you said bounty is no longer required."

"Really?  Then someone has dispatched her?"

"Yes!" Jack lied quickly.  It was the kind of opening he'd been hoping for.  "I did."

Ahmet's eyes went wide.  "Jack!  I never realized you could be such a cold man.  I am impressed!"

"Finally caught up to her in Glenlivet, a couple day's sail away.  She never saw me coming."  At least that part was true.

"Interesting," Ahmet said around a mouthful of food.  "Very interesting."

"Didn't think you had it in me, eh?  She had it coming."

"Oh, that I don't doubt, Jack.  Breaking your heart the way she did, no one can blame you.  But one thing continues to puzzle me, friend Jack..."

"Really?  Seems pretty straight forward to me.  I offed the adulterous Welsh wench, so the bounty can be dropped.  That puts me in line for a bit of a refund, I should think."

"It would," said Ahmet, "if my men hadn't seen her walking about in the bazaar  today, very much alive.  I don't appreciate being lied to, Jack.  I don't appreciate it at all."

Jack swallowed hard.  "Ahmet. Mate!  I can explain everything..."

Ahmet picked up a large carving knife and regarded its edge in the lamplight.  "I suggest you start."
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: lilaney on June 19, 2008, 04:35:45 PM
'How come the baddest ones always have the most difficult hideouts?'
Lil thought bitterly as she stepped gingerly around a questionable body.
It could be dead; it could be sleeping; it could be a trap.
"Next time we hunt down an old friend of yours, make sure they live closer to the fringe of 'high' society, okay? At least we can get at'em easier, and with less 'colorful' scenery along the way."
Jack gave a slight smirk of laughter as he followed behind in her wake.
He sidestepped the body as well, as an afterthought, he gave it a nudge.
It snorted and rolled over to its side, curling up into the fetal position and, sticking its thumb into its mouth, contently began to sigh in its sleep.
"Deal, luv; and when that happens, you'll be the one going shopping, and I'll have your Captain gaurding my back."
The alley they had proceeded down had opened up ever so slightly; the hangings from overhead windows flapped in the sea breeze occasionally allowing some sunlight to penetrate to the ground below.
Lil inwardly smirked at his remark, her eyes darting from doors and windows.
A shiver crawled up and down her spine.
There was positively no movement in this corridor; and that was the worst sign of it being a trap that her instincts screamed at her.
She had a feeling that Jack knew this too, for he seem to be inching closer and closer behind her.
"trap?" he audibly breathed near her ear.
She nodded almost imperceptibly.
'Trap' she thought.
Jack then stepped in front of her and began to take lead as the alley opened up into what looked like a Turkish Bizarre that had crashed into a Chinese marketplace and it was all being held in what looked like an impenitrable cul-de-sac.
The noise, smell and overall brightness of the scene caught her somewhat offgaurd after all the silence.
"impossible" Lil looked around at the madness, there were people, all sorts everywhere. How they were coming and going was a mystery to her. Shops and stalls butted up against a wall that was round and seemingly endless, the alley seemed to be the only entrance.
"No, luv; not impossible. But, very, very dangerous."
Jack's voice held something of a feral tone in it.
"Well, let us be off and find this 'Pew' of yours. Seems he's part of the prettiest mousetrap I have ever had the misfortune of finding myself walking willingly into."
Jack hooked his arm into hers as they walked side-by-side towards what he knew to be end of one game and the begining of something even more sinister.

Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on June 19, 2008, 08:43:46 PM
Elinor ran out of the room as hastily as her feet could take her. Peering back into the room to take a glimpse at the chest, she studied it carefully, intent upon noticing any further movement should it occur. It didn't.

Nevertheless, she decided it would be a good idea to leave the chest--and room, for the matter--alone for a time. Her heart thumping fast, she made her way onto the main deck. Most of the crew having left the ship to "stretch their legs" ashore, she found the El Lobo rather empty. This fed into her uneasiness from the chest having moved underneath her, and she found herself glancing toward the island. A choice presented itself: stay on the ship, where she knew her surroundings, but had no allies about her, or, venture out to the island, and find comfort in her fellow crew members.

When an odd rumble sounded from where she had just come, her feet decided for her, making her run off the ship and onto La Ville du Traitre. She couldn't help but cross herself before she got onshore. Must find my friends, she thought. I'll feel better when I've seen Lil and Martin, even Duckie would be a welcome sight by now...
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on June 20, 2008, 11:31:31 AM
Jack's nervous smile evaporated as two of the inanimate lumps rose and moved to flank Ahmet, each one brandishing evil looking long knives.  Their master glared at the trapped pirate.  “I’m waiting,” he rumbled.

“All right, so you caught me.  Good onya,” said Jack, trying to fake a casual air.  “Yes, the missus is still alive and kicking, and to be honest, I’ve rather taken a shine to her being that way.  So what I really need from you, old friend, is to cancel the bounty and recall your talented blokes.  Forget returning my money, and we call it square.”

Ahmet smiled beneficently.  “Ah, see?  The truth is not such a terrible thing to ask for, nor a hard thing to tell.  You’ll find I am a sentimental man, friend Jack.  I’m happy that you are reunited with your sweet bride.”

“So, that’s it, then?  We’re square?  Ahmet!  You’re a diamond, that’s what you are…”


Jack stopped short.  “No?  But you just said…”

“I said I am sentimental.  But I am a businessman, and I see no incentive to give you what you want for such a paltry fee!  Surely your wife is worth more to you alive than dead, is she not?

“Let me think on that one,” Jack said, eliciting a chuckle from the henchmen.  “Fine.  How much more are we talking?”

“I would think that double would be equitable, don’t you?”

“Double?!  £500?” Jack sputtered.

“You disappoint me, friend Jack!  Putting a price on love is so callous,” admonished Ahmet.  “Either way, it matters not to me.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can hide her from me four full days.  My men are… tenacious.”

“All right!  All right, I’ll pay it.”  He’d actually expected Ahmet to demand much more money, but he wasn’t about to let on as such.  At least he was erasing the price on her head, and that’s what mattered most.  For her to run away was devastating enough.  To have her taken from him because of a foolish mistake he’d made?  That was something he couldn’t allow.

“Wonderful!” Ahmet cried, and he clapped sharply twice.  “I shall send a man around later today to collect payment.  In the meantime,” a servant girl appeared, carrying a hideous silk scarf.  It was florescent green with an eye-searing orange pattern and gold fringe.  She presented it to Jack, bowed, and backed away.

Jack looked at the thing in disgust.  “What’s all this, then?”

“Why, it’s dear Honour’s protection, friend Jack!  She must wear that beautiful scarf on her person, to let my men know she is not to be harmed.”

“Got anything in a periwinkle?  This one will clash with her, oh, everything.”

Ahmet laughed.  “No, my friend.  That is the signal my men know to follow.  Now, if we’ve concluded our business, I would like to eat my snack.”

Jack wadded up the offensive piece of cloth and stuffed it inside his waistcoat.  He was going to have to come up with a real corker of a tale to get Honour to wear that awful thing.  “I think we’re good.  Thanks, Ahmet.  I knew we’d reach an equitable solution.”  He turned to leave, but Ahmet wasn’t quite finished.

“You know, friend Jack, I am in an especially generous mood today.”

“Are you, now.  Do go on.”

“So happy am I that you and your wife are reunited, I want to do a special favour for you.  Name some fond desire, and I shall grant it if I can,” Ahmet intoned happily as he gestured with a drumstick.

Jack thought for a moment, and his face brightened.  “I’ve told you about Cade Jennings, yeah?”

“Yes, yes you did, my friend!  In fact, he was here only two days ago, looking for a crew.  He did not have much luck, I'm told.”

“Then you know what I want.  I’ll cover any extra expenses.”

Ahmet’s cheery expression changed to one of surprise, then to gleeful malevolence as he contemplated the dark request.  “No need to, friend Jack.  It will be done.”

“Ta, mate,” Jack said as he tipped his hat, then left on his way to find Honour.
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on June 20, 2008, 07:28:14 PM
Elinor ran until she was off the ship and out of breath. Clutching the stitch in her sides, she observed her surroundings. Two men nearby oggled her with something more than polite admiration, and their looks made her walk quickly away, despite not having adequate time to breath. Bodice dagger, do I have my bodice dagger? she wildly thought as she briskly walked away from the men's jeers, her face scarlet. Perhaps this wasn't such a good idea at all. Supernatural occurrences I can deal with, rude men who--I don't even want to finish that statement--I can't easily deal with. Must find my crew. Any of the crew members. Even--

"Oooooof!" She grunted as her face met with a man's chest. Jack Wolfe. "Oh!" She exclaimed as her eyes glanced upward into the Captain's eyes.

"I had the impression you were going to stay on board," Captain Wolfe muttered quietly.

"Well, I, I--" Her hands were shaking, and she could feel her face getting hot. Stop stammering, Elinor! she thought to herself.

"Nevermind," Captain Wolfe interrupted, glancing around. "Would you be able to do a favor for me?"

"Wh-what kind of f-favor?" Elinor stammered, still nervous.

Captain Wolfe gestured to the scarf he held in his hand. "I need my wife, your Captain, to wear this. It is vital that she does so."

Elinor looked from the scarf back to Captain Wolfe, and the tension she had melted away. Giggling, she managed to reply, "You're jesting, surely. Wench wouldn't be caught dead wearing that even if she was alone with no one to see her! It clashes with her--"

"I know," The Captain interrupted her once more. "But, I repeat, it is vital that she does so. Do you understand my meaning?"

Elinor looked at him carefully. He looked completely serious.

"All right, Captain," she said slowly. "I think I can persuade her to don that scarf."

He gave a nod of approval. "I think she'll be more amenable to the notion if it comes from you." Now it was Elinor's turn to nod slightly.

With that, Captain Wolfe parted ways with the scribe, saying, "Watch yourself. You can't be too careful here."

Elinor walked away from him, with one thought running through her mind: How am I ever going to do this?
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on June 20, 2008, 09:26:35 PM
Blackjack walked quickly to the front of Lil. “Keep a weather eye behind us, Luv. Unless I miss my guess…”

Before he could finish the ominous sound of several hammers being drawn back sounded behind them. Before she knew what was happening Roberts had grabbed her arm and whirled her behind him, Old Hob uncoiled in his left hand. Four seedy looking pirates had come from their hiding place behind the colorful stalls and had leveled their flintlocks at the duo.

“Now, Jack.” The leader smirked. “Even ye should know better than ta bring a whip to a gun fight.” The other three chuckled evilly.

“Aye that may well be, Simon.” Roberts grinned back just as wickedly. “But I’ll still be bettin’ I can change yer religion afore ye, or the rest a yer scurvy dogs can pull them triggers.”

“After what ye just did ta poor Mitchell a few moments ago, I’d be tempted ta take that bet.” Simon Turnbull growled. “Surely ye don’t think ye can take the lot ‘o us afore we blow several holes through ya?”

“No, that I don’t.” Blackjack’s laugh was so vile Lil felt an involuntary shiver run the length of her spine has she slipped a dagger into each hand behind him. “But ye know I can have ye and one other afore I go down. That’s good enough fer me. The question be which one I plan ta take ta Davy Jones with us.”

Simon scowled for a moment then broke into a hearty chuckle. “It’s good ta see ye’ve lost none a yer sand, Mate. Tell ye what, we’ll stand down if’n  you will.”

“You first, Mate.” Blackjack lowered his chin staring at the quartet from just under his eyebrows. His other hand inches from one of his own flintlocks.

“Stow yer gear, Dogs.” Pew’s second in command barked and the three pirates shoved their pistols back into their belts reluctantly. “Now you, Blackjack.”

Roberts began to rewind his bullwhip as he whispered to Lil without moving his lips. “Put your daggers back, Luv. I know you have them out and now’s not the time. Besides, they know full well by now that you are well skilled in their use.”

“Friends of yours?” Lil asked sarcastically as she sheathed her blades.

“Pew’s men.” Blackjack chuckled silently. “As were the fools that attacked us in the street. A test if you will.”

“A…a test?” The lovely brunette piratess gasped. “They tried to kill us for a test?!”

“Aye, Luv.” Roberts sighed. “That’s the reason I did what I did back there. Had I not this lot would have shot us down from ambush the moment we passed. We wouldn’t have stood a prayer. Remember what I told Martin? Mercy here is a weakness we can ill afford and I’d say the worse is yet to come.”

Simon Turnbull walked up to them and held out his hand to Roberts, a vile grin gracing his face. “Good ta have ye back, Mate. Pew’s looking’ forward ta see’n ye again. If he could see that be.”

To Lil’s astonishment the two pirates grasped forearms as if no more had passed between them than an exchange of pleasantries. “Thought I’d gone soft did ye?” Blackjack grinned. “Ye should have known better after I carved up that fool ye sent ta greet us.”

Turnbull’s laugh caused a sick feeling in Lil’s stomach. “It proved ye were still one a the vilest rogues ever to set foot here. This last were ta see if ye could be cowed when the deck were stacked agin ye. Mitchell and them others were no big loss. Pew caught ‘em takin‘ moren‘ their rightful share. Figured he‘d kill two birds with one stone, so ta speak.”

“Count were more like seven if I remembers right.” Roberts chuckled. “I’d say the old bastard owes me a fee fer swabin’ his deck fer ‘im.”

“Ye can take that up with him.” Simon laughed. “He’s wait’n fer ye.” He clapped Blackjack on the shoulder as he motioned expansively toward the closed door at the end of the blind alley. “Pity ye didn’t throw in with us when he offered, Jack. Ye’d be a right dab hand ta have around.”

Out of the corner of her eye Lil kept watch on the other three Pirates as they walked to the door. The rest of the bazaar returning from the cover they had retreated to as if nothing had happened. Simon knocked cryptically on the hardened oak and a soft click was heard from the other side as it swung open. In a way Lil was almost relieved that the three pirates took up positions on either side instead of following them inside.

Simon led them to a second door to the left of the one they had just entered and knocked again. “Git yer bloody arse in here, Simon.” The raspy voice called out. There at a polished mahogany table sat an old salt dressed completely in black. A black silk scarf bound the man’s eyes, yet he dined from a silver plate with the ease of a man who could see. “From the sound of it I’d say Blackjack be with ye, and someone else. A woman unless I miss my guess. The one Sally told us about?”

Lil took in the room. For all intents and purposes it could have very well been the opulent quarters of a ship’s captain on board. Everything about the den was nautical. “Aye.” Turnbull replied. “The one they been say’n Jack’s sweet on.”

“A dangerous child from what I have heard.” Pew chuckled. “But then ye always did play dangerously, didn’t ye, Blackjack? Now what brings ye back here after all these years?”

“Ye know damn well why I be here, Pew.” Blackjack sat down opposite the blind pirate. “I come ta fulfill me obligation, as long as ye fill yers.”

The aged pirate threw back his head and laughed loudly. “I’ve not heard such bilge since Flint took me eyes fer dare’n ta look at his map!” Pew choked laughing and reached for his tankard. “From what I hear that other cousin a yer’s caught ye on Mad Jack Wolfe’s ship and damn near blew yer head off from two hundred yards away!”

“Cousin?!!” Lil burst out and Roberts quickly put a finger to his lips.

“Aye, didn’t he tell ye?” Pew sneered. “Malcolm Dagget be Jack Roberts cousin.”

“That be enough, Pew!” Blackjack’s voice took on a warning tone.

Pew sat back and breathed deeply, a smile of satisfaction on his leathery countenance. “He be right testy about it, too. Still if yer prepared ta tell me what I want ta know, We’ll finish our business.”

“We have an accord, Pew.” Blackjack said stiffly.

“Simon. Fetch Jack’s chest, and that other crate what he sent here from the China’s.” Pew grinned. “And be quick about it.”

After his second left Pew leaned forward. “My offer still stands, Jack. From what Sally told me, ye’ve some new talents what I could use on this little venture.”

“Nay, Pew.” Blackjack said softly. “Ye know as well as I the rest ‘o Flint’s crew wouldn’t be takin’ kindly ta yer cutting’ me in.”

Pew sighed and shook his head sadly. “A pity. Still ye’ve always been fair with me, so I’ll let ye in on a bit ‘o information as a bonus. Ye best keep a weather eye on that blond Captain. Ahmet has a contract on her pretty little head.”

Blackjack went white and Lil gasped. “What would that fat pig be a want’n with her?!!” Roberts demanded.

“From what I can gather Mad Jack Wolfe put a bounty on her last time he were here.” Pew sniffed dismissively. “None ‘o my affair, but I figured ye’d be wantin’ ta know. And that other cousin a yer’s Cade were here two days ago. Took on a crew and lit out like the devil his self were on his heels.”

“Any idea where?” Blackjack asked as coolly as he could. His mind reeling at the thought of Honour at the mercy of Ahmet’s vicious band of murderers.

“Barbados.” Pew replied as the door opened and Simon placed two wood boxes on the table. One small and square, a regular small sea chest about one foot square. The other more of a long rectangle of carved rosewood. Oriental dragons swirled about in carved relief on every surface save the bottom. This one Blackjack opened first.

Lil whistled sharply. Inside lay a sheathed cutlass, nestled in black silk. Blackjack picked up the weapon and pulled it from it’s leather case. Her eyes widened. Never had she seen such a cutlass. Only slightly longer than normal the edge was like none other she had ever seen. A strange wavy mark covered the edge from basket to tip and the basket’s steel was cut out in a fashion that made wicked looking long holes with sharp deadly pointed edges. The handle was rare black jade.

Smiling satisfaction Roberts removed his rapier and fastened the cutlass’ scabbard in it’s place before ramming the strange looking blade home. He tossed Lil the smaller sea chest then turned to Pew. “Now to tell ye what ye’ve waited all these years ta hear. Flint’s map is in the possession of Billy Bones.”

Pew scowled. “That’s not possible! Bones died! Went down with Flint and the ship!”

“Nay, Mate.” Blackjack chuckled. “That’s why ye’ve had neither word nor sniff ‘o that map. Billy Bones lives, and he carries that map in his own sea chest. Now we’re settled?”

“We’ll black spot the bastard for sure!” Pew raged. “That treasure belongs ta us all! See to yer own now, Jack! I’ve work ta do!”

Blackjack grinned and turned to Lil then whispered. “We have to get back to the market as fast as we can, Luv! Captain Wench’s life isn’t worth a brass farthing on this bloody isle!”
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on June 21, 2008, 01:35:50 PM
Jack moved around the bazaar until he finally spied Honour and her shopping entourage perusing the wares of a pottery vendor.  “Just what we need,” he sighed.  “More breakables for her to throw.”  Elinor was picking her way through the crowd toward them, so Jack scanning area for signs of trouble.  That was one thing the island could provide in boundless abundance, this time in the form of two men dressed in the unmistakable garb of Amet's men.   A man in rags scurried up to them and pointed in Honour's direction, and they rewarded his treachery with a few coins.  After a brief exchange of words, they split up.  One moved out to approach from the flank, and the second opted for the direct approach, straight towards her.

Panic began to wrap its clammy fingers around Jack's heart.  He couldn't intercept both of them, and he was too far away to shout a warning.  Elinor was still struggling against the press of people in her path, shooing away anyone who tried to buy the hideous rag from her.    The second man was almost halfway through the throng now, bodily shoving those who loitered in his way.  The first man had already disappeared into the mass of people.

Why does this always have to be so complicated, he asked himself.  All he wanted was to do something he wasn't accustomed to at all; clean up a mess he'd created.  Wreaking havoc and leaving a wake of ruin and chaos for others to clean up is easy.  He was finding out the hard way that atoning for one's sins is quite a different matter.  It wasn't important to him that Honour know he'd fixed a mistake, or at least tried.  Quite the contrary.  He knew in his heart that if he was to stand a chance of redeeming himself in her eyes, he needed to find redemption for himself first.  Keeping her alive would be an important step in the right direction.

A desperate idea finally popped into Jack's mind.  “Look!!” he shouted, pointing in the direction the first man had taken.  “Blue flag going up!  The blue flag!  Over there!!”

Like dogs smelling fresh meat, the mob pressed together and moved as one in the direction of the phantom flag.  The first man was trapped and swept along with them, powerless to do otherwise.  Though he couldn't be certain, Jack thought he caught a glimpse of the first man being carried away as well by the mindless surge of humanity.  Jack took the opportunity slip though the crowd's wake and join up with his wife and friends.

"That takes care of them." he sighed with relief.  "Now let's see how persuasive you can be, Elinor."
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Welsh Wench on June 21, 2008, 07:08:49 PM
 "Honour! Fancy meeting you here in the bazaar!" Jack broke out into an overly sincere smile.
"Where did you expect me to be, Jack? Down at the local bathhouse with the unwashed masses of this Hades? I swear, the next time you decide to break a mast, I'd appreciate it if you find a port where malaria is not the national bird!"
"Yes. You know...those birds with the ring on their neck and the green heads. Kind of like---" here Wench grabbed the bottom of a bolt of silk Briggs was holding--"this silk here, the green with the peacock blue shot through it."
"HEY!" Briggs yelled as he stumbled under the flurry of silk bolts shifting.
Jack parted the silks and peered at Briggs through the fabrics and wrapped parcels.
He hissed through his teeth, "Any sign, Briggs?"
Briggs whispered, "Not yet."
Wench looked over at the two of them and said, "What do you two have your heads together about? Briggs? What do you think of this inkwell?"
She hefted it in her hand. "It's practical and has a nice weight to it."
Jack reached over and took it out of her hand, giving it back to the merchant. "She's just looking, thank you very much."
Wench looked over and saw Elinor running to catch up to them, clearly out of breath. Wench put her hands on her hips and narrowed her eyes.
"And just WHAT are you doing out of bed, young lady? Weren't you told to stay on the ship and rest? Duckie? Didn't you make that clear to her?"
Duckie was haggling with a vendor over a pipe and looked over. "I thought I did. Elinor, you still are not strong enough."
"But I--"
"No 'buts' about it, Elinor. You are in violation of a command from your captain. I should dock your allowance.."
Duckie whispered to Wench.
"You sure? She doesn't get an allow....oh! OH! You mean her share of the booty."
More whispering.
"But we don't HAVE any booty. Not even any plunder!'
Even more whispering.
"Huh? What do you mean they are the same thing? Next thing you will be telling me that plunder and pillage is the same thing!"
Elinor held up the hideous scarf that Jack had given her to sweet-talk and cajole Wench into wearing.
Wench burst into laughter. "Elinor, WHERE on earth did you get this rag that looks like something a gypsy passed on?"
Elinor started, "Wench..."
"Honestly, Elinor! Do I have to take you shopping with me? This looks like something an Obeah priestess--"
and here Wench shot Jack a dagger look--"would wear to an exorcism ceremony!"
"Well, Wench, you..."
Wench picked up the offending cloth by the corner and wrinkled her nose. "Elinor, this isn't even real silk! It looks like a goose lost its lunch of chameleon stew on it!  I mean, the hideous greens and..what do they call this colour? Puke?"
"Puce." Jack supplied.
"That's what I said the first time. Puke."
But, Wench, you see...."
"Unfortunately this is one of the few times in my life that blindness would be an advantage. I wouldn't wear this on a date with even Jack!"
Jack burst out with, "Hey, that's not..."
"Fair? I seem to remember when we got married, Jack Wolfe, that I was wearing a tavern wench's dress and you barely managed to put your hat on. So don't lecture me on the whys and wherefores of the fashion industries in this backwater burg. I swear, this place--aside from the dirt-cheap prices wherever that blue flag goes up--well, this place has about as much redeeming qualities as a boil on your backside!"

She threw the scarf over her shoulder and it landed on Briggs' head like an Arabian's veil.  He couldn't reach it with his full arms.
Wench shook her head. "Elinor, you tell me where you bought that piece of windowcovering that looks like it came out of a discount-price two-for-one-take-what-we-have-because-that-is-all-that-is-on-the-menu bordello!"
"Wench. please...!"
"Don't thank me, Elinor. It's my pleasure. Because we are going to get your money back!"
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on June 21, 2008, 10:10:10 PM
As they ran from Pew’s lair the crowd in the alley seemed thicker than it had when they entered. Blackjack and Lil slowed to a crawl from the press of bodies. Lil could hear Roberts cursing as they were soon separated by the crush of human flotsam. Relying on Blackjacks reputation to keep things at least partially civil Lil forced her way through the throng towards the narrow street and turned to wait for Roberts to catch up.

The minutes stretched by and the sudden throng cleared a bit, enough for the lady warrior to see down the alley. Pirates and thieves went about their business as usual, but there was no sign of Blackjack anywhere. Checking her weapons, Lil slipped the small sea chest under one arm and one dagger secretly into her hand and headed back. Soon she was halfway to the oak door leading back to the den they had just left, still no sign of her companion. Concern graced her normally passive features, turning to fear as she spotted it. Blackjack’s caviler hat lay in the dirt of the cobblestones near the stall she had last seen him pass.

“This is not good!” She thought to herself. “Now what do I do? Do I search for Jack, or get back to Wench as fast as I can?”

For long agonizing moments she wrestled with her indecision. There was no choice. Blackjack could take care of himself and her first duty was to her captain. They had been through too much together to let it pass. Reluctantly she picked up the black caviler hat and dusted off on her thigh. Then she ran for the entrance to the alley and disappeared down the narrow street. No one stood in her way this time.

Roberts came to, his head once more throbbing to beat all Hell. The stitches Lil had so carefully placed along his skull burst open by the force of the blow he normally would have seen coming had his concern for his new captain not blinded him. He knew two things instantly. One he was being dragged through the tropical foliage by two strong lads, and his hands were bound behind him tightly.

Allowing himself to remain as limp as a rag doll he assessed the situation as best he could through his half closed eyes. The bonds did not bother him, as he could easily get free of them once the opportune moment arose. Lil was now  filling his main thoughts, had his captors harmed her? The talk from his unwanted companions soon put that worry to rest.

“I still says we should have taken the wench as well.” The pirate to his left growled.

“Nay! Roberts be the only one Simon said ta bring and I’m not about ta go disobeyin’ that order.” His partner replied.

“Pity. She were a right pretty thing. Would have made for an interestin’ evening.” The first grumbled.

Blackjack could feel the blood flowing down his face, watching as drop after drop splattered the greenery they hauled him through  Looking out of one corner of his eye he spotted his cutlass hanging from the right one’s belt. Old Hob and his pistols hung from the one on his left. He would have to ignore his pain and put all his skill to the test. With as little movement as possible he began to work on the knots that held him fast. Damn sailors were too good at the art.

Soon they entered a clearing on the far side of La Ville du Traitre. Gratefully they threw him down on his back, now with his hands hidden from view Blackjack could work on the bindings without stealth. “Damn yer eyes!” He heard Simon Turnbull bellow. “Ye better not have killed him! He’s worth more to us alive!”

“Don’t worry, Mate.” The one with Jack’s cutlass grinned. “He’s alive a’right, But I’d bet he’ll have a right golly whopper of a headache when he regains his senses.”

“Good!” Simon chuckled. “They can’t come ashore till night fall and I wants their prize ta fetch top dollar.”

“What about Pew?” The other asked. “Ye know he has taken a bit ‘o shine ta Roberts. He may not take kindly ta what yer planning, Simon.”

“Pew needn’t know!” Turnbull shot back. “Men disappear all the time here and Blackjack has more’n enough enemies ta take the blame fer it. Now shut yer traps and we’ll celebrate. We’re about ta become rich men!”

“Rich enough ta cover the expense a seperatin’ him from his doxie, I hope.” The pirate with Old Hob said.

“And then some, Mates!” Simon laughed. “And then some!”

The hours crawled by into sunset by the time Blackjack got his hands free of the ropes. Turnbull and his men had whiled away the hours with copious amounts of rum. “This should make the job easier.” Roberts thought as he pulled the poisoned darts from their hiding place in the back of his belt. He knew he would only have one chance and he could not risk anything but perfection. If only his bloody head would quit throbbing.

Suddenly Blackjack sat upright and released the deadly projectiles, catching his two escorts in the back of their necks. With a startled cry they both leapt to their feet. Roberts rolled along the ground as fast as he could slamming into their shins and toppling them face first to the ground. It would take a few moments for the puffer fish poison to take effect and he would have to keep them off balance until then. Simon would now be his main problem.

Jerking his right arm forward he released the throwing dagger from the spring sheath into his palm. With only seconds to spare he threw, catching Simon in the forearm. The flintlock Turnbull aimed at him exploded, the ball missing Blackjack’s head by a mere inch as it buried itself into the ground. The man’s scream filled the air as Jack dove for his weapons.

Simon’s two conspirators were now paralyzed by the toxin racing through their systems, it would be a few minutes before it would finally kill them by suffocation. Blackjack jerked his blade free from the stiff form that lay on the ground and leapt to his feet, the world beginning to spin about him. For the hundredth time he blessed the Lin Qui for the times they had gotten him stinking drunk then forced him to fight. He could see the wisdom in that course of training. Any fool could fight with a clear head and sometimes your life could depend on being able to fight when muddled.

Simon’s eyes were wide with fear as he saw his helpless victim free and wreaking utter havoc on his men and himself. He gritted his teeth and jerked the throwing dagger from his arm as Roberts turned to face him. A smile came to his face. Blackjack was unsteady and staggering slightly. He was wounded more than Simon had realized and that would give him the advantage. Quickly he pulled his own cutlass free of it’s scabbard.

“Ye should have stayed down, Roberts.” He hissed sibilantly. “Yer worth more alive, but now that I don’t have ta share the bounty, dead is just as good.”

Turnbull charged the wobbly pirate. A look of shock replaced his confidence as Blackjack caught his sword arm with ease and buried his new cutlass upward under the man’s ribcage, twisting the steel viciously. Simon’s eyes rolled upward and he slumped to the ground.

That’s when he spotted the ship anchored off shore. A longboat had beached below the small rise and the three lone occupants made for the campfire Simon had built. Roberts first instinct was to vanish into the jungle. Then the moon emerged from the clouds. Malcolm, his remaining Thuggee, and….Dear God! Could it be true? Sir Terrance Blackwood himself!!! Blackjack knew he didn’t have much time. Quickly he pulled the bottle of the Black Lotus mixture from the inner pocket of his jerkin and downed the entire contents. Propping up the three backstabbing dogs around the fire he took cover in the underbrush and waited.

“All right you dogs.” Malcolm said as they entered the firelight. “Where’s Jack Roberts? Don’t think you can up the price by hiding him from us.” He reached over and shook Turnbull’s shoulder. “I’m speaking to you, Man!”

Simon’s body fell over and Dagget cursed. “He’s escaped us again, My Lord! These men are dead!”

“No matter, Malcolm.” Lord Blackwood began. “We know he’s alive and somewhere on this isle. All we have to do is pay the right people and…”

A gurgling cry from the Thuggee brought them around pistols drawn. Blackjack had pulled the thin garroting wire from the seam in his belt and jerked it so hard around the Punjabi’s throat that he nearly decapitated the man. Without thinking Malcolm and Blackwood fired, wasting their shots and ending the Thuggee’s life mercifully.

Roberts hurled the body from him, pulling the vicious cutlass free of his belt. Old hob cracked in the night air, sending Malcolm’s new rapier flying from his grasp. Roberts dropped the whip and with a blur of motion pulled his pistol shooting his cousin through the chest. Dagget groaned and fell to the earth.

“Now you bastard!” Blackjack grinned the vilest smile Sir Terrance had ever seen on a man. “It’s just you and me. You’ll rue the day you ever laid your filthy paws on Jenny! But you’ll not rue it long!”

“Wait Roberts! I didn‘t mean to kill her! I was aiming for you!” The aristocrat trembled. “I can make you a rich man! Have you pardoned! Anything you want! Just name it! Please!!”

Blackjack Roberts strode over to the cowering woman beater in two strides ramming his cutlass through the man’s chest with such force he lifted Blackwood into the air for a moment. Staring into the dying man’s eyes he whispered. “I want Jenny back, you son of a belch!”

Terrance Blackwood slumped to the ground, his gurgling breathing growing fainter by the moment until it ceased altogether. “I’ve done it, My love.” Blackjack choked. “I’ve sent Blackwood to Hell for you and you can rest in peace now. I don’t think I’ll ever see you again, my own sins are too great, but if they led to the death of the man who abused you it was all worth it. Rest easy now, Darling.”

“My God! It was true!” The familiar voice brought Roberts around ready to kill Malcolm at the slightest sign of treachery. “How could I have been so blind?!”

Blackjack slid the glistening blade through his belt and knelt at Malcolm’s side, gently turning him onto his back. Dagget grasped his hand tightly, the pain and sadness in his brown eyes heart wrenching to see. “Please, Cousin! Forgive me!” He choked a thin trickle of blood slowly tracing from the corner of his mouth. “I could die peacefully if only I knew you would find it in your heart to forgive me for all I have done to you!”

Roberts pulled Malcolm’s red velvet coat and white silk shirt apart and examined the bullet hole he had placed through him. It would seem he was more unsteady than he had thought. The ball had passed cleanly through the furthest side, probably grazing Malcolm’s lung. Nothing immediately life threatening, but Malcolm would die if it was left untreated.

“Your not dead yet, Mate.” Roberts grinned as he threw his cousin’s arm around his shoulder. Hanging on with one hand he retrieved Old Hob, twirling the whip into a coil he fastened it back to his belt. “And you won’t. Not if I have a say in the matter.”

Malcolm Dagget looked at Blackjack’s face. “Your bleeding like a stuck pig! You’ll die if you try to take me with you! Forgive me and leave me here! For the love of God, Man, save yourself!”

Jack’s turquoise eyes sparkled merrily. “Oh, I don’t think so. I’ve a few new tricks up me sleeve that ye don’t know about.” With that Blackjack half dragged his cousin back through the jungle towards the port. Somehow he would have to convince Mad Jack to let Duckie save the life of the man who damaged his ship.
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: lilaney on June 23, 2008, 09:12:02 AM
'Sure, that's what needs to happen.'
Lil made a sour face at a grubby-faced youth who seemed to taken a shine to her and began to shadow her steps.
The streets of this town had never been fully developed.
 In all actuality the entire town was a hodgepodge of dead-end streets.
Lil was retracing her path back towards the port;
although it looked to her that they had moved the port while she had been away.
After the third dead-ended street she had walked up, she was certain she had made a wrong turn, and was now lost.
"buggery" she muttered and turned around, again, and walked back down the street she had just walked up.
This street was laid with crushed shells, so she knew she must be near the port.
None of the streets had signs.
She looked up above her head, some buildings were three stories tall and some 'buildings' were tents leaned against the support of the buidlings to either side of them.
'''Scuse!" she sang as she stepped off the pathway and cut through one of these tented shops onto another street.
'Like walking through a penny dreadful.'
Lil seemed to be going the wrong way, again. Never mind that her mind was preoccupied with Pew's words against her Captain, and the dissapearence of Blackjack.
She stepped out of the tent and onto a new street.
This street was something straight out of the London Plague era.
"This whole bloody island is like a book pieced together from chapters of mulitple genres all bound into one cover!"
"Weel, whatcha expext? nary a man who's live on the island wots brought a piece of 'ome wit'em. 'Corse it be jumbly-umblied. 'Tis ome!"
The youth was only three steps behind her now, and talking in some dialect that was completely foreign to Lil's ears.
"Sounds like you been all over, where you from with words like those?"
Lil had had a dagger in her hand this entire journey, with the youth not making any threatening moves, she saw no reason to spill blood.
He was a scruffy thing, possibly ten, maybe fifteen. He was small, skinny, with bright green eyes
and hair the same color as Captain Wolfe's.
The brat grinned; he had all his teeth.
"S'all over; you?"
Lil nodded as she began to walk South down the street that had one redeeming quality, there were no drunk sailors laying in her path. The kid followed her again.
"I'll tell you where I am from," she said "but, in trade for information."
His eyes were old, they held the depth and breadth of the ocean in them.
Those eyes stared at her unblinking as she turned to see if he was still follwoing her.
"Guessing ye be wantin' back to yer a fancying ship ita be in portie? Fair's 'nough. Ta fallowing me, ifn' yer be pleasin'."
The boy immedietly stepped into the first open door to his right.
Lil froze on the street.
After a moment, the boy stuck his head out the door and glared at her.
'Ye be wantin' to stayin' on Deathie's Row? Fair's 'nough, justa be thinking youda wanted to be stepping lively. Ita be gettin on to darkeness soon enough. C'monie then, missus."
Lil barely had time to translate his garbled words when two men of questionable occupation seem to take an interest in her from about ten yards down 'Death's Row'.
'Better luck following the kid, than with those two.'
Against her natural instinct to stay and fight, she stepped into the door.
It looked like she had stepped into the backroom of an apothocary.
"Ravel? Who'd ya bring fer the stew pot?"
Lil's heart jumped into her throat as she understood those words quite clearly.
"Nay, Mam, she be just passin' through."
A dark skinned women was sitting on a chair made of antlers, horns, and streched hide of some sort.
The youth was standing next to her, handing her a cup of something.
Her milky white eyes stared directly at Lil as she sipped from the cup.
"A she be a fair one, that one, but she be dangerous. Good on you, lad. What did you be promising her?"
The youth took the cup from the old women's offered hand and sat it back on the small table next to her.
"Guidin' her's to her ship, wot be in fer fixin' Mam."
The old women nodded silently; she looked down at the floor and seemed to be lost in thought.
Lil looked around the store. It was bleak, there were no fresh scents of healing herbs.
There were no customers browsing, sniffing bottles. The entire front of the shop looked deserted.
There were a few bottles on a table, and even less on the shelves.
The front of the place was facing a street that opened up with a view that looked down on the harbor; where she saw the El Lobo in port. A small vessel was moored next to it and there was a team of gents swarming the ship as they reset a brand new mast into place.
Lil held a small smile to herself.
"Thank you for all your help, Ravel, is it? I can be on my way now. Lots to do, many things to fix."
Lil gave a slight bow of courtesy in their direction.
"Just a moment;" the women said.
She stood shakily, the boy went to help, but, she brushed him off.
"You are not what you seem, girlie girl. And all those around you seem to share that same affection for themselves. Best be watching and looking and getting on with your entire reasoning for doing what you do."
Lil stepped back involuntarily. How did this strange person know? Was it that obvious?
"I thank you for your advice; and seeing as you have stated I must be getting on.
I can see my ship from here and I must go."
"Wait!" her voice stopped Lil's feet once more.
The old lady mumbled to herself a moment, and walked with purpose to the front table covered in bottles to the left of the door that would be Lil's escape route.
Gathering things and bits into a woolen bag, the women gestured for Lil and the boy to come to her.
"Ravel, you promised, so take her to the ship. And you," she stared with her shining white eyes at Lil and offered her the bag. "Take this, never know when you will need a bag of mischief."
She smiled a gap-toothed grin of wickedness.
Lil accepted the bag warily and smiled a hesistant smile.
"I thank you for your genorosity, seeing as I had left my bag of mischief in Glen Livet, this will do nicely."
Ravel then gestured her towards the door.
"Thisun way, besta be gettin' to yer boat."
Lil followed the boy out onto a street that was lined with storefronts selling all sorts of items.
She held the bag warily.
"Ravel? What did she just give me?"
The boy was darting looks around him with every step. He shrugged.
"Not be knowin' the arts, miss, 'prolly nothin' but bits o' twig, or coulda be gunpowder and mint tea. Who be knowin' wit Mam. She be a bit funny. No'un would mess with her even ats a spot o land such as like this be."
Lil nodded and brought the bag up to her face and sniffed. She recoiled instantly.
The smell was dreadful. She coughed as she tried to determine the stench's properties.
"Smells like old sock and vinagered wine."
Ravel grinned at her words, seeing two men coming towards them, he made a gesture and they dispersed.
"Seems you know plenty of people here."
Lil's voice was light as she watched what he had done and how the men responded.
"Like a family, we be."
Lil was not so sure about that. If this island had taught her anything in her oh-so short time here.
Nothing was what it seemed.

Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Hibernian on June 30, 2008, 07:46:03 PM
Kate and Brother Timothy followed Souris through the streets, the young boy lead them through several turns, streets wide and narrow, until they were uncertain exactly which way was which. Yet no matter how they turned the steeple of St. Dimas could be seen above the roof line getting closer.

While they were clearly not alone on the street, none came close; it was as if they were ringing a leper’s bells. In fact, much as it happened on the dock many glanced their way but when the good brother would turn to address them, they suddenly stopped, stared and quietly withdrew. The crewmates from the Knight’s Hammer took note of the crowds continued reaction and neither could offer a satisfactory explanation.

Once Kate stopped to examine some lace, obviously booty from an unfortunate merchantman, and was in the midst of bartering a very good price when suddenly the shop keeper grabbed the lace and threw down his curtain. “Closed, go away,” was all he said. Kate turned to find that Brother Timothy has silently come up behind her. There was no time for explanations as Souris yelled for them to come.

Still the steeple moved closer until finally they were so close it disappeared concealed by the angle of the roofs. Rounding another corner, their forward progress halted as their mouths dropped open. There was St. Dimas, larger than expected perhaps, in the middle of what could best be described as the commons.

Now this commons shared the usual traits with commons seen all over the civilized world; a large square of green grass open to all. What made this commons unique, what stopped Brother Timothy and Kate in their tracks, was this common was full of holes. It appeared that the ground around the Church of St. Dimas had been attacked by giant moles!
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Welsh Wench on July 01, 2008, 08:28:24 PM

Elinor shot Jack a helpless look. Jack tried to mouth something back as Wench looked over. He quickly shut it.
"Jack, I would highly recommend that you shut your mouth. You look like a guppy. Do you want to come down with mallard?"
"Yes. That disease you get from mosquito bites. All you need is one to go down your throat and bite you."
She reached over and put her hand on his forehead. "You aren't feverish or chilled, are you?"

Briggs blew his breath out and the scarf became air-born. It floated through the air and landed on Jack's hat.
He looked up and whipped it off.
"Um..Honour...actually Elinor and I went shopping for you and bought this lovely--see the designer label?--scarf for you. We thought it would look fetching around your neck."
"Fetching? Only if you throw a ball and I chase it and bring it back. IN MY MOUTH!"
She turned to Elinor. "Hon, I appreciate the effort. And the thought that went into it--all twenty seconds of it, Captain Jack what-do-I-know-about-good-taste Wolfe--but I think we really need to exchange it for something in my size."
Jack exploded, "In your size? For the love of God, Honour, it's not a pair of boots!"
She shot him a look. "More's the pity, Wolfe. It MAY pass for a pair of socks. At least the socks would be hidden in the boots."

She turned to Elinor and asked sweetly, "Which merchant did you buy this from?"
Elinor pointed in a general direction. "Over..there. Somewhere."
"There? What? Jack Wolfe, you bought me a scarf from the Blue Flag Special? What is this? Kashda Mart?"
"There's nothing wrong with shopping there. Quality but at a price! And look at the label! It says 'Marwah Suraqau'. So you know it's a good thing, right?"
"Wrong. It's a bad thing. Jack, this ranks right up there with that hideous piece of jewelry you gave me when we got married."

Jack brightened up. "You still have that, don't you?"
She waved her hand. "Somewhere.... it's stuck in a boot or something. I guess I'll find it someday."
Jack looked at the scarf and then Honour's neck. "But it would look so pretty on you. Please? For me?"
Wench said, "No. Not for you. I would not, could not, in this port. I would not, could not wear it for sport. I would not wear it here or there. I would not wear it ANYWHERE!"

Jack held it up against her face. "But it suits your colouring so well."
She grabbed it out of his hand and then wrinkled her nose.
"What's that smell?"
"Smell? What smell?"
"It smells like...I don't that time I was at that castle and there was a rumour of a creature that would suck the blood out of you. I remember because I turned to--whoever my companion was--and I said, 'HA! Jack Wolfe is in the Caribbean, not in England!' And they gave us these garlands to wear and it..THAT'S IT! That's the smell!"
"What smell?"
"GARLIC! Good grief, Jack! Not only does it smell like that garlic Chicken Adobo we had in Bridgetown--and I remember because I got sick on it--but it looks hideous!"
"Honour, darling---"
"Take it back or wear it yourself, Jack Wolfe!  BECAUSE I WON'T!"
She linked arms with Duckie and said "Come along, Briggs! We haven't even hit the boot tent yet!"
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: lilaney on July 03, 2008, 11:00:55 AM
"Wells be, it a Port-un towne, and thisun be ye Port!"
Ravel grinned with a mock bow and a flourished hand towards the docks and piers beyond.
Lil watched covertly; that flourished hand had made some suddenly interested brutes become just as suddenly disinterested.
She cocked an eyebrow at Ravel and his impish grin.
"Like family? Huh, seems be you got cousins crawling all over."
His face never moved from its grin.
'He's like Puck', she thought as she walked past him and towards the piers.
She took in a healthy breath of Sea-air, Sea-gulls, and chum.
"Yep, a sailor's life for me." She sighed and proceeded down the docks, but, she had a feeling she had not ditched Ravel all that easily.
"Missun! You's be fergit our deal, where ye be hailing from?"
Lil slowed her pace and waited for the boy to match pace. She smiled slightly.
"Ah yes, so I had. Fair enough, I come from another island, similiar to this one, it is larger and covered in townes and villages."
Ravel waited as she and he continued walking.
They walked past Dockside shacks that held men and supplies, and dockside drunks and doxies.
None of whom stirred themselves to even look at the pair as they passed.
Passing strange.
"eh? so where be ye from?"
Lil nodded at Martin, who was casually leaning against a building. The building looked like it was grateful for the cook's supportive mass.
"Why, I be from Malta."
Ravel paused in his step as Lil instinctively paused next to him. You never let your foe see your back.
"Malta? What be'in Malta?"
Lil's face remained passive as inwardly she felt glee at trumping this youth, who seemed to be more than just a pier rat.
"Nuthin' that is why I am here!"
Lil gave a simple incline of her head, "I thank you for your secure assistance back to my vessel, and think this is as good a spot as any to part ways."
Ravel gave an even more flourished bow (one she was supsecting he practiced in front of a mirror for that one day when it might actually impress one of the gentler sex.)
"Aye, it be'un all me pleasures mum."
"Give it about ten years, sprog, and they'll not leave you alone."
Ravel beamed at the compliment as Lilaney turned and walked back to her ship.
"Was thinking you had that one in hand." Martin sidled up next to her as they walked the remaining way back to their ship.
The men on the pier, once lazing and overall being bored for the sake of being bored.
Were now happily robbing the El Lobo Mar as the other gentlemen who were attaching the mast were too busy at their job to care what was happening around them.
"Hey!" Lil shouted as one man{woman?} dressed up in three skirts, four shirts, two bodices, a pair of mis-matched boots, and a hat that had seen better days, rushed by her.
The overall mess of the pier was immense; it was covered in all the belongings that had once been neatly stored on the boat and now, it all but littered the scene in front of them.
Shocked, Martin and Lil gaped at the mess.
"OY!" Martin bellowed.
The handful of men who were picking through the heaps of clothes, tools, equipement, and sundries froze at the bellow of the man before them.
The handful of strange men on the boat ceased throwing things over the side with zealous energy.
"Who's in charge?"
Martin's voice dared any to nay-say him as he stepped forward, planted both feet wide, crossed his arms in front of him and glared them all down.
As if on cue, they all raised their collective arms and pointed down the pier, past Lil and Martin and pointed.
Lil turned to see a pair of bright green eyes smiling back at her.

They were pointing at Ravel.

He gave a mocking bow and dissapeared into the roving crowd of the docks.
She could not come up with anything foul enough to compare with what she truly thought of him.
Turning away from the crowd, she choked back a laugh at the new sight in front of her.
Martin was in his elemenet as he waded in to the stores and sundries.
Ankle deep in the confused mire he began pitching Pirates and scum off the pier and into the water like they were bath toys.
One particular pirate did a rather specatacular belly flop as he entered the brackish water.
"Um? Martin! That one was one of ours..!"
Lil could not hold her laughter in as the other Pirates on the ship fled as they could.
Some jumped off the other side of the ship, some came tumbling down the gangplank, and who ever was not fast enough, Martin helped them along.
"Lil! Go see where the crew is, so we can start getting all these things back on the boat!"
Lil, sides sore from laughing, went up the now deserted gangplank

 and found about ten of the El Lobo crew tied up around the brand new shiny mast.

"Well, I must say, they do good work." Lil muttered as she released the crew members.
With shame-faces they went down to the pier and began gathering up all the belongings and taking them back on the ship.

"They got the best of us." One old tar said as he walked by.
"yeah, but, when they be hollerin' 'WHAT'S THAT!' and pointin skyward. I'm gonna look up, who knew there won't nuthing to look at but clouds!?"
The younger man eyed the lacy pillow in his hands as he hustled onto the quarterdeck.
"Guessin' they ain't never seen clouds afor." The old Man muttered as he snatched the lacy Pillow out of the youngster's hands and lumbered off with it.
"That's mine. The green one be the Missus Wolfe's."
Lil knowing that the mayhem was becoming orderly topside, went to inspect the interior of the ship.

'This only looks like a smash and grab.' she thought as she surveyed the Surgery.
Nothing in there had been touched.
"That'll make Duckie happy." she muttered and she turned around to leave the spotless room.
"What'll make me happy?"
Lil started so bad she tripped on the hem of her skirt and fell hard onto her backside.
Duckie helped heave her back to her feet. As soon as she was balanced again, he dropped her hand.
"Uh, um.. that the pillaging looked to be only for show."
Duckie cocked his head at an angle and stared at her.
"What pillaging?"
Lil was taken aback.
"The pillaging that happened on the pier! The mess of clothes, and books, and things strewn all over the place!? Didn't you see it?"
Duckie blinked.
"What are you talking about... oh! That was pillaging!? I thought your Captain was looking for something!"
Lil felt like she should be affronted for her Captain at this statement. But, she shared a private smile with Duckie about it.
"I'm going topside, care to join me?"
Duckie looked oddly at Lil and nodded as they went back up into the fading light of the day together.
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on July 03, 2008, 11:28:31 AM
'Why do I even bother with that infuriating woman?' he fumed to himself as he stood in the lane, the ugly cloth clutched in his fist.  He already knew the answer to the question.  For him, every other woman paled in comparison to Honour Bright.  Or Welsh Wench, or whatever alias struck her fancy that day.  Jack watched her retreating form, momentarily mesmerized by the swaying of her hips.  Oh, those hips...

Inspiration hit him like a bolt from the blue.  He tucked the fabric into his belt at his back and began walking quickly after her and her entourage.  “Honour!  Wait!” he called.  She stopped and looked up at the sky in exasperation for a moment, then turned to face her husband.

“What now?  Find another swatch from an Arabian nightmare you want to try and burn my eyes out with?  I'm trying to shop here!”

“Far be it from me to keep you from your second favourite pastime, love,” Jack demurred.  “But I couldn't help noticing that your sword belt was askew.  Knowing how you hate to look unkempt, I thought you'd appreciate it if I straightened things out for you.”

Honour crossed her arms and glared at him.  “You were staring at my butt again, weren't you.”

“Not staring,” he corrected.  “Admiring.  At length.  Now, give us a spin.  Come on, shift it!”  She sighed and turned to face away from him.  Quick as lightning, Jack had the gauzy material tucked into her sword belt.  He adjusted the way the rapier sat against her hip, then adjusted it once more to make sure the cloth wouldn't slip free.  “There.  Much better.”  Duckie tried hard to hide an amused look, and Elinor stifled a giggle.

Honour turned and looked at Jack with a smile he found oddly alluring.  She stepped close and put her arms around his neck.  “Jack,” she purred, “I was thinking about how I've never properly thanked you for everything you've done for me and my crew...”

“I'll show you my gratitude if you show me yours, darling.  My cabin's always open to you...”

She smiled and licked her lips.  “Before we get to that, there is one thing I need from you.”

“Name it, and it's yours.”

She reached back and yanked the scarf from her belt and held it in front of his face.  “Get it through your thick skull that I will NOT wear this damned ugly failed experiment in psychedelia!  Next time you try something like this, I will nail it to your chest with my bodice dagger!”

Jack smiled, and his eyes drifted down until he spied the glint of metal.  “And what do you know!  There it is, just like the night we met.”

Angrily, she stuffed the kerchief into his shirt.  “You are impossible!” she huffed, then turned on her heel and marched back to her entourage.  “Come along, everyone!  My shopping list just got longer.”

Jack watched with a self-satisfied smirk on his face as she walked away.  When she yanked the rag from her belt, an inch wide strip tore free and was left draped from the small of her back to the basket of her rapier.  The strip of cloth swayed back and forth with every step she took.

Oh, those hips, he thought wistfully...

Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Hibernian on July 04, 2008, 10:09:00 AM
Kate’s eyes widened as she took in the commons, “This is certainly different and not exactly what I expected to see in the middle of a town, even a town such as this.”

As he approached the nearest hole Brother Timothy slowly looked about, there was no pattern to be seen, holes were everywhere to the point that very little green space remained in the commons. “Kate, no animal marks here, theses holes look like they have been dug by shovels, some are deeper than others and it just doesn’t make sense. They just encircle the entire church.”

“Brother have you noticed how the holes arc around the church? Look, see the outer edge of the holes form a circle around the church almost like it had a halo.”

“Yes, as if whoever was digging the holes was following a line on a map.”

“Well, Brother and lady are you going to dig now? I know someone who has shovels you can buy.” Souris stood in the shade next to a shop looking at them waiting for an answer.

Brother Timothy and Kate moved toward him, “Why would we wish to dig?”

“I’m sorry Brother, but when you asked to come to the church I thought you were looking for the treasure like everyone else. To look for the treasure you must dig, to dig you need a shovel, my friend has shovels, for a price.”

The two exchanged glances, “Souris, what treasure?”

Souris looked at them as if they had asked him what sun in the sky, “The treasure of the thief, the treasure of St. Dimas, everyone knows about it!”
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on July 06, 2008, 04:45:22 PM
Jack turned, still lost in his admiration of Honour's sublime form, and walked headlong into one of Ahmet's zealous recruits.  The young man laid sprawled out in the dust of the market.  Jack put his boot on the youngster's chest and stepped just hard enough to keep the boy from rising.

"You're in a hurry!" smiled Jack.  "And to what end I wonder, why?"

"I am an agent of Ahmet!  She is Honour Bright, yes?  You took out a bounty on her!  I must kill her!  Isn't that what is supposed to happen?" the young man gasped.

"On any other ordinary day, I might be inclined to agree with you." said Jack.  "But this it not an ordinary day.  You need to pick yourself up and walk away, if you've an ounce of sense in your head.  Do you catch my meaning?"  He reached down and pulled the boy to his feet.  But the youngster had been well versed in treachery.  He produced a long knife and pressed it against Jack's stomach.

"I'll kill you if I have to," the youngster said menacingly.

"And you will die the death of a coward," countered Jack.  The young man suddenly realized that a pistol was pressed against his temple.  "Twitch.  Flinch.  I really, REALLY want you to.  Make me happy.  I dare you," Jack taunted.  The young man considered his options. 

"And if I choose not to?" he asked sheepishly.

"Then you mission is to warn off the rest of Ahmet's men, and remind your overfed master that he'd best honour any bargain with me.  I'm quite happy with the figurehead I have gracing my ship's bow, but I'll nail his head up there as a substitute without reservation," Jack warned.  "Yours would suffice as an alternate.  What say you?"

The lad thought about his situation for a moment.  "I'll let Ahmet's men know right away.  And I will tell him your terms.  Just... please let me go."

"Compassion, lad.  You just got a lesson in it," smiled Jack.  "I hope you were paying attention."

"And you trust me?" asked the boy.

"Not as far as I can spit a rat," said Jack.  "But you'll do the right thing.  You do enjoy a drawing breath, don't you?"

"Yes," the boy said.

"Then we have a pact," laughed Jack.  "Don't disappoint me!"

The young man gave Jack a strange look, then ran back the way he came.  He gestured wildly, and nearly a dozen men stepped down from their positions to give up their chance at eliminating Honour Bright.  Jack gave a weary sigh.

"God save the man who tells you I did something this stupid, Honour," he swore aloud.  "I'll spill his blood on the spot."

Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Hibernian on July 06, 2008, 09:48:12 PM
“Holy Mother of God grant me strength,” he didn’t yell at the young boy but his tongue was in incredible pain from where he bit it just a moment ago to keep his exasperation in check, “Souris, my young friend, imagine if you will that someone arrives on the island today and has no knowledge, none, nothing, nada, of this church and any treasure, what could you tell them?”

“I could tell them a lot, like that everyone says there is a treasure at the church, and that while everyone has been looking for it, no one has found it yet. Which means it must be a great treasure because it’s really well hidden.”

Kate moved to the boy, taking his hand she took him over to the nearest shop and they sat down together on a bench. “Now Souris, why does everyone say there is a treasure, even when no has found it in all this time?”

Souris’ mouth opened but the voice came from within the darkness of the shop. “Because when the prison was overthrown, the church was ransacked, but other than a few candlesticks nothing ever came from what everyone knows was a rich parish. Where did the priest hide their treasure? But some fool killed the clerics before they could talk.” An old man walked slowly into the light. “Well if it isn’t Souris, tell me my young man do your new friends here need shovels?”

Brother Timothy moved passed the boy in order to look at the old man from the shop. “Why shovels?”

“Since when do monks travel with pirates?”

“It’s a long story, why shovels?”

“Why to dig for the treasure of St Dimas! You may travel with pirates but you don’t think like one, the clue says the treasure is in the shadow.”

“What is the clue?”

“You really are new here…”

“…would you please give us the clue!”

Well it ain’t much, but the story goes…
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
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Welsh Wench on July 06, 2008, 10:05:32 PM
"Hmm?"  She looked up from holding up a pair of brown suede boots. She tapped the heel on the wooden bin to make sure the heel was securely fastened.
Duckie took the boots out of her hand and said, "I think you'd do better with the black ones."
"That's not what the 'Honour' was about, was it?"
"Spill it, Doctor Gander."
Duckie pretended to examine a pair of boots of smooth cowhide. "I just want to know how long you are going to play."
"Play? I'm not playing. This is called serious shopping."
"No. How long are you and Jack going to play your little games with each other."
"What games?"
"'What games?' The you-hurt-me-so-I-hurt-you-so-let's-kiss-and-make-up-whoa-not-so-fast-I'm-not-through-torturing-you-yet game."
"Oh. THAT game!"
"Yes. THAT game. For the love of God, just find your way into the same cabin at the same time, lock the door, blow the candle out and GET IT OVER WITH!"
"Not as easy as you think it is, Duckie."
"Oh, come one, Honour! I don't think I need to explain to you what goes where and why."
"All I am saying is that you two are wound up tighter than a hangman's noose and if you don't get rid of those knots, you two will explode. All that tension can't be good for your disposition. You will be happier, Jack will be happier, and believe me, it will save on the flying projectiles!"
"I'm not through, Duckie."
"What do you mean, you aren't through?"
"I'm not through making Jack pay for all he put me through."
"And that would be...?"
"Never mind. I don't want to go into it."
"One thing about you, Honour..."
"You have the mind of a woman. No one understands you."
"You're right about that, Duckie. Now...shall we move on?"
Briggs was overloaded with packages. "For the love of me mother, are ye not done YET? Me arms are breaking off! I'm not a beast of burden, ya know, and--oh, for the love of God, put that stuff down!"
Wench looked up from looking over some chemises made of semi-sheer black silk with lace.
"You mean--THIS?"
She held it up for Briggs and his face turned a bright red.
She laughed. "Why, Briggs, I thought it would be a little present myself!"
Duckie shook his head. "Really, Honour, I think that the delicacies could be shopped for when you are with Kate."
She put them down and sighed. "I guess you are right."

Just then a flash of pirate ran by. Honour barely got out of the way in time.
"Will you look at that? I have the same dress. And a hat to match. I didn't think two hats had the same combination of fea...HEY! THAT'S MY STUFF!"
Quick as a flash, Wench threw the gauzy chemise in Duckie's face and ran after the pirate. Which was hard because she had lost a boot heel about three stalls back. She stopped to throw her boots off and continued to run after him.
Everyone had always underestimated Wench's athletic ability. Well, maybe everyone but Jack. She ran through the market street and as she closed in on the thief who dared put her hat on his head, she took a flying leap.
And landed on his back.
Unfortunately the pirate continued to run. Wench wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck.
"*&^%$!!! GIVE ME BACK MY HAT OR I'LL TAKE YOUR HEAD WITH IT!" Her hand was smooshing his nose and she bit his ear.
The pirate stumbled forward and Wench went with him, both rolling into the street. The wind was knocked out of the pirate and Wench jumped on his back. She took his head and slammed it into the lane.
Punctuating every slam with a word.
She sat backwards on the poor man's arse and started twisting her boots off his feet.
She grabbed him by the laces of the dress and sat him upright. Yanking the dress over his head, he raised his hands like a compliant three year old.
Finally she took the hat, jammed it over his nose and then brutally tore it off his head.
The dress was stretched out, the boots were missing their heels and the feathers were drooping as though they had been through a monsoon.
Wench delicately put her hat on her head with as much dignity as she could muster, tilting it ever so fashionably.  She kicked the pirate over and as he laid in a heap, she calmly said, "You are SO accessory-impaired!  Any fool knows that the red hat goes with this dress!"
She turned to Duckie and Briggs and said, "Some people just have no fashion sense at all. But what can you do?"
Briggs and Duckie looked at each other without saying a word.
Wench turned back to look at them.
"Well, what are you two waiting for? Let's take these packages back to the ship before my line of credit gets back there and makes me take them back."
As they walked off, Wench was heard to mutter, 'Honestly! Just because you are a cut-throat doesn't mean you have to be a cut-rate one, too....mixing a spring hat with an autumn dress...I swear, I'll never understand where they grew up..."
Briggs whispered to Duckie, "I don't know who t'be more afraid or Jack?"
Duckie whispered back, "Let me tell you about the praying mantis...."
"Ya mean the one that bites the head off the male while mating?"
"The very same."
"And ye had t' encourage 'er t' give Ol' Jack a tumble!"
Duckie frowned. "I'm sure Jack would be alright...."
"Yeah. But if not, I sign on with the Knight Hammer!"

They both sighed as they followed the piratess with the spending habit back to the ship.
Title: Re: Dead Man's Tavern II
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on July 08, 2008, 08:17:09 PM
Jack half drug Malcolm’s near limp form through the thick foliage, thankful for the deep shadows of early nightfall to help hide them. Every once in a while he stopped to let his cousin rest as he used the sleeve of his free arm to mop the blood from his eyes. He could count on at least another three to four hours before the overdose of the pain killer would most likely leave him helpless again. By then he should have Malcolm as safe and sound as he could be. Then they could do what ever they wished with Blackjack Roberts. He had done all he had planned to do in this life anyway. If Duckie did have any designs on making him pay for his part in Jenny’s death, he was welcome to exact his revenge now.

Through the underbrush he could see the lights of the harbor. Now all that was left was to make it through the town itself in one piece. Considering Malcolm’s, and his own condition, Blackjack knew this would be far easier said than done. The two of them may as well have been wearing signs that said “Easy Prey” and his cousin was growing weaker with each passing moment. To top it all there was no way he could use his Lin Qui skills dragging Malcolm.

“Isn’t this a bloody pickle!” Roberts thought angrily. “Even if I get Malcolm through this gauntlet I still have to find a way to convince Mad Jack to allow the man who wrecked his ship on board!” Somehow Blackjack thought he would have an easier time trying to pull the teeth from a wide awake tiger in a closet.

Well he certainly wasn’t going to abandon his cousin now. Despite all the misery the man had put him through in the name of his master he was still blood and Jack had forgiven him the moment he asked. For the umpteenth time in his life Blackjack Roberts cursed the part of him that was still soft enough to make him do such foolhardy things. At least the early night shadows would provide a little cover.

“Now there’s a sight I thought I’d never live to see.” A familiar voice chuckled from the shadows. “Blackjack Roberts aiding a man instead of trying to flay him alive? Surely the world is near it’s end.” Blackjack froze, wondering if Malcolm would survive dropping him to the street long enough for him to face this new danger.

Calico Jack Rackham and Anne Bonny stepped from the shadows. “I always knew ye had a bit of a soft spot in ye somewhere, Roberts.” He chuckled.

“Care ta test that theory, Mate?” Blackjack said lowly.

“Not I, Jack.” Calico grinned. “Looks like ye could use a friend, or two about now though, don’t it?”

“Aye.” Blackjack grinned grimly. “Ye always did have a firm grasp a the obvious, Calico.”

Rackham stepped closer. “Well, Mate, considerin’ the spot a trouble ye helped…..” Suddenly he stopped as he recognized Blackjack’s burden and pulled two of the six pistols he carried. “Hell’s bells…that be Malcolm Dagget yer luggin around!!! Have ye taken leave a yer senses??!!”

In a flash Blackjack had the blade of the strange cutlass pressed against Calico’s midsection. “Let’s stop this foolishness afore one or both of us do something we’ll regret” Roberts said lowly. “We’ve been friends too long for this and I’ve few enough friends as it is.”

“Best make that the three of us, Blackjack.” Anne Bonny spoke grimly as she leveled her own flintlock at Jack’s skull.

“F-four!” Malcolm wheezed, having drawn one of Blackjack’s pistols and aimed it shakily in Anne’s general direction.

“Hold up there, Dogs!” Rackham exclaimed. “Let’s get a hold a ourselves and parley. What say you Jack?”

Roberts lowered the wicked steel and breathed an inward sigh of relief when the rest of the group followed suit. He wasn’t at all sure how far half dragging Dagget through the jungle had pushed the drug through his body, nor when it would push him far enough for the hallucinations to take over incapacitating him.

“That’s better.” Calico grinned. “I acted out of shock at seein’ ye luggin’ around a man what’s tried ta kill ya more’n once. So what be the lay ‘o things? Last I saw an encounter a’tween you and Dagget ye were dead set on sendin’ either a ya ta Davy Jones!”

Blackjack chuckled grimly, using the back of his sleeve to once again clear his blood from his eyes. “It be a long story, Mate.” He sighed. “But if’n ye’ll help me lug this heavy bastard down ta the docks, I’ll be happy ta tell ye the tale.”

Calico thought long and hard for a moment, then his clean shaven face broke into a wide grin. “That’s what I’ve always liked about ye, Blackjack. No matter how long we be mates, ya can still surprise me. We have an accord. Anne, fetch three a the crew ta help us get these two back ta their ship. Roberts……start talking.”
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on July 10, 2008, 02:24:00 PM
Elinor and Jack rounded a corner near the docks and caught site of Honour and her overburdened entourage drawing near the ship.  “Look!  It’s Wench!” she said happily, and raised her hand to wave and shout to her captain.  Jack hushed her before she could.

“Ah, none of that, please!” he asked.  “She’s have a fit if she knew we were tailing her.”

“No,” replied Elinor, “she’d throw a conniption if she knew YOU were tailing her”

Jack wrinkled his nose.  “Potato, potahto.  Either way, we should hang back.  Captain’s prerogative.”

“Whatever.  She’s right.  You are impossible,” she huffed.

The glimmer of gemstones caught Jack’s eye.  They had stopped directly in front of a vendor of precious jewels.  Rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces were strewn haphazardly across the table.  Elinor stared in amazement as he began rifling through the arrayed wealth as casually as one would a basket of cheap produce.  He picked up a topaz necklace, then one of citrine, and tossed them aside.  The shopkeeper smiled and held up a spectacular necklace of emeralds and diamonds.

“What do ye think o’ this beauty, gov’ner?” 

Elinor gasped.

Jack’s eyes went wide, but not in appreciation of the baubles.  “No thank you, mate!  I’ll not go down that road again!  Got anything in, say, rubies?”  The shopkeeper rummaged around and produced two necklaces, one understated comprised of solely rubies, and the other an eye-dazzling display of rubies and glittering diamonds.  He turned back to Elinor.  “Which do you think she’d like, love?”

She swallowed hard, and wordlessly pointed at the diamond and ruby piece.  “Couldn’t have said it better myself!  I’ll take it.”

Less than an hour later, Honour, her escorts, and her considerable purchases were aboard the ship, along with Jack and Elinor.  Honour had changed into a spectacular burgundy dress she’d bought that day.  Jack admired her as she stepped onto the quarterdeck.  She turned around to show off her new purchase, and smiled broadly. 

“What do you think of how I spent your money?” she asked playfully.

Jack leaned on the binnacle and smiled appreciatively.  “I can only fear how much it cost.  But you look amazing in it, like it was made just for you,” he flattered.

The compliment caught her off guard, and she blushed.  “Why, Captain Wolfe!  Do you have designs on me, good sir?” she asked flirtatiously.

“Perhaps, my lady,” he replied in kind.  “Would you find it too forward of me if I did, Mrs. Wolfe?”

Honour and Jack looked tenderly at one another, and suddenly all the animosity and pain between the two of them seemed to evaporate like the mist on a lake at sunrise.  “No,” she said softly.  “Not in the least…”

The shouts of crewmen near the gangway shattered the moment.  “Get the doctor!!”  one of the voices cried.  “We got hurt men!!  Cap’n!!  We got wounded!!  It’s Roberts, and that Daggett fella!!”

The couple ran to the gunwale and looked down at the scene unfolding on the dock.  Daggett and Roberts, both bloodied and injured, were being helped aboard.  A garishly dressed fellow and his female companion appeared to have been the ones to deliver the wounded men to the ship.  The spoke with one of the crewmen, then turned to leave.  As they did, the two looked up and saw Jack and Honour looking back at them.  Both couples exchanged quizzical glances with their partners, and the pair on the docks disappeared into the crowd.

Jack turned toward the steps, with a murderous look in his eye.  “What are you going to do?” Honour asked.

“I’m going to have a chat with this Daggett fellow.  Then I’m going to kill him.”

“Show me the mangy cur that dared attack my ship!” Jack roared.  The crew made a clear path as he stormed across the deck, his hand already on the hilt of his cutlass.  “I want to see the look in his eyes when I…”  His voice trailed off when he saw the wounded man’s face, and his own expression changed from rage to confusion to disbelief.  “Squints? Squints Daggett, is that you?”

Malcolm looked at Jack for a moment, and then laughed weakly.  “Oh, my God!  Jack!” he coughed.  “You’re Captain Wolfe?  What happened to you?  You look like hell!”

“You’re one to talk, you old bug hound!  Oi!  Duckie!  You remember Squints, don’t you?  Come quickly!” called Jack.  Duckie was hustling toward the wounded men, and broke into a smile of concerned recognition when he saw Daggett.

“Squints!  I’d forgotten your given name was Malcolm!  Dear lord, how did this happen to you?”  Daggett nodded in Roberts’ direction.  “As I should have guessed,” said Duckie acidly, his smile quickly fading.  “Lilaney?  Where are you, my dear… ah!  Lil, please attend to your friend’s injuries.  I’m going to have my hands full with this fellow.”  He directed two crewmen to lift Malcolm and carry him to the surgery.

Daggett reached out and took hold of Jack’s sleeve.  “Jack, I’m sorry about the attack on your ship.  If I had known, I’d have never…”  He caught a glimpse of Honour standing behind Jack, away from the group.  His brow furrowed.  “I’m so sorry about everything.”

“We’ll talk about this later, Squints,” said Jack, and he nodded to the crewmen.  As they carried Daggett away, Duckie paused to confer.  “How bad off is he, Ducks?”

“I won’t lie to you, Jack.  He’s in very bad shape.  The next few hours will tell.”  Jack gave a nod of acknowledgement, and the doctor followed after his charge.  A gentle hand on his shoulder caused Jack to turn and find Honour beside him.

“Jack, where do you know that awful man from?  He’s your friend?” she asked.

He chuckled softly.  “Squints Daggett is an old school chum of mine and Duckie’s.  Nobody ever knew him as ‘Malcolm’, really.  He was studying to be a naturalist.  Absolutely fascinated with bugs and insects.  He’d spend endless hours running about looking at things under a magnifying glass or microscope.  That’s how he got the name ‘Squints’, forever peering through lenses at the world.  Looks like he isn’t the only one whose priorities in life changed.”  Jack turned and looked at Honour.  She couldn’t help but see the hurt in his eyes.  “I already know how you’re acquainted with him” he said with painful sadness.  He searched her eyes for a moment, then turned and walked toward the quarterdeck.

Honour could feel the heat of shame in her cheeks.  “It was a long time ago,” she said quietly as she watched her husband walk away.

Post by: lilaney on July 10, 2008, 03:10:02 PM
"My Dear?!"
Lil was surprised.
'Never knew a bleeding almost dead person could put another person in such a mood to use a sentiment.'
She filed it away in her mind to ponder later, right next to the thought about Ravel and what he was really about.
Physically, she shrugged and focused her attention onto the bleeding{again} Black Jack
"What the hell happened to you?"
Post by: Hibernian on July 10, 2008, 08:45:29 PM
“In its shadow you will find the one.”
The words of the old man echoed through Timothy’s mind as if he believed that if repeated often enough the meaning would suddenly become clear. It wasn’t working.

A black shape suddenly moved quickly through his side vision followed by a loud swoosh. Jumping backward he beheld the vision of Kate swinging a shovel around as if it were a quarter staff.
“Kate! What in heaven’s name are you doing?”

“What does it look like, I’m looking for a shovel, I want a good one, what do you think of this one?”
“I think it is not a weapon so please lower it before you manage to connect and damage something or worst yet someone. Besides, you don’t find a good shovel by swinging it around your head like some naked berserker running into battle swinging a sword.”
“Fine then how do you test a shovel?”
“Well, I would suppose that one must…wait a minute why are we testing shovels, I mean why do you need a shovel?”

“I’m going to find the treasure of St Dimas!”
“Interesting and how will this be accomplished?”
“Well by digging when the shadow of the cross on the steeple hits the right spot.”
“Just like everyone else on the island? Kate look at all the holes, even the holes have holes in them, it’s a whole clan of holes, why I’ll bet there are at least three generations of holes here, there are Pappa Holes, Momma Holes and even Baby Holes, you don’t need a shovel just look around you are sure to find a hole that just right! Take the hole back to the ship with you, no one will miss it!”
“But Brother…”

Brother Timothy grabbed the shovel from Kate’s hand, turned and handed it to the old shop keeper. “Thank you kind sir, we have wasted enough of your time, I’m sorry but we didn’t come after the treasure, I just need to see the inside of the church. Once again you have our thanks.”

“Did I mention the shovels were half off today only?”
“No, you did not, but should I find anyone needing shovels I will certainly point them your way.”
Taking Kate by the elbow the two headed toward the front entrance of the church.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on July 10, 2008, 11:55:05 PM
Blackjack winked at Lil as he shrugged off her attentions for the moment. “It’s a tale best left for later, Luv.” He grinned through the mask of blood that coated the entire side of his face. “I’ve one last task to perform, and if I don’t perform it soon the Lobo may have need of another scribe. D’ye still have the herbs we purchased?”

“Aye.” Lil frowned as she slipped the package to him. “But, damn it Roberts you need medical attention now! You could die from this much blood loss!”

The former highwayman simply grinned. “No big loss there, Luv. I’ve accomplished all I ever intended to in this life and there are few enough to morn my passing. Listen. Soon the overdose of a special pain killing drug that I had to use to get Malcolm back here will leave me helpless, if not kill me anyway. I’d never used such an amount before, so I’ve no way of telling what the final effect will be.”

“Drug?!!” The shapely piratess burst out. “What have you done, you big lummox??!”

“Shhhhhhhhh!” Blackjack hissed. “Now that I’m not dragging Dagget halfway across this bloody island I can use the remainder of my time to slip unseen into the scribe’s quarters and free him from the effects of the zombie powder, but I can’t do it if you keep drawing attention to us.”

As he spoke Roberts backed toward the crowded crew who were watching Duckie take the man who had nearly sunk them to the surgery. “I never intended to kill the scribe, only keep him in check until this business with Mad Jack was over. I won’t have another innocent death on my conscience. No matter the cost, I will set him free and save his life.”

For a moment Lil stood there open mouthed. In the literal blink of an eye Roberts had vanished into the crew. Had she not known better she would have sworn he became invisible. Now what to do? All her training told her that without medical attention himself, Blackjack Roberts was as good as dead. Why would he risk his own life to save a man who had nearly killed them all trying to kill him? Why take an even larger risk once he was where he could be helped to save the life of a man that was an even bigger threat to him?

Lil thought for a moment. There was only one way to find out. Shoving the Lobo’s crew out of her way she raced for the door that led into the Lobo del Mar’s innards. Blackjack had to be headed toward the place he had hidden the scribe. Suddenly she stopped short, realizing he had never revealed the location to her. The man could be anywhere below decks now. For the first time in her life Lilaney wrung her hands in frustration. How could she find him in time?

As soon as the two crewmen passed Blackjack detached himself from the shadows in the claustrophobic hallway outside the scribe’s door. He had led Elinor and Lil to believe Julian was safe, but the truth was that if he didn’t get the mind numbing antidote to the man soon he would die for real. The body could only remain in the living death state for so long before it would succumb to the poisons coursing slowly through it. It was the reason the Voodoo priests would dig the victim up before three days had passed.

Quickly he opened the door and grabbed the nearest empty tankard. Carefully he measured out the amounts of each of the normally deadly herbs onto the small square of cheesecloth he had lifted from the galley. Tying the end into a makeshift tea bag he half filled the tankard with rum and tossed it in to steep.

Pulling the key to Julian’s trunk like chest from his pocket he unlocked it and lifted the scribe from within. Laying Julian prone he began to stimulate the blood flow by rubbing the pulse points in the man’s wrists, ankles, and neck. This was the tricky part. If he increased the blood flow too much the puffer fish poison that made up a large part of the zombie powder would rush through him and kill him as surely as a blade to the heart.

Julian moaned softly and Jack grabbed the tankard. Pulling the bag out he squeezed it as hard as he could to release even more of the nightshade, and henbane into the alcohol. Then he lifted the scribe’s head and all but poured it down the dieing man’s throat.

The scribe coughed violently for a few moments, then recognition came to his eyes. “Blackjack Roberts isn’t it?” He asked, confused. “You shouldn’t be here! You were just shot, man! Does Duckie know your out of your cot?! Is something wrong with Elinor?!!”

Blackjack smiled with relief. The waking drug had done the trick. Julian would live with no memory of the last three days. A small price to pay for his silence. “She’s fine, Mate.” Roberts grinned. “Ye got a hold of some bad rum and have been passed out in here for the last three days. We had a spot of trouble ashore and she sent me at check on ya. Ye’ll be fine now I’d wager.”

“Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d better find Lil at sew me back up.” Roberts stood just as the last of the buffer between him and the Black Lotus burned itself out. Suddenly his head felt as if it had been cracked wide open and the room spun like a deranged kaleidoscope.  Perhaps it was better this way. He had finished his tasks and there was little he cared to see of this world anyway.

“Elinor!” Lil made her way over to her best friend. “Blackjack has slipped off to resurrect Julian! Did you find anything out about where he may have hid him?!”

Elinor thought long and hard. “Not a hair, or a sign. Why”

“If I don’t tend to that stubborn oaf soon it’s likely as we’ll be burying him on this isle before we sail!” Lilaney all but shouted. “Think! Was there any clue as to where he could have hidden Julian’s body?!

“The chest!!” Elinor exclaimed. “The chest in Julian’s room! When I sat on it, it moved!”

Lil shot for the lower deck with Elinor running as fast as she could in her wake. Arriving at the Lobo’s scribe’s quarters they threw the door open to find a thoroughly confused Julian sitting on the floor beside Blackjack’s barely breathing body. The color drained from Lil’s face, almost matching the pallor of Roberts skin.
Post by: Martin Montgomery on July 11, 2008, 04:43:36 AM
The youth with eyes of green grinned and sketched a low bow towards Lil,finishing it with a flourish " Just doin' a bit 'o business Pretty Lady ,it wern't personal! " The lad disappeared into the throng of onlookers like a puff of smoke on a windy day! Lil,her fists filled with steel shrieked a single word, "YOU!"  Martin stopped his charge after Ravel knowing that it would be futile,so he turned his attention to where he could do some good! Forsaking his compliment of weapons in his anger the big cook turned and grabbed the nearest of the looters by the neck.relieving him of the chest in his hands and pitched him bodily off the wharf into the brackish waters fifteen feet below! He rushed up the gangplank and leaped onto a knot of men,knocking half of them overboard and leaving the rest stunned on the deck! A hand tapped Martin on his left shoulder and without thinking he grabbed it with his right hand and JERKED! "Martin!" Lilaney choked out between laughter "That was one of OURS!" He leaned over the rail and waved at the "El Lobo's" sailor,who was swimming towards a rickety appearing ladder attached to the wharfs sturdy pilings "Sorry!" Men were dropping things and leaping from the deckrails to the unforgiving woodplanks of the repair wharf! Some tried to retain their treasures as they fled down the gangplank,most just fled .......Quickly! The slower ones were helped along with the toe of Martin's boot,applied none too gently to the seat of the their pants! Once the deck was relatively clear,the cook stopped his rampage long enough to find Lil,who was lithely spinning, cuffing ears and kicking the backsides of men who were still searching among the spoils strewn across the planks,her laughter was contagious and Martin chuckled to himself watching her petite form dance about "Lil!" He called out  "Go see where the crew is, so we can start getting all these things back on the boat!" She found a group tied to the new mast and cut them free with a swipe of her dagger. Meanwhile,the now panting  cook was organizing other crewmembers to begin the task of gathering the remnants left behind by the looters. "WW is goin'ta' ab-so-loot-ly FREAK!!" he chuckled to a young crewman as he redfacedly stuffed some frilly "unmentionables" back into one of the Co-Captain's many chests that lay about. Once he had caught his breath,Martin tapped three "Lobo" crewmen,one of them still dripping from his unintentional dunking, and led them over towards a knot of tough looking men who were coming up the narrow street, several pushing handcarts loaded with the food,supplies and sundries he had contracted from Rubin,the proprietor of the "Ship's Stores" warehouse. "What in the bloody HELL is goin' on here!?!" Martin paused and his mind reached back to the time,"Was it only hours ago?" he thought******* Taking the scrap of parchment from Blackjack,with it's distinctive skull,whip and dagger motif, Martin tucked it into his beltpouch for safe keeping. Then with a single nod of his shaggy head repeated "Deal only with Rubin!" Winking at Lil the big man stated "I'm off! Take care you two!" Heading towards a huge structure that had a plain handpainted sign reading only "Ship's Stores"  The look of concentration on his face as he studied a list of needed items,his size and the fact that slung from his belt were enough weapons to supply a squad of marines, made one man's face blanch pale under his striped watchcap as he tread upon the toes of the man behind him to allow the large man plenty of room to pass. Were someone watching it would appear that Martin's gut cut through the crowd like a ship under full sail! The cleared pathway led straight  back to where Blackjack and Lil, still conversing in low tones ,waited. Mounting the rough cut boards that served as a walkway in front of the building,the preoccupied cook bumped into a man who was exiting the wide front opening,his arms full of supplies "Excuse m......" Martin started to say as he reached out to steady the man,then realizing his error shoved the man clear of the door and onto a bench set just outside of the doorway. "Outta my way!" He boomed loudly,noticing that the man was not injured as he sat heavily on the sturdy seat,packages wavering crazily but none falling. crossing the threshold and entering the darker recesses of the stores interior,he stopped to let his eyes get used to the murky gloom, then searched for someone to help fill his rather large order. Seeing no one he filled his lungs and boomed " I am lookin' for a no account who goes by the name of "Ruby!!" he heard hushed snickers further back in the store and chuckled to himself "I don't know why Blackjack worried about me! I can handle a pencil pushing store clerk!"  "Thas' "RUBIN" midget!!" a surprisingly deep voice from behind Martin's left ear whispered! Whirling around the "Knight Hammer/Lobo's" cook  was surprised to be looking at the apron covered chest of an,Extremely Tall, dark skinned man! He stepped back one step and could just see the crown of the man's shaven head, six inches above his own six foot three inch stature! "Oh my stars and garters!" Martin whispered aloud "Blackjack said nothing about Rubin be'in Quite............ So..........BIG!"   The ebony face split into a wide grin as the man started "ROBERTS?! You were sent by that miserable malcontent?!" The cook fished the parchment from his belt and steadied his voice,holding the scrap out between two sausagelike fingers "Aye, he did! He stated that you would cheat me less than any other landbound merchant on this forsaken island! Did he lie?" Surprisingly long and delicate fingers plucked the scrap from his hand and opened it to reveal the insignia representing Blackjack Roberts. "S'truth this IS his mark!" Martin had the unusual feeling of being smothered by the strength of the dark man's quick embrace,and he knew now how others had felt when he loomed over THEM! "So Roberts is on the Island of Traitors! You are here to get supplies? Come! Sit for a time and tell me of my friend! He has told you how he saved my life,and that of my son?!" Martin shook his head, smiled and promised himself to repay Blackjack Roberts for the just now settling flutter of his heart,as he listened to the exited rumbling voice relate his story........ And here it is just a few hours later Rubin himself leading the parade!" The two large men came together and shook hands warmly,as men who respected each other. Looking over his shoulder the cook spoke to the "Lobo's" crewmen "Boys, show these good men to the "Lobo" and start stowing the goods! Something tells me that we are going to need to make another "Quick and Quiet" getaway when WW and the others make it back! Loud cries were heared from a different street,Martin frowned and tried to make out the words  “Get the doctor!!”  one of the voices cried.  “We got hurt men!!  Cap’n!!  We got wounded!!  It’s Roberts, and that Daggett fella!!” The two giants raced the length of the ship and arrived at the same second, boots sliding on the streets damp cobblestones! "Get them aboard" One sailor called "I saw the Doctor and the Lady Lil arrive earlier!" Martin assessed the situation then turned to his crewers "We can't all be here in the way, we need to get our supplies loaded and be ready to weigh anchor and set sail as soon as we can find our Co-Captains!"   
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on July 15, 2008, 08:08:05 AM
Duckie dried his hands as he watched the sleeping Malcolm ‘Squints’ Daggett.  The injuries to his old classmate were worse than he’d originally feared.  The next hours would tell if the man would live or die.  He wondered what had happened over the intervening years to change Squints’ fortunes so.  Then again, Duckie wasn’t where he imagined he would be all those years ago.  There was a soft knock at the door.  He turned to find Jack standing there.

“Jack!  I was just about to come find you.  Seems our good friend Squints has quite the will to live.  Unfortunately, he's going to need every bit of it.  Whatever arcane potions Roberts used on him, it has severely limited what I can do.  Even Bonita was never so reckless.  Honestly, Jack, if this is how a cousin ends up, I'd hate to be that man's brother.  Provided he makes it through the night, he should be strong enough in a few days time to return to his ship.  Barring any complications, of course.  We should send word and have them follow us to the next port so he can rejoin them.”  Duckie paused and cocked his head.  “I don’t believe I care for that look in your eyes.”

“Can he be moved sooner, Duckie?  Stronger or not,” asked Jack quietly.

The doctor rolled his eyes in exasperation and motioned for the two of them to step into the companionway.  He closed the surgery door behind them.  “This is about Honour, isn’t it?”

“What do you think?”

“I think you’re putting your emotions ahead of the well being of a friend.  It’s not Squints’ fault, Jack.  He couldn’t have known.  You wouldn’t have known about any of it if Fate hadn’t brought all the players together like this.”

“But it did,” replied Jack.  “Duckie, I know about Honour’s… indiscretions.  She’s never made an attempt to hide them from me.  It’s easier to deal with when it’s an abstraction, you know?  Like it’s just some ugly notion.  But this time- there it is, in flesh and blood.”  He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.  “You said you wanted to see Honour and I back together again.  I do, too.  But how can I possibly put the past behind us when it’s strolling the decks?"

"I wouldn’t concern myself overmuch of that happening," Duckie interjected.  "I can't guarantee he'll make it through the night.  No, the only way Squints will leave this surgery is if he's carried.  Hopefully breathing."

Jack would not be dissuaded.  "Nonetheless, every time I see him, I’ll remember.  Every time he and Honour talk, I’ll wonder.  No, Duckie.  I can't swallow this one.  Friend or not, I want him off my ship before we sail morning after next.”

Duckie shook his head slowly.  “I know you love her.  I know how her leaving affected you.  I can only imagine how painful this all must be.  But please, Jack, be reasonable!  Are you willing to jeopardize a man’s life, Squints Daggett’s life, because of a simple twist of Fate?”

“I’ve done it before with less at stake,” Jack said with unsettlingly cool detachment.  “You said it yourself; he’s got a strong will to live.  Is putting him off the ship a death sentence, or isn’t it?”

“Have you heard a word I've said?!   You can’t possibly expect—“

“I’ll have Briggs send a runner to his ship tomorrow morning.  They can collect him in the afternoon, to give him a bit more time to rest.  That's the extent of my generosity in this matter.”  He turned to leave, but Duckie wasn’t finished.

“Damn you, Jack!  I've held my tongue on such matters in the past, but not this time!  Quit playing the jealous husband and think!  This is wrong, and you know it!  You owe him better!”

Jack shook his head.  “I don’t owe him a damned thing except my hospitality while he’s aboard and to make sure he gets back to his ship, Doctor.  If this is all Fate’s doing as you say, then Fate can square it with him.”

Duckie stared at his captain.  "I won't have it!  Sangraal is only four days journey, and you have plans to stop there for information on Jennings.  I spoke to Briggs already, so don’t deny it.  Four days, Jack!  That will make the difference if he lives or dies.  And consider this; either Squints stays aboard, or he and I both leave.  I'm his attending physician, and I'll not forsake my patient.”

“This is blackmail.”

“So you have been listening after all.”

Jack worked his jaw in frustration.  “Damn you.  Fine.  You have your four days.  No more.”  He turned and walked toward the weather deck.  “Call me when he’s awake!  We have some catching up to do.”

Duckie understood Jack’s position, but to allow one friend’s battered ego to trump another’s life was unconscionable to him.  He returned to the surgery where Daggett still slumbered, where he leaned wearily on his desk and regarded the sleeping man.

“Squints, my friend, it appears we’ll have time to get caught up.  You’re now a guest on El Lobo del Mar.” 
Post by: lilaney on July 15, 2008, 09:02:21 AM
"What did you do to him!?"
Elinor sank to her knees next to the unconcious BlackJack.
Julian looked incredulious at the accusation she had thrown at him.
"Me!? What are you talking about Elinor? He came in and just fell over.
How is our course to make it to port?"
Lilaney listened to the ramblings of the man sitting on the chest as she watched Elinor gently turn Blackjack less face-down and more face-up.
"Lil? How far out of port are we? A day? Day and a half?"
Julian's insistent questioning got Lil to respond.
"What? Julian," she stated distractedly as she knelt down to help Elinor turn BlackJack's head, the blood was fresh and it made her stomach turn.
"We have been in port for a full day now. Where have you been?"
He jumped to his feet, swayed, and sank to the floor in agony as all the pins and needles of fresh blood-flow cramped his unused leg muscles.
He rolled on the floor as a rather nasty charlie horse cramped his left calf muscle.
Spasmodically, his foot shot out and soundly kicked Elinor in the bum as she quatted on her heels helping Lil assess the extent of the damage to BlackJack.

In one swift motion Elinor went sprawling across Blackjack with an yelp of surprise, BlackJack's eyes flew open, he sat straight up, and he bellowed something in his deep voice that was a mix between a curse, an order, a charge and a plea.
His eyes rolled back up into his head and he flopped back onto the deck.
The thud of his head on the wood was deafening.

Elinor was in a right state.
She pushed up of the now-prone BlackJack with a fury Lil had not seen in a long while, and headed towards Julian.
Who was still on the floor massaging his lower limbs into submission.
Standing over him with arms akimbo Elinor glared at him.

Lil knew when to make an exit.
Somehow she found the strength to gather the top half of BlackJack against her shoulder and hoist him up using her own body to keep his upright. His legs dragged uselessly across the wooden boards.
"Someone's gotta lay off the Rum" She muttered as she began to drag him forcibly towards the surgery.
He was all one big bleeding dead weight.

Captain Wolfe passed by Lil and Blackjack as she was taking a pause in her path to catch her breath and readjust Blackjack against her shoulder.
'He's got what my Mam always called 'the thousand mile stare' on his face. Wonder what's eating him?'
She spoke to Blackjack's unconcious self, his non-reply, but steady beating heart and still bleeding wounds got Lil moving again.
"C'mon, you. Let's go patch you up again. Think I'll leave a coupled of scars for you to brag about in your greying years."

Lil made it to the surgery door and kicked it open with her foot. Duckie's non-plussed face made the effort worth it. Silently, he assisted her in getting BlackJack to the other bed and together they made quick work of him.

"Think he'll stay put this time?"
Lil asked wryly as the two stood over their sleeping paitents.
"Oh, he's not going anywhere for some time, I am certain."
Duckie stated firmly.
"Go change, we both smell."
Lil nodded at his advice and headed to her bunk.
Her thoughts kept her keen company as she changed.
"I think I better go check on Elinor and Julian. Make sure she hasn't killed him, or worse."

Post by: Hibernian on July 17, 2008, 09:55:17 PM
“Perhaps this isn’t the best of times to mention this, but I haven’t been through the doorway of a church in quite a while, in fact you might say God and I aren’t exactly on speaking terms.”

“Bread and butter,” coming around another massive hole in the ground the monk joined Kate in looking up at the church. “Don’t worry, lightning very rarely hits inside an actual church.” The color drained from her face as Kate’s eyes grew wider. “Hey, just kidding, lightning is so Old Testament, but just in case would you like to hold my rosary beads?”
“That’s not helping!”
“Then how about this, I remember an old Irish tradition, first time into a new church you get three wishes. Just use one of your wishes to make yourself lightning proof.”
“Great, I’m stuck with a monk who’s trying to be funny by mixing superstition with religion.”
“The Church is full of supersition mixed in with theology, but I didn't say that. Come on Kate you are way too tense about this, still stay close, it’s getting late and we still need to find our way back to the ship.”

The monk put his shoulder to the door and slowly it creaked open enough for the two to slid into the interior of the church. As he followed Kate through his right hand naturally went to the stoup standing next to the door. When his fingers remained dry he turned to examine it and saw the crack, no holy water here. Still he slowly blessed himself and followed Kate into the nave.

Kate moving as quietly as she could, walked into a rainbow. The nave of the church was flooded with light from the great stained glass windows. Turning slowly she studied each of the colored panels. “They’re beautiful, who are they?”

“The windows of the church sometimes tell a story like a parable or an event from the Bible, sometimes we see a window into the next world or there are windows like these with men and women who we may use as guides on the way to heaven. Such as over there, see that’s St. Michael the Archangel a very popular image.”
“So I should be like Mike?”
“Perhaps not, I’m having a hard time imaging you in that armor with a flaming sword.”
“Who are the others?”
“In a moment, first I need to check something. But if you take a close look, usually there are clues in the windows,” Brother Timothy moved past Kate and toward the sanctuary.

The church was obviously long abandon yet he approached with care and reverence, even abandon this was still a holy place. Stepping past the iron altar screen the monk slowly genuflected and walked to the altar. Looking about there was nothing left intact, anything of possible value was long gone, even the tabernacle and red sanctuary light were missing. It amazed him that the windows were still intact, but one never knows.

“Brother, you need to see this…”
“Kate I’ll be with you in a moment.” Kate could wait.
“No really Brother it’s looks…”
“Kate hush and hold your tongue just a moment.” Brother Timothy stood in front of the altar, the marble surface smooth and unmarked. An untrained eye would have missed the latch, he did not and tripped open the sliding panel from the altar’s middle. The space within was empty and his heart sank. "Damm I was sure this was it."

It was common knowledge that every church’s sanctuary held relics of its patron saints, one of which who’s honor the church was named. What was not generally known was these relics were set into the base of the main altar. “Well that’s that then, whatever they had of St Dimas is gone. I guess that wasn’t the treasure after all.”

"Timothy get over here now, the light is fading and you need to see this!"
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on July 18, 2008, 04:10:56 PM
"You have FAR too much stacked against you for me to believe that he just "fell over," Julian," Elinor responded through gritted teeth, once Lil had left, Blackjack in her arms, "least of which is you kicking me just now!" She glared at him once more.

"Kick you? I didn't mean--I couldn't help it! My leg acted of it's own free will!" Julian protested.

"Oh, you mean the "free will" that allowed the chest to become possessed earlier? I'll have NONE of it, Julian! I was--"she paused, rewriting her response from scared to something more courageous, "surprised when that happened, and I don't wish it to ever happen again! I have had my fill of zombies and moving chests and the like for ONE sea voyage, let alone my entire life!" She fumed, the last exclamation more a private utterance to herself than to her fellow scribe.

"Zombies?" Julian muttered. "Where have we encountered zom--"

"Never you mind," Elinor snapped. "You better have a good reason for doing whatever you did to Blackjack, and you better give it to me right now! I don't have violent tendencies, but with you, I just might start." With this, she leaned into him, giving him a long and hard stare.

"Honest, Elinor, I did nothing. And, my apologies if I hurt you," he added hastily.

"You did," Elinor said defensively rubbing her bottom with her right hand.

Just then, Lil appeared at the doorway once more. "I see you two are getting on nicely," she murmured, glancing from Julian to Elinor. Elinor blushed, then, and glared at her friend. "Lil! There's no call for that, none at all!"
Post by: lilaney on July 18, 2008, 06:05:26 PM
Lil leaned against the sill of the doorway and gave her friend her wide-eyed innocent stare.
"Who? Me? I was just coming by to check on you."
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on July 18, 2008, 10:10:30 PM
Elinor raised her eyebrows, not believing her friend's innocent expression for a second. "Mmmhmmm," she replied.

"So, since you aren't taking revenge on the El Lobo's scribe, here," Lil responded, "I should probably get back to the infirmary--"

"--And I should go with you," Elinor quickly replied, giving a quick glance toward Julian. "After all, you should probably take a look at my wound, again...I'm sure it's not healed yet."

"I don't think there's much I can--"Lil said--

"I'm sure it needs your keen eye, Lil," Elinor interrupted once more, gritting her teeth together as she uttered the name of her friend urgently. She gave Lil a look that she hoped would seal the deal. She didn't want to be in the room with Julian any longer, and saw her chance for an easy escape. She wasn't going to let Lil weasel her out of it.

Lil glanced back at her, returning the look with a gaze of understanding. "On second thought, maybe I should have a look at your wound, make sure it's healing nicely," Lil responded, taking her good arm and whisking her out of the room with one last glance at Julian.

"Thank you," Elinor whispered as soon as they were out of Julian's range of hearing, "I can't STAND that man!"

"It didn't look that way to me," Lil muttered, smiling, and Elinor turned scarlet. "LIL!"
Post by: Blackjack Roberts 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."
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe 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.”
Post by: Blackjack Roberts 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.
Post by: Welsh Wench 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 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?"
"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.
Strange, isn't it?
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe 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.
Post by: Hibernian 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."
Post by: Blackjack Roberts 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.

Post by: Welsh Wench 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 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 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!"
Post by: Welsh Wench 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?"
"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?"
"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."
"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.
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe 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'?”


“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...'
Post by: Martin Montgomery 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!!!!"         
Post by: Welsh Wench 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.
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?

* this appears to be a habit with Blue
Post by: Blackjack Roberts 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.
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne 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..."
Post by: lilaney 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.
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.
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!"
Post by: Welsh Wench on July 30, 2008, 03:51:57 PM
"As long as I get to lick the bowl!"
Lil and Elinore turned around to see Captain Wench standing in the doorway.
"Wench!" Lil grinned.
Elinore picked up the knife to cut a brownie. Martin smacked her hand. "If that is for Captain, the same rules apply to her as they do to you. Here--" he said as he swept his hand over the surrounding "----here I am King!"
For once Wench didn't look like a captain. She wore a loose chemise and a skirt hiked up. And she was barefoot. Her hair was in a braid down her back. No hat, no feathers.
"Well, I must say you look like one of the girls, Wench!" Martin exclaimed.
She looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "And what do you think I am when the clothes come off at night?...Allright, don't answer that!"
She helped herself to the bowl and a spoon and began to lick the batter off it. "Mmmm....! The best part of the brownie!"
Lil looked at her and said, "Um...what are those scratches on your chest?"
"Oh! We have a guest."
Elinor smirked, "I know..but last I looked, Daggett was out of it!"
Wench stuck her tongue out at Elinore playfully. "This guest is in my room."
"But I just saw Captain---"
"And that is where you will see him. Wherever you saw him last. This is a rum-drinking guest."
The two women looked at each other questionably.
Martin smiled and picked a blue feather off Wench's shoulder. "I see he arrived."
"Yes, he did. And in search of rum. In the usual places, too."
Lil threw her hands up.  "Once again you lost me!"
Elinor laughed heartily, "I know who it is!"
Wench put her finger to her lips and said, "Let's see if Lil can figure it out."
"Do I get twenty questions?"
"Let's see if you can do it in three."
"He likes rum, right?"
"And he likes to hang around you, right?"
"Oh good grief, do you think I can pull the answer out of the blue.....BLUE! BLUE HAS COME FOR A VISIT!'
"Give the woman a cigar, Martin! She got it right!"
"So...why does Wench get dessert when we had to eat all our dinner?" Elinor asked.
Martin wiped down the tabletop and lightly flicked El in the head. "Because she was in here earlier and ate a nice bowl of stew."
"And three pieces of bread!" Wench added.
Lilaney licked the crumbs of the brownie off her fingers. "It's nice to have you to ourselves, Wench. Usually you and Captain Wolfe or Briggs is arguing."
She laughed. "Oh, I take it you want a little girl talk, is that it?"
Martin rolled his eyes. "Is that my cue to leave?"
"Of course not! You are always welcome!"
Martin put three steaming cups of cocoa in front of them."It is said that rum will loosen the lips of pirates. I wonder what melted chocolate in the hands of three lovely women will do?"
The three women sat around for the better part of an hour, laughing and reminiscing about anything and everything.
"Do you remember when Ice Mage brought those little Brownies to disable the other ships so we could take the Knight Hammer without interference?"
"OH! And remember when we were in Tortuga?"
"Lil, I will NEVER forget the look on your face when that swordsman delivered all those swords for 'Captain Daniels' illegitimate half sister!' That was priceless!"
"Or when Kate and I were listening outside the door to Daemon confronting White Rose on marrying Dorian?"
"And the Queen Bonnie's cats tearing the English redcoats to pieces?"
"Oh, I wish Kate were here to join us..."
"Oh! And what about Jonas Corwin's poisoned blade when you almost died, Wench?"
"And how about that whole business with the Loreion?"
"And what about when we all suspected Daemon and Wench were lovers...."
Wench looked down. "It was a long time ago...."
Lil said quietly, "All of it was a long time ago.  We were all different people then."
Martin refilled their cocoa.
Wench said cheerily, "Well, I am beginning to suspect a few attractions here. Lil, I see you and Duckie working very closely. And you, Elinor! Stop smirking! I'm beginning to think some of those ink prints on Julian didn't come from a leaky quill!"
The women and Martin all burst into laughter.
Lil picked up her cocoa cup and casually hid her smile behind it. "And what of you, Wench?"
"What of me?"
"Well, you and Captain Wolfe. Why don't you get back together?"
"It's a bit more complicated than that. Alot of 'who did what to whom' to work through. The more you try to untangle it, the more tangled it gets."
"Don't you ever wish you two had settled down and had a family?"
Wench spilled her cocoa.
"I--I'm so sorry, Martin."
"It's alright, Wench. I'll mop it up. Do you want more?"
She shook her head no.
"I'lll leave you three now and head for bed."
She left the galley abruptly.

Elinore turned to Martin and Lilaney. "What do you suppose that was about?"
Martin looked after her. "Don't rightly know but they say the more you have a secret, the more it wants to get out."
He sighed and said, "More cocoa, ladies?"
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on August 01, 2008, 09:45:59 PM
'I mean, really, why wouldn't she tell me her real name instead of keeping up this ruse for so long? Rhiannon Wolfe has quite the elegant ring,' thought Jack as he walked to the crew's mess. It had been hours since he'd eaten, and he found it difficult to concentrate with his stomach demanding attention. The delicious smell of stew wafted down the companionway from the galley, and his mouth watered in anticipation. It was easy to see why his crewmates adored Martin Montgomery so; not only was he a good and solid hand, he was a wizard in the kitchen. Feminine laughter rang out as Jack approached the door, and he stopped when one laugh, as sweet as chimes, caught his ear. Honour was there with the other women! Which meant she was not in her cabin as he'd thought. Maybe she had something amongst her belongings with her real name written on it which would settle the matter once and for all. He quietly turned around and made his way to her quarters. Once there, he opened the door and slipped inside.


The noise was enough to make Jack nearly jump out of his skin. He whirled and saw Blue standing on the bed, head cocked to the side, staring back at him. “Shut it, you!” Jack admonished the parrot as loudly as he dared. “I don't care what Honour says, I'm of a mind to stuff you in the smallest cage I can find. You can't hold that shape forever!” Blue looked up at the ceiling, almost dismissively, and went about preening underneath his wing. He pulled loose a feather and dropped it on the bed.

“Don't think acting like a real bird is going to fool me for a moment!” Jack continued. “Remember, I saw your little display out there! If you can become a horse or a dog, a parrot wouldn't be a stretch. So get it over with! Come on, change back to normal and we'll have it out right here!” With a rattling squawk, Blue bobbed his head a couple times and strolled up the bed to Honour's pillow and began rubbing his head against it in a seemingly affectionate manner. “Oh, like hell you will!” fumed Jack. He picked up a small book from Briggs' shelf and threw it at the bird. Blue took flight to dodge the missile, and flew to one of the exposed beams near the ceiling, hurling what Jack guessed was a verbal retort from the safety of the shielded perch. “Fine! Stay up there, you overdressed squab! I'll deal with you later!” He turned his attention once again to his real purpose for being there.

Just as he remembered, Honour was meticulous about putting everything away but her boots. No fewer than 4 pair were strewn about the floor of the cabin. Jack picked his way over to the table near the bed, careful not to disturb the maze of footwear. Starting with her personal books, he began flipping quickly through each one looking for her signature, or a letter or scrap of paper that might show her real name. The last book was one he recognized instantly as the “Kama Sutra”. He paused in his scan of its pages to appreciate the colourful illustrations of some of his personal favourites, when he took notice of the number of pages that had been dog-eared. With obvious jealous irritation, he turned the book spine side up and shook it. Nothing fell to the table. He restacked the books in their original order, thought better of it, removed the bottom book from the stack and dropped it behind the headboard.

Next, Jack opened the shallow wooden chest that occupied the opposite end of the short table. He rummaged through her effects, finding nothing more than what one would expect to find belonging to a woman who took as much care of her appearance as Honour did. But just as he was about to abandon the hunt, he spied something. Flat against the back of the chest, held in place and hidden by the jumble of silver hairbrushes, jewelry, and keepsakes was a piece of paper folded crisply in thirds. He gently removed the paper from its hiding place and looked at it for several moments. Something told him this was the evidence he was looking for, and he found himself suddenly gripped with doubt. Did he really want to know, really need to know the truth? Curiosity finally won out. He opened the top fold and began to read. To his surprise, it was a baptismal record! It detailed the private baptism of a child born near Anglesey, Wales. Further down, it told that the child was a girl, and pulling back the bottom fold a bit revealed her name.

Zara Conaway.

Conaway?” he asked himself aloud. He read on to the next name, that of the mother.

Rhiannon Conaway.

There it was. Honour Bright's real name was Rhiannon Conaway. But she had a child? A daughter? Who was the father? Was the baby born before or after they were wed? He knew the answer lay near the end of the page. As he started to unfold the paper completely, he felt something tickle his hand. He tipped the page slightly, and into his hand fell a lock of hair tied neatly with a pink ribbon. The hair was dark brown, with an unmistakeable loose curl to it. It was as if it had been cut from his own hair, albeit much cleaner. A knowing smile spread across his face. It was his child, he just knew it! Best of all, she couldn't possibly be Cade's, nor anyone else's! Honour had been pregnant well before she left Barbados, but when? Jack opened the document completely, and to his satisfaction began to read the father's name.

John Mi--

He was interrupted by the sickening sensation of something warm and runny splattering on the top of his head. Ducking out from under his avian adversary, Jack put the lock of hair back and tucked the document safely into its hiding place. He closed the lid of the chest and felt the top of his head. As he feared, his fingers were coated in parrot poo. At that moment the door handle rattled, then opened.

“What the hell are you doing in my cabin?!” Honour demanded.

Thinking quickly, Jack went for the simplest lie possible. Those usually bought enough time to escape. “I was... looking for the set of charts for our voyage to Castillo de Fuego. You'd like to make it there safely, am I right?”

His hesitation wasn't lost on Honour. She cocked her head to the left and arched her right eyebrow in suspicion. “I suppose. Are you planning on keeping your new hairstyle the whole way there, or is this a passing fancy?”

“That parrot – or whatever he really is – is an ill tempered beast! Look what he did to me!” Jack held up his hand, and Honour batted it away in disgust.

“So? He expressed his honest opinion of you! I thought you'd be used to that by now,” she said. “Did you find your charts or not?”

“I'm still looking, if you don't mind...”

“As a matter of fact, I do mind. I mind very bloody much. You can send Briggs for your charts in the morning. I'll even do you the favour of pulling them, how's that?”

Jack put on his most disarming smile and edged close to his bride. Honour knew instantly what the was up to. Maybe, just maybe, it would have worked if he didn't have a whopping load of parrot merde in his hair. “I'll do you one better, love. How's about I stay here tonight, and pull the chart myself in the morning?”

Honour looked at him, and burst into uncontrolled laughter. “Out! Get out! And for God's sake, wash your hair before I see you next!” she guffawed.

Jack's expression went from cocksure to crestfallen. “But Honour, I can have my hair washed and be back in fifteen minutes...”

“Listen to me, you...” She tried to regain her composure, but it didn't work. “You... Whiny the Poo! Go away!” By now she was laughing so hard tears ran down her cheeks. “I'll... talk to you... tomorrow! Go!” She pushed Jack out the door despite his protests and closed it behind him. As she stood there with her back against the door trying to catch her breath, Blue decided to fly down from the rafters. Honour put out her arm to give him a perch. The parrot steadied himself, tottered along her arm a couple steps, then reached down to catch the neck of her chemise with his beak and gave it a tug. After a few seconds of inspection, he looked up at her with an expression of disappointment. Honour laughed and gave his neck a scratch.

“No, Blue, no flask tonight. But I promise you'll hit the motherload tomorrow. I know where Jack keeps the best stuff.” She looked over her shoulder in the direction of Jack's cabin and smiled to herself. “You know, Blue, he's really not so bad. He can actually be... pretty delightful!” Blue cocked his head almost perpendicular to the floor at her remark. “Yes, even without poo in his hair! Naughty bird! Time for bed!”

Honour adjusted the the windows to allow some of the moonlight to enter the room, then doused the candle and settled into bed. Within moments, she felt Blue land on the bed beside her. “Oi! Off you go! I know Bacardi trained you, but that only goes so far! Off!” The parrot gave what she was certain was a resigned sigh, and flew over to the table to find a place to settle in. Once he finished scratching about, she pulled the covers up a little tighter around her neck and drifted off to sleep.

At the same time, Jack was in his own cabin washing away the last of Blue's calling card.  He sat on the edge of the bed towelling off his shoulder length hair and digesting the information he'd learned.  In all his years of roving and running, the thought of having fathered a child had never entered his mind.  Not in a positive sense, at any rate.  But this was different.  There was no denying he still loved Honour, and Fate having brought their lives back together had to count for something.  A broad smile broke out on his face as he mused about how she must look, and certainly what her temperament must be like given the mercurial nature of her parents.   'Oh, what a handful she must be!' he thought.  His thoughts went to the name Honour - he couldn't quite bring himself to think of her as Rhiannon, no matter how lovely and fitting that name was - had given their daughter.

Zara Conaway.

Zara Wolfe.

Oh, now there was a name to be reckoned with!  He gave a quiet laugh, and rolled the news through his mind once again.  As he did so, the joyous grin returned.

'I'm a father!  I have a child!  WE have a child!  Who'd have thought in a million years Jack Wolfe would have an offspring?  My own flesh and bone, my own little girl!'  His heart felt full, almost to bursting, for this child he'd only now learned about.  'My little girl.  If she takes after her mother one iota, she'll be beautiful beyond compare.  Our daughter.  Our daughter...'  He felt his smile evaporate, and a masque of dread crept into his expression as he spoke to himself.

"Our daughter.
Oh, dear merciful God, I have a daughter!

I'll need to protect her from men like... ME!!"
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on August 02, 2008, 11:50:02 AM
Once Blackjack was certain that Duckie had left the surgery he slipped from his cot. He needed to assure himself that Malcolm was indeed resting comfortably and wasn't about to allow anyone else to know. His cousin's unexpected friendship with captain Wolfe, as well as the ship's doctor, was just the stroke of luck Malcolm needed to insure his survival. To Jack's reckoning as long as they both stayed under the illusion that Roberts had as little to do with him as possible.

In this way they both would have him as a scapegoat for the various misadventures that had befallen the ship and Malcolm would stand blameless.

The former highwayman made his way over to his sleeping cousin. His breathing was slightly ragged, but strong and consistent. Had it been the effect of the potion, his knock on the head, or had he done the same thing he had done in Tortuga? He had never admitted to anyone why he had not killed Dagget that night on the docks and had been more than a little grateful when Cade had pinned his arms from behind to drag him onto the ship.

For one split second after he had disarmed Malcolm he had intended to thrust his blade straight through the man's heart. He had a clear target and there was precious little Malcolm could have done to stop him. In that moment he saw his cousin through the same eyes he had seen him with as a child. The three of them playing their games of boyish adventure. The happy times before fate had set them on very different paths. Blackjack Roberts had learned that night, that he did not have the heart to murder his own cousin and had thrust his rapier through the shoulder instead.

Blackjack whirled around as the door suddenly opened, his right hand grasping the poisoned throwing dart hidden in his belt. He released the weapon immediately as Martin came in with a two bowls of stew steaming from the tray he carried. A look of surprise marked his features at the sight of Jack standing.

"Blackjack! I wasn't sure if either of you would be awake, but I figured I would take the chance." The big man grinned.

Roberts smiled warmly at his friend. "I'm about, but I think Dagget will be skipping this meal, Mate. Come, have a seat, if you can spare a moment."

"I believe I have a bit of time." Martin pulled Duckie's stool next to the cot as Jack sat down to the meal. In all the commotion and the effects of the Lotus potion he had not realized just how long it had been since he ate last.

"Hmmmmm." He said between mouthfuls of bread and stew, as well as healthy draughts of ale from the two tankards. "I see your encounter with Rubin went well. The only other place I've seen boots like that was on him."

"About that." Martin did his best to scowl. "Couldn't you have warned a man that Rubin was a giant?!"

Blackjack riot diseased the mouthful of ale across the floor before chuckling merrily. "Gave you a start, did he?"

"A start?! A start?!" Martin continued wide eyed. "He almost gave me a heart attack! As it is I lost six years growth!"

"You were never in any danger, Mate." Blackjack smiled as he reached for the second bowl. "I'd have never let you go alone if there was the slightest possibility of that. Rubin is much like yourself. At heart he is a gentile man, but he can be very dangerous if angered."

Roberts swallowed another spoonful of stew before continuing. "He comes from a tribe called the Zulu if I remember correctly. Their tall buggers, average about seven foot, but Rubin turned out to be a bit more muscular and taller than the rest of his village. If he went to the trouble of getting you a pair of those boots you can be sure you have made a friend of him for life."

Martin looked thoughtful for a moment before he spoke. "He told me the story of how you saved his life, and his son."

Blackjack stopped in mid-chew for a second, then swallowed. "It wasn't as much as he makes it out to be." He dismissed the story easily. "I just happened to be in the right place at the right time."

"Not from what he told me, Jack." Martin looked hard at the pirate. "You almost got yourself killed then as well. I was a merchant myself for many years and got to know a lot about folk in those years. No man who is as hard as you pretend to be would risk his neck for another's sake. You, Blackjack Roberts, are not the man you pretend to be."

Roberts sat the half finished bowl down before looking his friend in the eye. "Perhaps not. Then again, perhaps I am." He spoke unguardedly. "At times, I am not certain of that myself, Mate. Please, make no mistake my friend. I have, and will do things that are both horrendous and vile. Above all, do not let any know what you think of my nature. Men have died terrible deaths at my hand for testing that theory and I've no wish to add to that number."

Martin stood up, taking the near empty tray with him. "If that is your wish. Still, I for one am proud to say you are my friend, Blackjack."

The cook extended his island sized hand to Roberts. Jack shook it firmly and watched has the huge man left. "I have to wonder if you would still feel the same if you knew some of the things I've done, Martin." He thought to himself. "Never the less, thank you, Mate. My friends may be few, but I cherish each one of them more than all the riches in the world."
Post by: Martin Montgomery on August 02, 2008, 10:39:45 PM
Martin stood in the center of the "Lobo's" forward hold that he had christened the ship's larder,because of it's proximity to the main galley. He surveyed the carefully placed barrels filled with salted pork,lamb and dried and salted beef that lined the bulkheads,strapped down to prevent them affecting the delicate balance of the ship when she soon returned to the sea. Sacks of potatoes,oats,dried corn,peas,beans and lentils were stacked between the barrels on wooden pallets keeping the sacks free of spoilage and the dampness of the holds decking. Whistling a jaunty sea shanty learned from Gordy,the Lobo's eccentric lookout, the big cook strolled through the doorway and closed the hatch,making sure to slide the stout wooden bar home. Turning he checked on the ship's newly acquired herd of six dairy goats four had whethers at their sides,which would be used later for fresh meat.  The carpenter had built new coops and they now held an assortment of laying hens a single rooster and four juvenile geese. Pleased with the arrangement Martin mounted a set of steep stairs that came up in his living corner of the main galley. Looking down,with a smile,at the knee high black boots that Rubin had gifted him,he crossed the galley to check on the whole roasting pig that filled the oven. Nodding his satisfaction to the Taylor brothers who were busily peeling a huge pile of spuds and adding them to a large pot of boiling water. "Things are just fine down below." He rumbled "You boys did a proper job of it even as hurried as we were! After supper I'll get Briggs to inspect it just to let him think we need someone to tell us our job!" Sighing contentedly he noticed the level of cookies and brownies in the sweets tins had dropped dangerously low. "I see that our desert supply has suffered mightily!" Receiving twin snorts of amusement from the brothers Martin grinned ,stating "I'll start a new batch in a few minutes!" Tim,the elder Taylor by a few years ,spoke up "You had better check on the ones that you hide for your "Special Members" also, they have been through here "looking" for you several times today ,and per your "orders" no one has left empty-handed!" Patting his ample belly the jovial cook smiled and pulled out his pipe,tamping the bowl half-full with fresh tobacco "You may not believe me boys but when I was a youngster,not quite your age......" Both Taylors broke in with " I had to work twice as hard as you do now for half as much! I had to carry my family's corn to the towns mill on my back uphill both ways because the mule couldn't make the trip! I was the youngest child out of fifteen and I had to share with all of my siblings,no mater how little it was!"  Chuckling loudly Martin lit his pipe with a long straw lit from the cooking brazier. "O.K. O.K. That's enough you two! I suppose I deserve that! I think I need to make up different stories!" Tom stood and checked on a large cast iron pot that was hanging near the banked coals. "Martin,there is a bit of last nights stew left what do you want to do with it?  The big cook blew a perfect smoke ring and gasped "Don't even think of throwing it out! It is a well known fact that stew is better the second day!" Tim stood and tossed his brother a large wooden salad bowl carved from a single slice of oak that had been one of the personal purchases Martin had made. "Here you go brother! You empty the pot and I'll wash it out!" Martin took the bowl from Tom and crossed to his berth,setting the steaming bowl on the sea chest next to his oversized hammock,he carefully sat down. finishing his pipe he studied the oilskin wrapping that had covered his new boots ,the merchant in him made it hard to throw anything useful away,he noticed faint marks on the inside lining. Curiosity getting the better of him he picked the wrappings up and shook them out,straightening them. He now held a roughly two foot square,the edges crudely hemmed to prevent tearing, his eyes widened with excitement and he struggled to extricate his bulk from the hammock. His bowl hit the floor and bounced,the heavy oak fine but the contents splattering across the floor and part of the wall! "Boys!" He called over his shoulder as he fairly flew up the narrow stairs to the main deck "Finish fixing supper and keep packing the extra stuff away! It's possible we may be leaving quickly!"       
Post by: Hibernian on August 02, 2008, 10:58:50 PM
They had talked for what seemed half the night. The conversation had started simply enough comparing notes about common friends and the usual “have you ever” tales. As the candles burn shorter and the dark deepened the tenor of the discussion took a more personal tone as now the girl and the monk discuss choices they had made in life and then finally ever so slowly their eyes lost the fight and closed.

A voice from within; I’m awake. Then why don’t you open your eyes and get up? Because I don’t want to, after all this could a dream, I could still have time to sleep. You’re having a discussion with yourself about whether you are awake or not and you just think it may be a dream.


It must be a dream I’m hearing bells. Could be the novices, figure if they have be up everyone should be up. But wait, I’m not at the cloister.


What, oh I forgot, ship bells, it’s all those pirate ships, must be morning watch by now, count the bells.


Oh, 6 bells, time to arise, time for lauds. Ok, I’m up, no hold that thought I’m still down, there something on my lap. Then open your eyes and look. Fine my eyes are open, I’m looking, Oh my.

Kate awoke to the sound of singing. She slowly sat up and looked at the brown cloth her head had been using as a pillow. It was a brown cowl. The singing brought her attention to the figure kneeling before the altar. It was Brother Timothy and he was missing his hood.

The sound of his voice echoed and filled the church. While only one voice, his baritone was finding just the right pace of the song so that his call was answered by the echo’s response. She heard him give thanks for Brother Sun and Sister Moon; for Wind and Air and Water, for Earth and Fire, and finally as a chill went down her spine for Sister Death.

“We praise and bless You, Lord, and give You thanks, and serve You in all humility. Amen.” Brother Timothy crossed himself, slowly bent forward to kiss the floor of the church. With a final bow of the head toward the altar he slowly stood up and turned around to face Kate. “Blessings of the day my friend.”

“Brother that was beautiful, I almost recognize it.”
“Morning prayer is one of my favorite times, that is once I get this old body out of bed. The knees are bit stiff at times, all that kneeling over the years. Yet the start of a new day to make the most of the gifts we have been given that is something to praise. That prayer lurking about in the back of your head is The Canticle of the Creatures, a gift from our brother Francis. Speaking of gifts I see you have my cowl.”

“I found it under my head, your doing from last night?”
“Actually my doing from earlier this morning, Last evening you fell asleep in the middle of our conversation.  My legs served as your pillow during the night and I didn’t want to leave you sleeping on the cold stones of the floor when I arose for lauds.”

“You are a gentleman and a monk.”
“The two are not mutually exclusive.”
“True, now what?”
“We test our eyes and the common sense gifted to us. You will notice the light through yonder window and the shadow which falls and points the way prayfully toward our goal.”
“It’s time to follow the shadow of the cross and look for the treasure of St Dimas.”
Post by: Welsh Wench on August 06, 2008, 09:48:17 PM
Wench sat upright in the bed, jolted out of a deep sleep by her unsettling dreams. She ran her fingers through her hair, her hands shaking.
"Squawk? RawwwwK?" came the soft drowsy sound of Blue from his place on top of the sea chest. She rose and slipped on a dressing gown.
"Shhh, Blue. Go back to sleep, sweetie."
She gave his head a gentle rub and he dropped back to sleep.
Wrapping the dressing gown tightly around her, Wench looked out the port window. The moonlight was streaming through. El Lobo bobbed gently with the rocking of the waves.
She knew that after she had these dreams, there was no use going back to sleep. Closing the door to the cabin, she quietly walked to the quarterdeck. On her way there, she reached into Captain Wolfe's binnacle and pulled out his bottle of Jamaican rum.
Looking over the harbor, she was thankful the wind had changed and La Ville du Traitre was downwind. She uncorked the rum and leaned against the gunwale. A thousand thoughts flooded her mind. She took a deep drink from the bottle and let the rum burn its way down, the warmth spreading through her chest and into her very soul.
"Rhiannon? Rhiannon, wake up!"
She opened the door. "What time is it, Megan?"
"It's about midnight. Is Zara asleep?"
Rhiannon nodded towards her baby's cradle. "I just got her to sleep. Is something wrong?"
Megan came in and shut the door. "It's Madoc's sons.  Garath and Cadfael. They were just here. Looking for you."
"Oh dear God!"
"Daffyd sent them on their way. I don't know if they will be back or not. Rhiannon, it isn't safe here!'
She felt a rising sense of panic.
"Megan, what do I do? If I go to gaol, I won't ever see Zara again. I'll be hung for the murder of Madoc. And quite possibly they will try to hang Rhys' murder on me too!"
Megan sat on the bed and took Rhiannon's hands in hers. "Daffyd and I have talked. We had Father Donovan write this up. Since he was your confessor."
Megan produced a baptismal record. For the chid's name was inserted Zara Powell. The mother was listed as unknown. So was the father's.
Rhiannon stared at it. "But---but Megan, she's MINE!"
Megan nodded. "You have the original baptismal record. This was drawn up to protect Zara from ever being taken from us. Father Donovan will swear she was a foundling child from a maid that was in our employ.
Rhiannon, the best thing for you would be to go to Barbados and get that plantation you purchased set up. Then come back for Zara. You will be away from here and Madoc's sons will be looking in another direction for you.'
"But...I have to leave my baby!"
Megan hugged her. "It's the only way, Rhiannon. You can't take her yet. She's only three months old.  Aboard a ship is no place for an infant. And you can't stay here. It isn't safe for you."
Rhiannon could see she had no choice.
The next day she was taken to the docks by Daffyd.
He hugged her and whispered to her, "Do you have enough funds?"
She nodded. "I've secured my future and that of my child's. Daffyd? You will take care of Zara for me?"
"With all our heart and soul, dear. You know I love you like my own sister."
She clutched the book that had Zara's real baptismal record and a lock of her hair tied in a pink bow.
"Daffyd...if anything should happen....please tell her about her real parents?  I don't ever want her to think she was an abandoned child. Like I was."

Daffyd reached over and wiped the tears from Rhiannon's eyes. "My dear, it is safer this way. You stay here, you go to gaol and are tried. If you take Zara on an Atlantic crossing, you run the risk of her catching an illness. Set things up and come back to us as soon as you can. Zara will be a bit older and we will gladly hand her over to  you. As long as you have the sealed church record, no one can ever take her away. Including us."
Rhiannon laid her head on Daffyd's chest and sobbed as if her heart would break.
He held her close and patted her on the back.
"Captain Underhill is ready to take you back to Glen Livet. From there he said you can book passage again with James Blake.  James makes berth there every month. And seeing you are old friends...."
"Ready to go, Miss Conaway?" Captain Underhill stood here with a smile on his face.
She broke away from Daffyd. He handed her a handkerchief which she dabbed her eyes with.
"Yes, I am. Daffyd?"
"Rhiannon, it is the only way. Set things up. And then hasten all and come back and start a new life with your little girl."
"How can I ever thank you, Daffyd? You and Megan have been so good to me."
He hugged her and said, "You're family. That is enough for us."

Wench took another deep drink of rum. She folded her arms on the gunwale and looked out to the sea. Tears fell silently down her face as she continued to take drink after drink, numbing her pain. She missed Zara with all her heart. It had been about six months. Zara would be starting to walk. Her first words would be ma-ma and da-da. But who would be the first ones to hear them? Aunt Megan and Uncle Daffyd.  When the bottle was empty, Rhiannon flung it into the ocean.
'Damn!' she whispered.

"Honour? You and I need to have a talk."
She turned around to look into the serious face of Captain Jack Wolfe.
Post by: lilaney on August 12, 2008, 09:41:30 AM
"This boat is starting to feel too tight"
Lil leaned against the aft rails of the ship, overlooking the pier.
The blackness of true night had set in and the lights from the scant few lamps topside gave the whole place an eery faint orange tinge around the edges.
Elinor nodded sagely as she sat on a rain barrel nearby. Her own small lamp giving her just enough light to write in her log book.
The poor log book; covered in ink stains, its once beautifully bound exterior all battered and salt-washed until almost all the color had been siphoned away.
"How goes the writing?"
Elinor, tongue between her teeth, managed a somewhat legible scrawl across the page.
"It is going, but, albeit very slowly."
Her sigh of satisfaction at having finally completed logging in the time from when they left Glenlivet up until the point in which they all made it safely back from this Island's tiny market, were writen down in word.
Lil heard her Captain come out onto the Quarterdeck, she also heard the soft slap as the bottle hit the water, and she then heard the Captain's spouse come and join the Captain next to the quaterdeck's rails.
What she heard next was something she wasn't sure she had heard right.
Elinor's mouth was wide open and her eyes were big as saucers staring at Lil.
"Don't you dare write that in the logs!"
Lil hissed a whisper at Elinor who shut the log book with a snap and put it next to her lamp.
In front of them, lay the helm and the helmsman, who was also leaning in for a good listen as the Captains' spoke quickly and quietly at each other.
Lil snuck up behind the watchman, and as the two Captains went out of sight; she laid her prettiest dagger across the throat of the old tar.

His imperceptive jump of alarm almost made Lil slit his throat on accident.

"Ain't gorna breath a word of whotcha jest 'eard, ere ya, me lad?"
Lil adopted her old time favorite sea slang and gruff voice, which seem to freeze the gent in his wake.
"Naw, ain't no use." He hoarsly whispered back, "h'ent worth the palaverin' that would cause, bucko."
Lil removed the knife slowly and cuffed the gent around the head, he slumped to the deck.

She turned to Elinor, who had calmly stood by with her bodice dagger at the ready to assist.
Lil smiled, "Guess I have the night watch, want to tell Martin that I could use some Cocoa about breakfast time?"
Elinor smiled as Lil scooted the body of the prone man off to one side and took up his place.
"Think I'll keep you company until dawn, if I fall asleep, wake me if anything else interesting happens!"
Elinor moved the empty rain barrel next to the unconcious man and upon sitting back down on it, opened up her own personal journal and began writing again.
Lil quirked and eyebrow at her in a knowing way. Elinor smiled.
"I am not about to write what I just heard! I want to keep my skin.
Was just making a list of trim and laces and fabric I was going to get once we have our ship back. Do you know anyone who makes silver teethers?"
Lil grinned, "You bet! Hey while your at that list, add on some stuffs for me?"
The two spent the rest of the twilight discussing and deliberating purchases they would be making at the next port they got too after they had gotten their beloved 'Knight Hammer' back, and which rooms would need to be made over to accomidate their newest shipmate.

Post by: Ice Mage on August 12, 2008, 05:53:24 PM
Hours passed, and the trio lay unconscious on the deck of the Brig.  English Marines stand guard at the door, and the smell of rotting meats cross the air.  Meanwhile the English Man of War made sail for it's unknown destination, while-st the burning hulk of the transport sank behind them.  Slowly Daemon came too, glancing over to his comrades.  Dorean was chained to the bars of the cell, apparently he had other plans once he came too.  Meanwhile, Rose lay slumped over in almost a fetal position.  Her body was covered in blood, but not hers.  Raising from his slumber,  Daemon first went to check on his former wife.  He pressed his hand on the side of her neck, praying for some sign that her heart still pulsed with life.  For a moment his knees began to buckle.  He could not seem to find her pulse, and a wave of terror crossed his face.  He rolled her onto her back, across his legs.  Calling her name and rubbing her shoulders, he tried to wake her.  Hoping for a miracle, or at least an opportunity to take her place.  Without warning her eye's blinked, and her hand seemingly came out of no where to slap the taste out of his mouth.

'STOP Shaking Me.  I have a migraine!'

Tears began to roll from his eye's as he clutched her in his arms.

"Oh thank the Gods you are alive!"

Roses face went dead cold, as she looked away from her former lover.

'I only wish i were dead.  Then i could be with her!'

Daemon looked away, trying to hold himself together.  Unfortunately he did not expect Dorean to have woken up.

{Hey little miss Vardus!  Why don't you take off that dress and end this tea party.  Your kid is still alive!  So what makes you think you have the right to mourn. let alone, hold my wife!}

Rose pulled herself up, and walked over to her husband.  Daemon sit there quietly, trying to give them their moment.  Rose curled up in front of the chained Dorean, holding him around the waist and crying.
Outside the cell, one of the guards departed.  After only a few minutes, The Commander of the Dragoons came walking down the stairs.  A man of great stature, all those not wearing the uniform seemed to cower in fear.  He looked at each of the guards and began to give his orders.

*Release that man from his shackles, and leave us.  We have much to discuss.*

Following their commands without question, the guards released the shackles holding Dorean.  From behind the cage of course.  Knowing that if he had even the slightest chance, they would be lying in a heap on the ground.  They exited promptly, and bolted the door.  The ominous Commander pulled up a chair, and set his hat on a nearby table.  He looked at them as if they were old acquaintances.

*I trust my men have not been too hard on you.  I will see that you are fed well, and any necessary medical attention is given.  Our journey will be a short one, but if you can assure me of your cooperation.  I just might be willing to offer you more suitable quarters.  To those of your stature that is.*

The trio looked at him incredulously, curious what his true intentions were.  Daemon felt the need to speak.

"Why have you attacked us?  Where are you taking us?  And who the hell are You?

The Commander put his hand on his forehead and began shaking it back and forth.

*Oh...... My most sincere apologies Admiral.  I am of course truly amiss.  Where are my manners,of course.  I am Commander Daniel Ransom.  I was second in command to Captain Ramzy, which if i am not mistaken you three had a hand in his death.*

"Is that why you have taken us hostage, to take us to a English port and punish us?"

A sigh of frustration crossed his lips.  He rose and turned briefly, only to turn back and look at them once again.

*Only partly...... We have met as a result of that encounter, but i have no quarrel with you.  Ramzy was a fool.  He was arrogant and sick, and frankly he got what he deserved.*

Ransom was quickly cut off by Dorean, who had his own questions.

{If you have no quarrel with us, then why did you kill my child?  Why come after us at all?  What kind of a man are you to fire on a ship with a child on it?}

Embarrassed, Ransom lowered his head in disgrace.

*My lord and i are truly saddened by your loss, My lord more so in fact.  Our Intel had the child in a monastery in Glenlivet.  We had no wish to harm her.  I realize my words will not offer comfort to you in these times, but my heart is truly with you.  We merely wish to ensure your safe travel to El Dorado.  If the infantile Captain of that rat trap you were sailing had not opened his gun ports, we would have simply boarded and escorted you here.*

Daemon rose to his feet and walked over to his captor.  Cutting him off yet again. 

"That still does not explain why you have taken us Hostage.  If you are in fact planning to take us to the destination we had already planned on; and not to a English Court of Law, Then the question remains why?"

Commander Ransom sat in his chair, and looked up at the Admiral.

*I was getting to that sir.  After you rid my former captain of his life, liberated one of our conquests, and destroyed the Dauntless; We quickly found ourselves out of favor with our command.  My entire unit was classified as Disavowed.  I personally was informed that only when we have proved our worth, will we be allowed to return home.  So we have in fact been banned from our own home.*

Ransom got up, and went to a small keg of Rum.  Pouring 4 tankards, he brought three of them to the feeding shelf on the side of the prison.  Once Vardus had divided out the tankards, Ransom returned to the table in which his hat lay.  He leaned against the table and took a swig.  A moment later, he continued.

*We realized we needed a major victory to regain our right full place in England.  So we took this vessel, and began searching.  It was not long however that we were approached by a Warlord, who ha already heard of our plight.  He was well aware of your movements, and had already made his move on El Dorado.  He offered to give us a peace offering to England, if we completed a few tasks.  And with his growing power, it would be advantageous for England and his Master to allies.*

For a third time, Ransom is interrupted.  This time by Rose!

'You cant be serious!  My father has already taken El Dorado?  What of my son?  Is he this Warlord?'

*Why yes Milady.  A spitting image of his parents.  And as cruel.  But he does a sense of family, and in that spirit he has an offer for the three of you.  Which is why i was sent.  You see he has a small fleet of vessels, that have been ordered to sink any ship not currently allied with them.  So he thought it prudent to ensure you safe arrival.  So with all that said, i am taking you to your last surviving child.  Will you be mate and refrain from any further destruction.  Or do i need to keep you confined like animals?*

The three looked at each other for a moment.  Realizing that they were probably outnumbered a hundred to one, and that they were being taken on a silver platter to their target.  Vardus looked back at the Commander and nodded in agreement.

*Excellent!  I will have my men escort you to your cabins, where you will find all your possessions from the Babylon.  Including your weapons.  I trust that you will take you situation in account before you try using them.*

Ransom ordered the guards back into the room, and directed them to escort the trio to their cabins.  As they left their cells, a searing look of hatred crossed both Rose and Doreans face.  They made no move to take their revenge, but the plans were already forming.  As they exited the room, Ransom called to them.

*Oh, before i forget...... Let me invite you to dine with my officers and I tonight.  I have a special meal planned in you honor, and I'd hate for you to miss it.*

They glanced back at him and nodded in agreement, still not sure what to make of this move to get on their good sides.

Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on August 12, 2008, 06:34:17 PM
"Honour? You and I need to have a talk."  He hadn't been able to sleep after learning of his daughter's existence.  His original purpose had been to see how much Jamaican rum it would take to prevent him from knocking on Honour's door to demand answers.  It was a moot point now, punctuated by the familiar splash of an empty bottle hitting the water.  She turned around to look at him, her face streaked with bitter tears and her eyes bleary from too much alcohol.  A fresh round of tears threatened as she avoided meeting his gaze.  His instincts told him that this was no time for a confrontation over something so serious.  But maybe he'd get lucky and she'd offer something accidentally given the right approach.
“What do you want now, Jack?” she asked with a wavering voice.
“You've been crying...”
“What of it?  I'm a woman.  Crying's what we do.”
“What's upset you so?”
After a long pause, she quietly answered, “You wouldn't understand.”
“Then help me understand.  Please?”
A single derisive laugh escaped her lips.  “Help you understand the problem?  Jack, you ARE the problem!  From the moment I met you I've felt like a leaf in the wind, carried this way and that, always wondering what unforeseen event will send me flying and where... and you're the storm driving it all.  Just when I was sure I was rid of you, there you are, big as day on the deck of my ship!  My ship, Jack!  My freedom!  The ship we have to chase down, all because of you!”  She stood defiantly, waiting for his response. 
Jack stood there silently during her tirade, letting her lash out against him as she would.  He knew her life would have been much different if he'd never set foot in that St. Lawrence tavern, if he'd never introduced himself, if he'd never looked into those stormy blue eyes.  But their lives were inextricably entwined now in the form of their daughter back in Wales.  Everything going forward was a desperate gamble for him, and the stakes could not be higher.  He wouldn't lose her - lose them - again.  With a quizzical tilt of his head, he responded.  “Funny, I didn't hear a single mention of Cade in all that.”
“Wh- what?” she faltered.
“Cade.  Remember him?  The strapping blond lad that absconded with your ship, your freedom as you so eloquently put it, like the underhanded, cowardly dog he is?  I'm sorry, love, but you can't hang that one on me.  I'm the one trying to help you get your ship back, in spite of my inclinations otherwise.”
“Well, you're the one who got him so drunk!  He never would have done it if--”
“What, if I hadn't sat there and watched him drink himself into a stupor?  We're men, darling.  Drinking's what we do.  I didn't make him drink.  He chose to.  Just as he chose to steal your ship,” Jack countered.  “It was only a matter of time.”

The alcohol had begun to exert itself in earnest, and Honour's head swum.  “You think he meant to take the Knight Hammer from me?  Why would he do that?”
“I don't know.  Ask him.  What I do know is that I'm the one who taught him to drink.  He's never held it well, but he's clear headed enough once he sleeps it off.”  He paused long enough to make sure she was still following along.  “Think about it, Honour.  I mean, really think about it.  If he had been crazed from the booze, why didn't he turn about and come back once he'd sobered up?   Why did he pick up a crew on this adorable dung heap?  And why oh why is he still running, in the opposite direction of Glen Livet?”
She put a steadying hand on the gunwale.  “He used me?  The son of a belch used me!”
“Pretty much, yeah...  I'm sorry, darling.  I thought you'd realized it already.”  He stifled a satisfied smile.  For once, Cade Jennings was the bad guy, having charmed his way back into Honour's life and her bed, all so he could procure a more powerful ship for himself.  She had been little more than lagniappe.  Jack let the terrible realization sink in, careful not to overplay his hand.  To go any further would only deepen her humiliation.  He would not strip her of what dignity she had left.

Honour's head spun.  It all made sense now; the way Cade had breezed back into her life, blind sided her with a proposal of marriage, and virtually assumed command of her ship.  As her husband, he would have had claim to the Knight Hammer.  With Jack showing up out of the blue, his plans were in jeopardy, so he stole the ship instead.  What else could it have been?  Cade provided sufficient damning evidence by his own actions.  If he weren't guilty, why did he continue to run, with his own crew now aboard?  It seemed her incredible luck to date had finally run out.  How could she have been so blind?  Between the rum and her sudden understanding of Cade's real motivations, she sat down hard on the deck.  Jack was beside her in a flash.
“Are you all right?” he asked as he steadied her.
Her face was flushed with humiliation and intoxication.  “It's still all your fault.”
“Really?  How do you figure?”
“Because YOU taught him!  Bastard!”
“Oh, no.  Hold on,” he said, shaking his head slowly.  “A marriage of convenience, albeit it to a devastatingly beautiful woman such as yourself, just to get a ship?  Not even I would stoop so low.  I like to keep things simple.”
“Since when were you ever simple?”
“Since always!  I'm a simple man.  It's the world that's complicated,” he smiled.  She looked at him and managed a feeble smile of her own.
“I almost fell for it, Jack.  All of it.”  The tears welled in her eyes once again.  “I'm glad you showed up when you did.”
“It's a sad day for us all when the swindlers get swindled, love.  We'll get your ship back.  I promise.  Your doggie, too.  Now, you've no business out in the night air like this.  Let's get you back to bed.”  He helped her to her feet, but she’d become so unsteady from drink that she stumbled on the steps.  Jack caught her about the waist before she could fall, and she flung her arms around his neck.  They stood there face to face for several moments.  Honour broke into a broad smile.
“You know, Muir really, really loves you.  Did you know that?” she asked.
“And what of his mistress?  Does she feel the same?” he replied coyly.
“I’m not telling!” Honour giggled.  “Are you going to take your co-captain to bed like you promised, or not?”  She turned to take a step, and found herself instead swept up in her husband’s arms.  Her surprised squeal and laughter chimed across the deck.
“Trust me, it will be easier this way,” he assured his wide-eyed wife.
“You’re the co-captain,” she giggled.  "Mush!"

Jack carried her to the companionway.  “Honour,” he asked tentatively, “have you ever wondered what our children would have looked like?  Just as a lark?”
“Sometimes, on stormy nights.  Would you want a boy or a girl?  If we’d had one, that is.”
“Oh, I don’t know.  Either would be fine I suppose.  If we’d had a girl, I’d bet she’d have your eyes.”
“Yes,” Honour smiled happily.  “And she has your hair, curls and all!”
Jack pretended not to notice her slip of the tongue.  “Too bad we never did.”
She sighed and laid her head against his shoulder.  “It is too bad.”

“Here we are, all nice and sound,” he announced as they arrived at her door.  He started to set her down when she stopped him with a deep, desperate kiss.
“I don’t want to be alone tonight, Jack,” she whispered huskily.  The taste of her kiss was like nectar, and the heat of her breath on his skin set his heart to racing.  He wanted her so intensely, but his conscience would not rest.  In his heart, he knew accepting her offer would only bring regrets come morning.  Still…
“Honour, I –“  Again, he was interrupted by her passionate, demanding kiss.
“I want you, Jack,"  she insisted.  "Please, take me to your bed.  Don’t say no.”
“I could never deny you,” he answered.  Shouldering open the door to his cabin, he carried her within.  They kissed hungrily once again as he laid her upon the bed.  “Let me get undressed, darling,” he whispered.
“Hurry!” she replied breathlessly.
Jack reluctantly broke away, practically tearing off his waistcoat and shirt.  His boots went next.  But as he went to unfasten his belt, another nasty pang of conscience hit him.  He paused, then turned back to face her.  “Honour, are you sure –“  The sight before made him stop… and laugh.  There amid the soft glow of oil lamps and moonlight lay his beautiful bride, snoring softly.

The events of the day and too much drink had finally overwhelmed her.  Ever so gently, as if she were made of porcelain, he moved her just enough so he could pull the cover over her.  He smiled at the peaceful look on her face and kissed her forehead.  “Good night, my love.  This is what you really needed tonight.”
Jack took a pillow and spare blanket to make his bed on the floor beside Honour.  He hoped she would remember their discussion about her ship.  He certainly wouldn’t forget what she had said.  Zara was healthy, and she was his daughter.  With the smile of a proud father on his lips, he joined his wife in slumber.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on August 13, 2008, 11:48:22 AM
A moan from Malcolm's bed brought Jack out of his reverie with a start. Without thinking he was at his cousin's side, deep concern lighting his eyes.

"Jack?" Malcolm looked up weakly.

Blackjack gripped Dagget's forearm reassuringly. "Don't try and speak now, Cousin. You need as much rest as you can get."

"Ballocks!" Malcolm coughed and grinned. "I'm just as tough and stubborn as you are, Jack. Neither one of us ever had sense enough to stay down."

Roberts chuckled, thinking back for a moment to the various fisticuff matches he and Malcolm had engaged in as lads. "True enough, Mate. Of the three of us only Cade had sense enough to yield when things got out of hand."

"Speaking of Cade, I had heard he too had resorted to piracy." Malcolm's voice was a shadow of his usual commanding baritone, but steady.

Blackjack sighed, debating for a moment wether or not he should tell Malcolm what he had learned on this strange turn fate had taken. It all seemed too much to be merely a coincidence. Himself porting in Glenlivet after returning from the Orient. Signing on with the captain of a ship Cade had stolen. Discovering that their youngest cousin had been involved with Honour, who is married to one of the most notorious pirate captains to sail these waters. Then to top it all off having discovered that Malcolm had also, though unknowingly, also had a tryst with the very same woman and was an old school chum of Mad Jack's. These waters were getting deep, to say the least.

No sense putting more on Malcolm than was necessary. "You heard right, Mate." Jack replied. "But we have more pressing matters at the moment."

"Such as?" Dagget's brown eyes darkened a shade from the warning tone in his cousin's voice.

"Such as having had a night, or two, with the wife of Mad Jack Wolfe." Blackjack replied seriously. "The man is known for much, but forgiveness isn't listed among his virtues."

"I had no idea, and it was more like a week!" Dagget became agitated. "I had been laid up from the fight we had on the dock, and met her in one of the taverns. You had escaped and I needed the solace to wash down the beating you handed me that night."

"It was Cade who helped me that night, Malcolm." Jack frowned. "Never the less, Mad Jack knows of it now, and I would dare say the only thing saving your arse at the moment is that old friendship."

Blackjack grinned suddenly. "Now, at the moment he and the sawbones blame me far more than you for the last few incidents we have encountered on this insane voyage. I'll settle that debt soon enough now that I have recovered a few things I left here on this accursed isle. As long as they are holding me responsible you have little to worry about. I'd like to keep it that way, Old Chum."

"Damn it, Jack!" Malcolm began to rise from his cot. "It's not your fault! I did this to you! If I would have only listened to you, believed your side of the story, you would have never left! You would have never become the man they claim you to be now!"

"Do you think I haven't heard the tales they tell of you?!" Malcolm's unrest was beginning to alarm Roberts as he continued. "When I first tracked you to this den of iniquity the locals told of a man who killed in the most vicious way imaginable. Even some of the worst among them still refer to you as the Devil incarnate! That's how we were able to track you. Sir Terrence wasn't satisfied with my word that you were dead. He was convinced that if you did manage to survive my shot you would turn up here. Turnbull sent word the moment you set foot ashore. We were waiting not four hours away."

Dagget grabbed Jack's arm with a strength only his conviction could have lent his wounded body. "Do you think I don't know that my hounding you is what made you into a monster even the trash inhabiting this island fear?!!"

"Calm down, Man!" Blackjack hissed, glancing for a moment at the door to the surgery and hoping Malcolm's raised voice didn't arouse any curiosity. "If you don't I swear I'll empty the entire bottle of the sawbones' laudanum down yer bloody throat!"

Dagget relaxed slightly and Jack breathed an inward sigh of relief. "What's done is done and there is precious little you, or I can do to change it. Now listen and listen well. As long as they believe that I still hold a grudge against you neither Mad Jack, nor Gander will think to hold one themselves. I will pretend to be cold and hostile towards you, Cousin. That is the only way they will believe it and keep their sympathies with you. I didn't forgive you, or risk my own life dragging you through the jungle just to have you die from neglect now. You must never let them know that I forgave you! Never!"

Before Malcolm could answer either way the door to the surgery began to open. In a flash Blackjack had the razor open in his hand, thumbing the edge. He winked to Malcolm as Duckie entered the room.

"What in God's name do you think your doing?!" He shouted.

Blackjack turned to the doctor with his most evil grin. "I was thinkin' a' giving Dagget the closest shave he ever had. Startin' just below his right ear."

"But..." Drake Gander began.

"But nothing, Sawbones!" Roberts scowled, pointing at the startled doctor with the blade. "I warned ye a' the consequences a' leavin' me alone with this dog! But ye wouldn't listen! I be not near as hurt as ye all seem ta think! Now, if'n ye'll be kind enough ta excuse me, I'll be gettin' along ta me own digs." He glanced at Malcolm scornfully for a moment. "The air in here stinks!"

Blackjack closed the razor with a snap and shoved it into the sheath behind his belt. Pushing past the open mouthed surgeon he slammed the door behind him. Once alone in the narrow hall he allowed himself to lean against the wall until his head stopped spinning. Then using it to support himself began to make his way to the Knight Hammer's crew quarters.
Post by: Martin Montgomery on August 14, 2008, 12:06:25 AM
Martin burst through the hatch and out onto the deck of the "Lobo" coming to a full stop only when he noticed it was very early morning and the decks lamps were turned down too low too see well with his eyes used to the comparative brightness of the galley. Stopping to let his eyes adjust he stood stock still in the shadow of the new mast to catch his breath. Thats when he heard soft sobbing,he recognized Captain Wolfe's low voice and froze realizing that he had chanced upon a private moment between the two. His Captains,seemingly,had reached another truce in their battle of wits and Martin could hear them moving towards the Captain's Cabin,a squeal of delight coming from WW. Not wishing to disturb their ......discusion the big cook stood still so he wouldn't be spotted. "As if either of them see anything but each other at the moment!" he thought to himself. That's when he heard another whispered exchange,but not from the retreating Co-Captains! His eyes now used to the soft light cast by the waining moon he could barely make out the night watch,who obviously had fallen on Lilaney's bad side,for she stood behind him speaking softly into his ear the glittering edge of one of her daggers at his throat! Martin started to move forward thinking to stop the young woman but even as he gathered himself for the move she reversed the dagger and cuffed the sailor behind his ear,expertly knocking him unconscious! Lil then moved back to where,to Martin's surprise,Elinor stood,her bodice dagger at the ready! Lil smiled at Elinor and said in a low voice "Guess I have the night watch, want to tell Martin that I could use some Cocoa about breakfast time?" The scribe returned "Think I'll keep you company until dawn, if I fall asleep, wake me if anything else interesting happens!" She moved to an empty rain barrel and sat on it opening her personal journal. Martin,smiling in the near dark,nodded to himself and slipped back down the Galley hatchway "I must remember to bring them some hot chocolate in a few hours." He thought  "The "Knight Hammer" crew may not be on her decks but they were joined by such a camaraderie that they watched out for each others best intrests like family. The big cook went below and began his search for Briggs,the "Lobo's" steadfast First-Mate and Captain Wolfe's most trusted lieutenant,holding the rolled oilskin wrapping that had covered his wonderful new boots,gifted to him from the giant merchant,Rubin. coming to the correct cabin door Martin neglected to knock,his excitement clouding his judgement, turning the handle he stepped inside, "Wake up Briggs! I have important inf.........OOooooffff!!!!" His head ringing from the impact against the solid bulkhead and his right arm ,which still held the oilskin,behind his back in a most painfull position,Martin reacted instinctively! His left hand pushed him away from the wall and he felt the grip on his right loosen slightly. Taking a step back he turned into the pressure hold and was able to wrench his arm free....and faced the wide dark tunnel of a pistol's barrel! The light from a lamp in the hallway spilled though the still open door, showing Briggs standing there dressed only in his breeches,holding the pistol steady aimed directly at Martin's right eye!! "One more move and it'll be your last!" he barked out,his other hand still rubbing the sleep from his own bleary eyes. "Martin! You IDIOT!!!  Do you realize that you could have.....I could have ......And then SHE would have....... Oh I need a drink!!!!" Uncocking the pistol and tapping the big man's nose with it he asked "Will you join me?" He tossed the weapon on the narrow bunk and moved to a cabinet,removing a half filled bottle of Jamaica Rum "Oh yes ,that's right." You don't drink! Shaking his head in mute wonder Briggs removed the bottles cork with his teeth and spit it across the small room, turning the bottle up he didn't stop until the half was a quarter. "Aahhhh! Good stuff!" He offered the bottle once more "Are you sure? You look a bit unsteady!" Visably swallowing Martin shook his head then moved to the small map table. Laying the oilskin down he unrolled it fully and asked "Briggs,what do you make of this?"         
Post by: lilaney on August 15, 2008, 12:28:52 PM
Elinor's gentle breathing confirmed to Lil that she was no longer awake.
Lil leaned against the helm and watched the pier.
Elinor shifted slightly to get more comfortable in the pile of line she had found and gave a soft snore and went still agian. Lil smiled gently at her.
Who knew?
'She's got an iron will' Lil thought as she watched a small boy steadily working his way down the pier; pick-pocketing any unconcious body he came across.
Lil turned her head slowly around to see Julian on the quarterdeck looking up at the helm, at her.
Lil nodded but gave no reply, the few lamps giving light only bathed his face.
He looked tired.
"Is Elinor up there with you?"
Julian shuffled his feet and looked down.
"Um, could you tell her to meet me topside tomorrow, when she had time? I-I need to talk with her."
Lil could practically feel how nervous he was, she almost smiled.
"Aye, I'll pass the word along. But, don't go blaming me if'n she don't show."
Julian gave a quick jerk of the head in confirmation that his message would be passed along, and disapeared from view.
The body of the helmsman twitched in his sleep. Lil toed him with her foot.
He was alive.
"I bet you're a nice one, don't even snore."
She mumbled as she moved a bit away from him and closer to the rail.

The pick-pocket on the pier seemed to be done, he had dissapeared from site.
There were a couple of El Lobo crewmen staggering gayly down the pier, trying to sing a bawdy song.
They had the words all wrong, and their drunken high pitch verse was piercing to her ears.
They made it up the gangplank, past the quarterdeck, and passed out near the mast, snoring as they soon drifted off to sleep.

"Do you ever sleep?"
Lil sensed his presence, but, didn't wish to acknowledge him.
He moved over to the rail and leaned on it, a few feet from her.
"I would find it odd to come up on deck and see no less than four people lying prone on the deck, if it were anyone else but you."
Their was jest in his tone, but, Lil stoutly ignored him, choosing instead to peer out past the docks and count the lighted windows of the town.
Drake looked over at Lil, her profile softened by the dim light behind her.
"You would have made a good doctor, I mean, if you were a man and all."
That caught Lil's attention, she whipped her head and body around and faced the doctor.
Then, she caught the gleam in his eye. He was making fun of her!
"Yes, truly! If you hadn't been a girl, I bet there wouldn't be a ship out there that wouldn't have taken you on as their barber-surgeon post-haste!"
"Do you enjoy making me mad?"

Drake darted a look at her.
"No, but, you only seem to have two modes. Mad or asleep."
"If you do not want to be body number five topside, get on with what you have to say, then leave me in peace."
Drake turned around and leaned on his elbows against the rail.
"Just wanted a chat, that's all. Can't sleep."
Lil calmed down a bit, but, kept on her gaurd.
"So, since you so obviously wanted my attention, what topics did you wish to discuss?"
Lil took an involuntary step back.
Drake nodded his head, he spied Elinor's rain barrell and with the ease born of a sailing man, sat right down on the deck and leaned against it.
Lil looked down at the man.
"Why me?"
Drake gave a shrug and rested his arm on his bent knee.
"Why not?"
He sensed her gaurd go up. As she relaxed her pose and gave a noncommital shrug.
"Not much to talk about."
"Then, this conversation won't take long."
Lil looked around the ship, it was peacefully quiet, dawn would be approaching in a few hours, there was time to talk. Taking a deep sigh, she finally leaned against the helm and arms crossed over her chest she looked at him.
"What do you want to know?"
He smiled, and felt a thrill of victory.
Lil toed the nail that was sticking out slighty from the board.
"Even the squishy bits?"
Drake snorted a laugh and nodded.
"Lay on Macduff."
Lil sighed and poured out her heart and soul, making the few hours to dawn simply fly by for Dr. Gander.
Too bad it was all a lie.

Post by: Martin Montgomery on August 17, 2008, 02:21:20 PM
 "What do you make of this?" The "Lobo's" First Mate stopped rubbing his eyes and focused his attention on the unrolled oilskin. "What!?" He exclaimed "You woke me from a sound sleep for THIS?!?!" Glowering at the big cook as Martin calmly pulled out his pipe and began filling the bowl. Smiling at Briggs widely he opened the glass of a nearby lamp and lit the fragrent tobacco. "Now watch this!" He told Briggs. Leaning down close to the tabletop and drawing deeply from the pipes stem he blew the deep blueish grey smoke across the oilskin laid out on top of the charts. "Martin,I appreciate the fact that you have been working very hard,getting the "Lobo's" galley squared away after the small bit of trouble we had that led us to this island of misfits and malcontents,but this is going a bit far!!" He rubbed the back of his neck and closed his eyes tiredly as Martin kept blowing the fragrent smoke across a bit of old oilskin. "I was dreaming of a time,not so long ago,before we took on you,your crew and Captain Wolfe renewed his......relationship with your dubious Captain......Bright." Martin drew on his pipe again,Briggs sighed and kept going. "We were fighting for our lives off the shore of a small island inhabited by savage pygmy headhunters. Swarms of the little buggers were paddling out to the "Lobo" in those little dugouts,they threw these little short barbed spears that had line attached and if you got hit ,you were hauled over the side like a fish!!" Warming to his story,Briggs went on "They climbed the very sides of the ship and fell on the crew with murderous intent! That was peaceful compared to THIS!!" The First Mates eye was drawn to a familiar looking stain on the back of Martin's oilskin. "That looks like a compass rose!" He exclaimed with surprise. Martin blew one more puff of smoke across the chart table and gave the stunned man a satisfied  grin. "That, my good Briggs,is a message from Rubin! I asked him if he could help us find where Cade was taking the "Knight Hammer"!" "You WHAT!!!" Briggs exploded,fully alert now! "Do you know that there is an uneasy truce between the Pirates and the people who live here? No one sees anything! If someone were to break the truce,well the consequences would be severe! You threatened the man's life,family and livelihood with that comment! It's a wonder he would still trade with us!!" Intently looking at the now visable chart on the back of the oilskin.Briggs took the lamp from its holder and held it where the light spilled across the chart. "Look at that!" A rough finger traced the surface "La Ville du Traitre,Tortuga,Glenlivet and dozens of uncharted islands where water and supplies have been cached!  This is a Merchant's Map!" Excitedly he turned to Martin, "This is incredible! Most of these islands have not been professionally charted! There is always a chance of hitting an underwater reef or submerged wreck. This is very good but why would Rubin give them to you?" Martin's sausage sized finger stabbed at the slowly fading map. Briggs peered at it intently. "Cade's Cache"  He read aloud. "I've got to show the Captain!!"
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on August 18, 2008, 11:51:02 AM
As the Sun began to announce its arrival on the horizon, Elinor found her eyes fluttering open after a satisfying night of sleep.

Satisfying, save the crick in her neck she got from sleeping on the line all night. Massaging her neck, she resolved to find her bed next time she was so eager for sleep. Glancing around her, she found Duckie and Lil in intent conversation about who knew what. But, from the sounds of things, Lil was telling the El Lobo's surgeon all about her life. Elinor, making as little sound as possible, to stay as invisible as possible, listened in. She didn't know much about Lil's life before they had met, and the young scribe wondered whether any of what she was telling the doctor had a grain of truth in it.

"Pretty fancy tale you're spinning, Lil," Elinor mumbled, startling Lil so much that she nearly tipped herself overboard. "Elinor! Watch yourself, scaring me like that! I don't fancy a swim this morning!" She exclaimed. Elinor grinned. "Just keeping you on your toes, friend."
Post by: Welsh Wench on August 18, 2008, 12:49:22 PM
Wench opened one eye to the dawn's light starting to break through the porthole.
'Uhhh..!' she groaned.  The effort to open her eye hurt her right to the top of her head. She opened the other eye and the pain chased to the exact spot.
She raised her head up with great effort and then looked at the headboard.
'This isn't Briggs' quarters....'
She sat up too quickly and the room started spinning. Or was it the bed?
'If I am in the Captain's quarters, then where is the Captain?'
 She looked for any telltale sign that he had made himself at home in his own bed and didn't see any. She lifted the sheet and saw she was still in her chemise.
'That's a good sign. Even though clothes can be shifted around...'
Suddenly she heard a soft snore from what appeared to be under the bed. With great trepidation, she leaned over the side of the bed.
There, peeking out from under the bed was a pair of feet. The rest of the body had rolled under.  She quietly got out of bed and then looked closer.
Captain Jack Wolfe was rolled in a blanket, clutching a pillow to his chest.
A part of Wench had softened when she realized that Jack, although he was entitled to conjugal rights, took the high road and didn't take advantage of the situation.
She straightened up too fast and had to sit down quickly on the bed.
'I feel like I did when I was pregnant with Zara....'
She rose carefully and stepping over Mad Jack's feet, she headed out the cabin door.
'Must..see..Duckie...headache powder.....'
She walked towards the infirmary, holding onto the wall and taking babysteps along the way. Pausing outside of Briggs' quarters, she heard the muted voices of the quartermaster and....Martin? Maybe he is taking Briggs' breakfast order.
Pushing the door to the infirmary, Wench whispered, "Duckie? Are you around?"
"He's not here...but will I do?"
She whirled around to look into the face of Malcolm Daggett.
He was grinning, his arms folded behind his head. Wench walked over as steady as she could.
"Well, well, well! Malcolm Daggett! Long time"
He laughed. "I'd say so. Are you here as an angel of mercy to minister to the broken and dispirited...again?"
She retorted, "No, I am looking for Dr. Gander. He has something upset stomach."
"He's not here but I am sure he will be back. Care to wait?"
She looked at him dubiously and said, "I remember the last time I saw you injured and beaten up, Malcolm."
"Ah, yes! So do I.  Have a seat and let's talk about old times, shall we?"
She rubbed her temples and said, "I'd really rather not."
"Only one that goes from one side of my head to the other."
She looked around and saw that no one else was in the infirmary.
"Where's Black Jack Roberts?"
"I guess he had few things to do so it is just you and me here."
She laughed derisively. "Good thing you have a punctured lung. I'd start to worry again."
He laughed, "Good to see you too, Gisele."
"So...did your ribs heal up alright? No lingering effects?"
"Not that I could tell. I never did thank you for taking me in that night."
"You were a bloody mess. Ribs broken, a black eye...I was just glad you weren't spitting your teeth out!  I refuse to consort with men who smile with their gums. Kind of like some witch of a woman I knew...never could stand her."
"I was grateful you got Amos to help me back to your room. If I had been left in the alley, I would have been at the very least emptied of my pockets."
"If you had been left there, you would have had your throat slit. That side of town is notorious for leaving no one to complain to the law."
"I'm glad you were able to break my fever with those herbs. Where did you learn the ministrations anyways?"
"I read a book somewhere."
"It was wonderful, Gisele---or should I call you 'Honour', as that seems to be your name.  All of it. Best week I ever spent recovering."
She felt her face flame.
"I've been meaning to talk to you about that, Malcolm."
Malcolm propped himself on his elbow and said, "I am guessing this has to do with my school chum Jackie."
Malcolm shrugged. "We all had names. Drake was 'Duckie' and I was 'Squints'.  But Jack was different. We really never did find a name for him. He seemed to be above it all. And now it turns out you are married to him. You must be newlyweds. I mean, it was about six months ago that I saw you last."
Her cheeks got red and she said quietly, "Jack and I were married about two years ago."
"Oh...he's been away at sea and you got lonely, is that it?"
She said hotly, 'If it was any of your business, Malcolm Daggett, we were separated!"
"Doesn't matter! I ended up trysting with a married woman!"
"Oh, and like that hasn't happened before? And another thing, I think you weren't as hurt as you pretended to be! I think you pretended just so you'd have a place to stay! With benefits!"
"I didn't hear any complaining from you, Mademoiselle Gisele! In fact, I think you downright enjoyed it!"
She turned on her heel to go and as she put her hand on the doorknob, Malcolm said, "First me and then Cade..."
"Cade Jennings."
"I don't know what you mean."
"Black Jack told me you were involved with Cade. Did you not know that Cade was our cousin? Black Jack's mother and Cade's and mine were all sisters. OH, this is a hoot!"
Malcolm started to laugh but ended up coughing.
"Small world, Gisele--or Honour--you bed Cade, me and my chum Jack. Only you wed him. Now, if you add Black Jack Roberts to the list, you will have won the trifecta!"
She opened the door and flung back at him, "I never let a good pair of boots go to waste. You never know when you may need them."
And with that she slammed the door to the infirmary.
Malcolm smiled to himself. 'Still has the same spirit.'
He shook his head. 'Wonder how she managed to get Mad Jack Wolfe to take the vows....'
He laughed out loud. 'Of all the ones to get caught....Mad Jack?'

As Wench walked past the door to Briggs' cabin, she heard their low voices.
'Paid cash?'  We always do, Martin...unless we can get Jack's line of credit.
She made her way to the captain's quarters, wondering if Jack was up yet.
'Do I drag him out by his feet or do I yank him out the other side by his ears....?'
She opened the door, saw his feet still sticking out from under the bed. With all her volume and decibels, she yelled, "HONEY? I'M HOME!"
Post by: lilaney on August 18, 2008, 01:14:11 PM
Duckie stood at the sound of Elinor's voice;
 he paused to stretch lazily, and then assisted Elinor to her feet with a hand and a smile.
"Elinor, I agree, it was a fantastic tale. And so much more mirth that matter. Think she'll ever let her gaurd down long enough to actually trust someone with a truth, no matter how small?"

Lil stood goggle-eyed at his back, Elinor gave a small smirk and, out of loyalty took her hand out of his and step over near her friend.
"Maybe so, but, she can spin a great story, don't you think?"
Duckie allowed a dark look to cross his face for the merest second, and then dropped his features back into the passive disinterested look of a doctor who has seen too much of everything to even bother with a surprised expression anymore.
He sighed at her statement and looked over the horizen.

"True, but, not exactly what I asked for."

There was a moan from the deck. All three of them casually looked over at the Helm's man.
He was awake.

"Care to knock him out again before you head to breakfast?"

Lil scowled at Duckie's glib statement and went to help the man to his feet.
"'wah 'it me?"
"Nuthin, just a rough sea last night, better get to breakfast before all the good stuffs gone. You got watch again tonight."

The man stumbled a bit as his vision began to clear, as he faultered as he went down the ladder to the galley.
They could hear him mumbling.
"I ain't coming back on this watch! I'd rather trade 'a for Gordie's watch!"

Duckie gave the ladies a curt bow, and followed the helmsman's path.
"Good morning to you ladies, and let us all hope for fair winds this morning. I have a craving to get gone from this place and get on to finding your ship, that you may be on your way."

Lil heard right throught his shellaced statement and felt the hurt. She ignored it for now.

Elinor nodded at his bow and the two watched his back as he departed.
"He has a fine back." Elinor commented quietly.

Lil nodded her mind on other things, then pulled a double take on her friend who seemed to have just realized what she had said, and blushed a merry shade of pink.

Their laughter woke the two men snoozing near the mast.
"Hey! Whotcah go and be wakin' es up afor time to sail?"
One bellowed in a grouchy voice, just then he was silenced as a red bottle fell from the heavan's and clipped him on the back of the head.
"T'aint the way to be speakin' to a lady!"
They heard from high in the sheets.

Lil laughed and saluted the crow's nest.
"That's the way, Gordie! You keep'em taught up on elocution and we'll have'em all married up to debutantes in no time!"

Elinor and Lil could barely make out a wave from the nest, but, no one could mistake that cackle.
The two waited calmly for the next man on watch to come and take the helm. As soon as he had the watch, they made their way back into the depths of the ship.

"Lil? Why don't you ever talk about your past?"
Elinor's voice was calm, but, slightly nervous. She didn't want to upset her friend.
But, her mind could not resist thinking that, after all this time, hadn't she proved she was a loyal friend? Someone who could be trusted with a secret or two?
Lil sighed as she turned a corner and headed for their berthing.
"Truly, Elinor? It is boring beyond all belief, and that is the truth."
Elinor nodded, but, still didn't feel she had a good answer.
She held open the door their's and Kate's room.
"Everyone's life is boring! What makes yours any more boring than anyone else's?"
Lil smiled as she began searching for clean clothes.
"Before I forget. Julian wants you to meet him topside, when you have the time."
Elinor paused for a moment in her own movements of retrieving clean garb.
She nodded, then pressed on.
"Don't change the subject."
Lil gave a small smile but, remained quiet as she and Elinor got ready for the day.

Today, they were to set sail out of port and find their ship.
"Aside from not changing the subject, exactly when are we suppose to start worrying about Kate and Hibernian?"
Elinor made a small mou of concern.
"Very true, but, you are still trying to change the subject."

The two women were back in the passageway, heading for the wonderful scent of food;
they spied BlackJack Roberts, leaning against the bulkhead near the galley door, draining a tankard of what could be juice, but, probably wasn't.
"Well, truthfully Elinor, my life was boring before this, because I was training to be a nun."

Lil thought she had said this quietly, but, the mead-spattered wall coincidentally across from BlackJack's now empty tankard proved she hadn't.

Post by: Ice Mage on August 19, 2008, 07:25:53 PM
The trio were escorted to their cabins.  Dorean and Rose in one, and Daemon in another.
As Daemon entered his room, he was shocked to find a very reminiscent scene.  The room was the size of a cargo hold.  Dressed up like The Royal bed chambers he once lived in.  The room was centered around a great bed, adorned in golden runes.  Slaves were working hard to ensure every detail was perfect.  To his left, a line of of barely dressed concubines stood waiting to fill his every desire.  He strode through the room, wondering if they had met every detail.  Perhaps they were in fact this naive, but possibly not.  It was not long however, when he realized they were in fact that dumb.  His personal armory lay intact, next to his personal throne.  A small contingent of royal guards kneel in before him.  Their leader looks up at his master, and speaks.

(My lord Valkerie!  It is once again our Honor to serve you.  We have guarded your rightful place with our lives, and your men welcome you home!)

Daemon stopped in his tracks, realizing that he not only had the weapons, but the soldiers to make an escape possible.  He begins to wonder what may be lying in Rose's Chamber.

Meanwhile in Rose's Cabin...................

Dorean and Rose enter their cabin to find their very own Royal bed chamber.  Canopy bed, full wardrobe, personal staff, and a hot tub!  The room was covered in white Rose Petals, and a large silver platter of chocolate covered fruit lay on a table next to her bed.  Despite all this, Rose and Dorean had not the least amount of interest in their surroundings.  All they could think about was their daughter, and how they were to live without her.  Rose fell to her knees and started crying.  Dorean bent over to tried and console her.  She continued to lay there, weeping, and begging for her death.  After a few hours, she collected herself and looked at Dorean.  Dorean just looked back in her eye's, seeing a coldness he had never seen before.  As if she had cried her very soul out onto the floor, and left a lifeless shell of hatred behind.  Just as he was about to speak to his beloved, a knock came at the door.  Rose Turned from him to answer, only to find her butler opening it for her.  A guard was standing just outside the room, giving what sounded like orders to the servant.  The butler closed the door and turned to Rose.

(My Queen.  The Commander has requested your presence at his table.  He wishes presence in one hour, Shall i RSVP in the positive?)

Rose sat there for a moment, and then made her response in the most callus of manners.

'We will be there!'
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on August 19, 2008, 09:41:05 PM
Jack's head rebounded off the underside of the bed with a loud thud that made Honour jump.  “OWWW!!  DAMN IT!!” he exclaimed in pain.  Her expression alternated between amusement and shock at the torrent of obscenities that flowed from under the bed.  Finally he rolled out into the room, rubbing his sore head.
“Did I hear you say 'spinach pie' somewhere in all that?” she asked.
“A euphemism I picked up in a little town called Covington Glen,” he replied.  “Care to guess what it means?”
“No, I got the context, that's enough.  You realise half of what you said under there is physically impossible?”
“I give credit for effort.  Do you mind telling me what your screeching was for?”
Honour sat down on the bed and rubbed her aching temples.  “I didn't feel like being the only one with a crushing headache.”
“How thoughtful of you to include me.”
“You can thank me later.  For now, just shut the spinach pie up.”

Jack poured a glass of rum and took it to her.  “Here.  Some hair of the dog.”  She took the glass and sniffed it.  Immediately, her stomach lurched and she pushed the glass back at him.
“Ugh!  Forget it!  I don't want to be sick on top of everything else!”
“You should have thought of that before downing over half a bottle of rum by yourself!” he chided.  “Now, hold your nose and drink fast.  You'll feel much better...”
Honour did as instructed, holding her nose and drinking as fast as she could.
“... if you can hold it down,” he finished.
She fought the inevitable wave of nausea, staring daggers at her husband the entire time.  She swore to herself that if she did throw up, one of his boots would be the receptacle.  Finally, the discomfort passed.
“Agh!  That was awful!” she spat with a shudder, then held the glass up for Jack to take it from her.  “More.”
He paused for a moment as he took the glass, and laughed softly.  “Why, my darling Honour!  You drink like a pirate!”
“What was it you used to say?” she mused as she accepted the refill.  “Occupational hazard?”
“Still do,” he replied as she slugged the rum down.  She held the glass aloft for him to take again.  “Another?” he asked.
“No, that's enough.  If it doesn't work, just give me last rites and be done with it,” she said as she lay back and pulled a pillow over her head. 

He sat down at the table and filled the glass for himself.  “How much do you remember of last night, darling?”
A protracted silence, then, “Parts.”
“Can you tell me which parts, or shall I prompt you to jog your memory?”
“Which one will make you shut up faster?”
“The one that's most convincing.”
She sighed heavily, pulled the pillow off her face and sat up.  “All right, fine, Torquemada.  I remember discussing the fact that rat bastard Cade used me and stole my ship for God knows what.  Are you happy?  I remember, and I believe you!  Is that what you're after?”
Jack took a leisurely sip from the glass.  “I'm glad that you do, Honour.  I honestly am.”  He breathed an inward sigh of relief that she had remembered, and that she still saw the truth of what he showed her.  Most of all, he was thankful she hadn't suddenly decided to defend Cade.  “Anything else?”
Her eyes narrowed, and she took the glass back from him.  “Gimme.  All this remembering makes me thirsty.”  She took a sip, followed by a deep breath.  “Things are... a little fuzzy after that part.  Why didn't you take me back to my cabin?”
“Because,” he said gently, “you insisted that you didn't want to be alone.”
“Not again...” she muttered.
“What was that?”
“Nothing.  This damned headache won't go away.”  She swallowed nearly half the glass's contents.  “Please, go on.  You brought me here and took me to bed, and?”
“I brought you here and tucked you in, love.  You were in no condition for anything but sleep.  I would have much rather been sleeping beside you than on the floor.”
Honour smiled over the top of her glass at him.  He could have taken advantage and didn't.  That was the Jack Wolfe she remembered.  The one she fell in love with.  “Thank you for taking care of me, Jack.  I'm not used to having that these days.”
“My pleasure, muñequita,” he replied with a tender smile.  “There is one other thing we talked about...”
“Yes?  What was it?”

A sharp pounding at the door startled Jack and made Honour wince.
“GO AWAY!!” they shouted in unison.  Surprised by their simultaneous reaction, the two looked at each other and burst out laughing.  An anxious and shirtless Briggs burst into the cabin in spite of their order.  His expression of shock and bewilderment gave Honour a fit of the giggles as the quartermaster looked away from her side of the room and tried to use the broad piece of leather to cover himself.  She took the opportunity to retrieve a dressing gown from the armoire.
“I take it there's something urgent you need to discuss, Josiah?” Jack asked sarcastically.
“Aye, mightily important!”
“Well, get to it, man!”
Briggs pointed at the leather he held up in modesty.  “Martin brought this to me!  Jack, it's a map!”
Jack peered at the leather, but saw no discernible markings.  “I ordered that tobacco tossed overboard.”
Josiah swallowed his pride and laid the leather out on the table, then took a long draw on his pipe and blew the smoke across its surface.  As if by magic, islands and markings began to appear.
“What is this a map of?” asked Jack in wonderment.
“This here's the map what'll lead us to that thievin' motherless dog Jennings, and maybe even your bonny bride's ship!”
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on August 20, 2008, 05:10:42 PM
Blackjack wiped the dripping mead from his chin. Lil studying to be a nun?! The thought beggared description, but it would go a long way to explain many of the nuances that he had noticed about her character. The softer side at any rate. As to what had caused her to become nearly as hard as he was he didn't even wish to hazard a guess. Such things were best kept to one's self.

Lil and Elinor walked up to where he was standing, a sly smile covered Lil's lips. "I trust you will be keeping what you overheard to yourself, Blackjack?" She let one hand rest on one of her prized daggers for emphasis.

"Overheard, Luv?" Roberts raised one eyebrow as he grinned. "Funny thing about that last shot to me noggin, it seemed ta effect me hearin'. You said somethin' about trainin' yer bum? I had always thought ya fairer sex walked like that natural like....didn't know ye had ta train the bloody thing."

Had Lilaney been drinking anything at the moment it would have covered the former highwayman from head to toe. As it was she nearly doubled over laughing loudly. Elinor turned a delightful shade of pink.

"Yer a wicked man, Blackjack Roberts!" Lil playfully punched the pirate on the shoulder and winked, understanding that Jack had, in his own way, promised to keep the information to himself.

"Aye, Luv. That I am." Roberts grinned. "Speaking of wicked, I trust Julian is back to his old self?"

Elinor blushed a second time under Jack's blue green gaze. "I neither know, nor care."

Blackjack lowered his voice so that only the three of them would be able to hear. "Don't be so quick to dismiss him, Luv. The events that led up to your currant feelings about the lad never happened for him. Ye'll only confuse the poor sot and maybe cut your self out of a good friend."

Elinor crossed her arms defiantly across her chest and stared wordlessly back. "Either way, Luv, it's your affair. So to speak." Lil snickered behind her hand as Roberts ducked the swing Elinor took at him.

He swept the caviler hat from his head and bowed low. "Now if M' Ladies will pardon me, I've a pressing matter that I must take up with Jack Wolfe. For my remarks of a moment ago."

"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream."

As the buccaneer left in the direction of the Captain's quarters Lil looked at Elinor in surprise. "Was that just..."

"Shakespeare." Elinor finished shaking her head and idly wondering just how educated Blackjack really was. "Let's see what Martin has for breakfast. I'm hungry."

Fingering the small pouch that now hung from his belt Blackjack thought back to when he had left Drake's surgery. He had given the physician the impression he wanted concerning Malcolm, so there would be little to change the good doctor's mind. Mad Jack was another story all together.

Barring the man's feelings over any dalliances that may, or may not have occurred with Honour, there was still the matter of the damage to the Lobo to consider. From all that he had heard of Mad Jack Wolfe he had an eye on the bank account at all times and Malcolm's last attempt to take Blackjack dead or alive had certainly cost the man plenty.

Roberts had opened the door to the Knight Hammer crew quarters, smiling to see that either Rubin, or Martin had placed his sea chests under his bunk. None of them were very large, barely a foot long, but the things he had kept in them had come in rather handy from time to time. The one that Lil had brought back from Pew's was the one he had need of now.

To the untrained eye the chest were identical in size and construction, but that was an illusion. The craftsmen of the Lin Qui had made them for him as a personal thank you for saving the lives of several of their children and all three were more than just resistant to tampering.

Blackjack felt carefully around the rim and lock of the chest, his questing fingers soon found what he was searching for and he disarmed the trap. Setting the small chest on it's back he opened the front, which was the true lid instead of the curved top. Quickly he removed the small gray leather pouch that contained what he needed, then shut the lid and relocked the strongbox arming the trap yet again.

Just before he knocked at the door he heard Briggs. “This here's the map what'll lead us to that thievin' motherless dog Jennings, and maybe even your bonny bride's ship!”

A map? Who of all people on La Ville du Traitre would not only have a map of Cade's where about's, but have the gall to smuggle it aboard? Rubin! It had to be. Cade would have needed supplies to continue on this pointless charade to get Honour to follow him. Rubin would have done his usual overseeing of the loading and could have glimpsed a chart showing Cade's heading. The man did have a memory like an elephant.

Roberts grinned and knocked loudly at the door. "We're busy!" three voices called out in unison.

"Beggin' yer collective pardons, but I be thinkin' the captain will have an interest in this." Blackjack half chuckled.

The door opened just enough for both Honour and Mad Jack's faces to be seen. Briggs stood as nonchalantly as he could in the background, one hand behind his back. "What the Hell do you want now, Roberts?!" Mad Jack bellowed. "Haven't you been enough of a nuisance this voyage?!"

"He said the captain, and that would mean me!" Wench interrupted. "My crew, my captain."

"I'm certain he meant the captain of this ship, Dearest." Jack explained. "And that would be me!"

"I'm afraid Captain Wolfe is right this time, M' lady Captain." Blackjack broke in before the argument got even more confusing than it already was. "I've a debt ta pay ta yer better half..."

"I wouldn't say he was my "better half", Blackjack." Wench grinned at the change in color her remark caused in her husband.

"Either way, Mum," Roberts continued, "I've never been one ta let a debt stand ta any man. I've brought ye payment in full fer the damage done yer ship. Any left over ye're welcome to it." With that he tossed the small leather bag to Mad Jack.

Jack opened the drawstrings and poured out some of the contents into his other hand. A cascade of rubies, emeralds and diamonds poured out to Mad Jack's widening eyes. "Where did you get these?!" He demanded.

"A small bit o' shine from well over six years 'a piratin'" Roberts shrugged. "With th' exception 'a what I needed fer me pleasures I'd little use fer the bulk and had it in safe keepin' on du Traitre. I know full well it's mor'n the repairs and restockin' a yer ship, Captain Wolfe. We be square now."

Blackjack gave a two fingered salute to the Lobo's Captain. "One day ye may find that a bit o' shine isn't all they make it out ta be. Good day ta ye both." He winked to Wench and turned to walk back to the ladder leading out onto the main deck.
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on August 21, 2008, 09:14:39 PM
Within moments of being revealed, the features of the map faded before Jack's eyes like the smoke that caused them to appear.  He grabbed the pipe out of Briggs mouth and took a long draw.  As he slowly exhaled the smoke onto the leather, the features reappeared more vividly than before.  Honour made a face and tried furiously to fan the smoke away with the sleeve of her dressing gown.
“Of course!  The one map we need, and it can only be seen with the aid of that horrid pipe smoke!” she coughed.

Briggs smiled in satisfaction.  “Ain't this an uncanny bit of trickery?  Have ye ever seen the like of it?”
“No.  No, I can honestly say I have not,” answered Jack as he tried to get a grasp of what the map had to tell.  “I don't recognise a third of these islands... here!  Here's Castillo de Fuego, then La Ville du Traitre back here near the edge.  If we continue on this route, factoring in our lay over at Sangraal...”
“We end up here,” Josiah finished, and he put a finger on the island Cade had chosen for a base just as its image faded from sight.  Whatever was used to draw the map, it would only be revealed by the smoke for a handful of seconds at a time.
Jack leaned back and smiled.  “See, Josiah?  I told you the Feng Shui would change our luck!  Martin!  Please, don't hover out there in the corridor.  Come in!  Where on earth did you find this map?”

Martin stepped inside, clearly uneasy about being in the Captain's quarters.  Or, as it appeared to him this morning, the quarters of the Captains.  He took a moment to clear his throat before speaking.  “Well, Cap'n Wolfe, it was a surprise gift from a merchant here named Rubin.  That map was the wrapper for a pair of new boots.”
“You got new boots and haven't shown them to me yet?” interrupted Honour teasingly, causing the large man to blush.
“The fashion show will have to wait.  You were saying, Martin?”
“You see, I asked Rubin if he knew where Cade was headed.  His answer was the map,” the ship's chef finished with a look of pride.
“Mister Montgomery, you're earned you pay for the week!  Would you mind terribly if we held on to the map for a while?  At least until we get it transcribed,” requested Jack.
“Of course!” the big man replied.  “Keep it as long as you need.  You know where to find me!"
“Well done, Martin!” beamed Honour.
“Thank you, ma'am.  Anything to get the Hammer back.”  With that, he turned and left, whistling a merry tune.

Honour's brow furrowed as a torn expression took her face.  “Yes, I suppose so...”
Post by: Hibernian on August 26, 2008, 09:46:58 PM
“Brother! The sun is coming up again and I am leaving. I’m dirty, hungry and tired from trying to sleep on this stone floor. How long will you stare at that wall before you admit there is no secret treasure?”

"Tada gan iarracht Kate.”

Seeing her blank stare he continued, “it’s an old saying my novice master repeated to me every time I was ready to hang up the cowl so to speak, it means “Nothing without effort.” Kate, give me just a wee bit more time, I know it’s here, I just have to find it.”

Returning his attention to the wall, he walk along the shadow cast by the figure in the stain glass window as the rising sun started a new day on the island of traitors. His hands moved gently along the stones feeling every crack, his eyes looking for any hint of an opening.

Behind him Kate just stood and watched, not wishing to abandon her shipmate and knowing nothing she said would make a difference until the monk was ready to leave. Shaking her head and looking toward the altar she spoke silently, “You know I’m not a knee bender, but if you really care for this man who believes so much in you, something better happen soon.”

Brother Timothy was standing in front of a carved section of the wall depicting the crucifixion of St. Dimas. The feeling that this was important was as strong now as the first dozen times he had stood and studied this six foot section of wall. “Lord you made the blind to see, now grant your servant sight.”

The sun has risen enough so that the top of the cross carved into the wall was illuminated. Kate noticed for the first there was an inscription on the cross but could not read it. “Brother what does that say?”
“On the cross, at the top, I can’t read it.”
“It’s the artist telling us who we see upon this cross, it tells us this is the penitent thief known as Titus.”
“But I thought this was the church of St. Dimas, who is Titus?”
“Well, actually Dimas is Titus, in the Arabic Gospels Dimas’s name is actually Titus. Not many people other than those with time to read the gospels remember it though, it’s a story not often told.”

“Oh my, No, it can’t be that simple, Kate look at the inscription, ok now look at the name Titus, does that first ‘T’ look familiar?” Taking the cross from around his neck he held it aloft for Kate to see.

“Brother, your cross looks just like the T on the wall, does that mean…” Slowly Brother Timothy held the cross next to the first letter of the saint’s name, they matched perfectly and he pushed the cross into the letter’s cutting in the wall.

As he pushed a faint rumbling could be heard, cracks appeared in the wall, cracks in the outline of a door that then opened inward.
Post by: Martin Montgomery on August 26, 2008, 11:19:56 PM
 Martin left the Captains Cabin with a song in his heart and a merry tune on his lips,happy to have been part of a way to track down the first ship that he'd signed on. The "Knight Hammer" was a beautiful ship and even though the "El Lobo Del Mar" was rapidly becoming,if not "Home" at least a home away from home. The "Lobo's crew had just enough people that were,as the one of the carpenter's mates had put it,"Half a bubble off plumb" to be .........Verrrrrrrrrry Interesting!! Making his way to the galley he helped the brothers finish up with the last bit of serving a hearty breakfast of oatmush,scrambled or fried eggs,sausages,bacon,biscuits,hard cheese and coffee or hot tea. As the last people sat at the long tables with their plates the big cook helped himself to a plate of fried eggs,biscuits and several small sausages. Taking his loaded plate back to his slightly more private bunk area he sat on his hammock and took a cautious sip of his piping hot tea."How will Captain Wolfe and Briggs be able to use that map if WW complains at them for smoking?" He mused as he tucked in with gusto. "I am glad that I am out of the loop on that one!" Finishing his meal he had a bright idea,kicking off his worn brown boots he grinned widely as he pulled on the supple black leather of Rubin's gift. The new knee high boots felt wonderful and as he stood he noticed that the low heels didn't add an inch to his normal height. Laughing silently to himself at the thought of WW noticing his new acquisitions,stuck in the crowded cabin probably covering her mouth and nose with one silken sleeve while fanning the other about franticly,sickenend by the pleasant smelling smoke yet too stubborn to leave the room,feeling as if she had to be involved in any and all important (Read "Interesting") decisions!  Taking his cleaned plate back to the washtub he put it in the sudsy water and turned to the Taylor brothers "Boys,I'll need a tray for our trifecta of leaders....." Both the brothers stood there,one held a tray with a flat cover and the other,a silver coffeepot and service with complete with four cups and a bottle of Jamaican Rum!! "I see that you have EXACTLY what they need!!!!  Grasping Tom's covered food tray firmly and nodding for Tim to place the silver service on top of the flat covered tray,the big cook maneuvered his bulk and his load down the companionway to the Captain's Cabin,starting to whistle the same merry tune he had been whistling before leaving the cabin less than half an hour before. " It's going to be a beautiful day!!" He thought to himself "WW will get Muir back,Brother Timothy will get Amber back and Captain Wolfe will get his ship back! Suddenly he stopped short,the tray still steady in his hands,but his mind beginning to whirl "Leave the "Lobo"? "Bid a farewell to the friendships built during battles between the two crews and beside them!?" "What will they do?" Moving slowly down the hallway once more,Martin no longer whistled.  
Post by: Welsh Wench on August 27, 2008, 05:23:40 AM
Briggs grinned, "Getting the Knight Hammer back will be just what you wanted, Captain Bright! Then ye can go rovin' across the deep blue!'
She snapped, "Trying to get rid of us, Josiah? Don't forget--where I go, Martin goes. And if Martin goes, you can kiss those cheese biscuits good-bye!"
Jack continued to blow smoke from the pipe onto the map.
She peered over his shoulder. "Isn't there an easier way to read it? You know how I always said your cheeks look like a blacksmith bellows when you puff away? I apologize. I was wrong."
"Apology accepted."
She took the pipe out of his mouth and dumped the ashes into a vase. "You look like a chipmunk blowing on a blacksmith's bellows. Isn't there any other way to read this map?"

Jack took out a cigar out of his pocket and lit it.
"By the time I get this going, you are going to be sorry you ever dumped the aromatic pipeweed, Honour."
She stuck her tongue out at Jack and then leaned in to peer at the map, holding her nose.
"What is that over there?" She pointed to a crescent-shaped island.
Briggs said smugly, "It appears to be called Cade's Cache."
"You mean....?"
Jack continued to blow smoke on the map. Wench held her nose and said, "You mean to say that is where he is centering his smuggling operation?"
Jack was engrossed in the map. "Uh huh," he said distractedly. "I never saw this island and certainly not with this name. Now how long...."
Wench answered the door. "Martin! Back so soon? Oh, my goodness, look at this!"
Martin came in with the covered trays. "I thought since you and the Captain--well, the co-captain--were going over that map, you might need fortification. Briggs, too. And some liquid fortification too."
Jack looked up and smiled at Martin. "I'm going to miss you, Martin, when you rejoin the Knight Hammer."
Martin's face fell.
Wench caught his look and it tugged at her heart. She knew that Martin took so much pride on turning the kitchen galley of El Lobo around. The man was a genius and that galley certainly was a challenge. And Martin was the only one that Gordie talked to.
And what if Jack offered Martin a better deal? Would the Knight Hammer crew eat lousy food or worse yet, would they expect Wench to cook it?
Briggs took the tray and whipped the cover off with a flourish.
"Ah..them cheesy biscuits! And sausage and eggs...and the coffee with rum."
Jack looked up. "Don't you mean rum with coffee?"
Wench looked at them and shook her head. "Martin, you are spoiling them! This will be know as the Emeril del Mar."
"The what?"
"Never mind. I'll let you go over that map while I get some fresh air. Of all things...smoke!"
She left the cabin with Martin, stepping out into the hallway.
"Wench, I hope you've been happy with my services and..."
"Martin! You aren't going to leave me, are you?"
"I hadn't planned on it but..."
"But nothing!  Martin, you've been my protector and now that Marvos is gone, I'm relying on you."
Martin chuckled, "Remember when you went hysterical when Daemon was killed. I mean, the first time. I had to slap you and then douse you with a fifty-five gallon drum of cold water!"
"And then you bailed me out of that little credit mishap with Captain Daniels."
"That ship is beyond my scope, Wench. You are on your own with that."
"And you gave me the bracers which I just love! And let's not forget your heroic efforts to save those people in the burning brothel in Tortuga."
Martin sighed. "I was doubtful of how it would work out when we joined Captain Jack's crew. But you know it has been an adventure."
He looked up at her. "Being on the Knight Hammer felt like I had come home, Wench. And being with this blended crew, it feels like..."
"Yes. Family."
She touched the big guy on the shoulder and gave him a wistful smile. "It is what it is, Martin. Things happen for a reason. And we don't know which way the wind will blow. The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
"Planning to adjust the sails, Wench?"
She smiled slightly and said, "Have I ever complained?"
"Do I expect it to change?"
"Let me see what I can do."
Post by: Welsh Wench on August 27, 2008, 09:26:25 PM
Briggs and Jack were still poring over the map. Honour looked over Jack's shoulder.
He reached behind him and brushed her hair back. "That tickles my neck, love."
"What do you intend to do now, Jack? Continue to blow hot air?"
"I beg your pardon! We are going to continue to blow smoke and decipher and transcribe. Briggs here can write while I blow."
She took the leather out of Jack's hands as he made a grab for it."
"Ah, ah, ah! It was given to a member of MY crew so technically it belongs to ME!"
"I can transcribe it."
"No, you can't!"
"Why not?"
"Honour, you aren't a map decipherer."
"The correct word, oh husband of mine, is cartographer. Want me to spell it?"
"No. I know the word. And what makes you think you are a cartographer?"
"Jack, Daemon taught me many things. One evening he took me into the navigational chart room and we laid out a lot of charts. He had me help him draw them.  Measure distances and depths..."
Briggs broke in with, "Can you box the compass?"
Wench retorted, "Sixteen-point or thirty-two point?"
Josiah's face fell.
She gave him a triumphant grin.
"I say you let me try it, Jack."
"And how can you decipher when you can't even stand the smell of pipe smoke?"
She walked over to an oil lamp and turned it on.
"It's not the smoke, it's the heat. Cade wrote this with invisible ink."
Briggs looked at Jack. Jack shrugged.
"Give it a go, then. But if you make a mistake, Honour, it will result in delays."
"I know that, Jack."
They rolled up the map and handed it to her.
"Come back by later this afternoon, Jack, and I'll have it for you."
Wench poured herself a cup of coffee and threw a bit of rum into it. She had changed into a simple shirt and skirt, barefoot.
Heating her oil lamp, she passed the leather map over it. The islands magically appeared.
Martin's face with his crestfallen expression came into her mind.
The way Jack had looked at her last night when he swept her into his arms and carried her into the cabin.
Elinor and Julian....Black Jack Roberts...
Lil and Doctor Gander. Who would have thought that Lilaney may have found her soulmate on board a pirate ship?
She looked at the map closely and then got out parchments and quills and measuring instruments.
But the melded crews, each one of them, loomed into her space.
She frowned and bit her lip.
'Let's see.....if the '23' becomes a '28'....and this island moves a bit to the east and a lot towards the north...then I move this spit of land to the southwest...looks like this port will be facing the opposite direction...oooh! So nice when they can catch a westerly wind instead of a southern breeze....'
She took a coin out and flipped it.
'Heads that land shows up on the map, tails it becomes Atlantis...'

She looked up from her map and a smile spread across her face.
'So we are delayed a bit....Muir and Amber no doubt are eating like kings! Cade always liked dogs....'
Post by: Hibernian on August 30, 2008, 07:17:12 AM
The two of them stood staring into the dark opening, neither moving perhaps in fear of breaking an illusion or better yet in disbelief. “Well, looks like we found something. I imagine the next step would be for someone to enter and see what one can see. Kate, please bring that candle over here and light it.” Keeping his feet firmly planted outside the doorway, Timothy probes the darkness with his wooden walking staff.

“Brother, if the door is open why do I still hear rumbling and feel the floor shaking?”

“Probably, stones and whatever opened this doorway just settling into place. After all its been a few years since this was opened. Funny thing is even after all these years I can still smell the incense on the air coming out. This must be it, the treasure must be here”

Kate holds the now lit candle closer to the doorway. “How far do you think this goes?”

“Hard to say, could just be beyond the doorway or there might be an entire catacomb system below the entire church or even the city itself.”

“Well let’s get going, the sooner we get to the bottom of this the sooner we get back to the ship.” Kate started for the door but stopped. “Brother are you coming?”

“Kate, I need you to stay here at the doorway. Whoa! Hold a moment, before you start up, yes, I know you are perfectly capable of taking care of yourself, and yes you have been  here since the start, but, but, let me finish, we don’t know exactly what will happen down there and if both of us get in trouble who’s going to go for help?

“Fine, that’s a plan, but why you and not me? How about you stay here by the door and I’ll go look for the treasure .”

“Granted, turnabout is fair play, I could stay by the door and send you into the darkness except keep in mind the people who built this, any more secrets or tricks would be set up by priests, how’s your latin or knowledge of church and biblical history? No, I think I need to be the one. Now how would our friend Jack say it, oh yes, savy?”

“I don’t like it, but you are probably right, and yes I savy, except it doesn’t sound quite the same when a monk say it.”

“I’ll grant you that, now here give me the candle and you keep my walking stick. Wish me luck.”

Post by: Martin Montgomery on September 09, 2008, 10:18:19 PM
 Deciding that he would not get any restful sleep in the time before full daybreak,Martin got out of his hammock and dressed quickly,relishing the feel as he pulled up his new boots. He smiled as he ran his large hand over his head to smooth back his unruly hair. "I still can't get over the fact that Captain Wench and Captain Wolfe shopped all day at the island's bazaar and I end up with the new boots!" Buckling on his heavy belt holding his matched knives and an oversized belt pouch,Martin's hand dropped to the pouch and gave it a shake. "Whew!" He exclaimed "Feels a little short! Better stock up before I go to that Farmers Market down past that old churchyard that was filled with holes. Maybe they had some kind of festival here,I should ask Brother Timothy the next time I see him!"  The big man recrossed the small living space behind the hanging blanket and knelt down to rummage under his hammock he withdrew a battered seachest,that to his surprise,had belonged to the "Lobo's" previous cook,Lucky. Martin had found the chest in the galley turned up on one end ,being used as a stool for the crotchety one legged cook. The Taylor brothers had seen that the new cook didn't have a "Proper place" to stow his gear so they had cleaned and oiled the old chest after finding the key hanging on a peg in the galley. After removing the packets of spices that had been stored inside the new cook found several secrets about the chest that he was sure Lucky hadn't known,the complete chest was made of high quality seasoned wood and thin sheets of steel were sandwiched between the wood and a layer of green felt protecting it's contents. There also was a hidden drawer in the front that slid open once the lid had been raised and the key turned counterclockwise twice. Martin had found the drawer by accident and had then oiled the lock,inner workings and drawer slides so that it's catch now opened with a barely audible "click". The drawer was almost as wide as the two foot chest and was two inches deep,it too was lined but with felt of a much higher quality. Inside the big cook had found seventeen precious stones of very high quality! Obviously Lucky had been lucky enough to buy or find the chest but not lucky enough to find the drawer or stones! Six emeralds,four opals,three saphires,two rubies and two diamonds were tucked away in the drawer and as soon as Martin had found them he had immediately sold three of the larger emeralds and an opal to fund the refurbishing and stocking of the "Lobo's" galley. The big man had been slowly spending the remaining proceeds to help the ship along more comfortably. Taking one opal,one saphire and one ruby from the hidden drawer Martin put them in a cloth bag then,dropped the bag into his pouch. Pushing the drawer closed he smiled when he heard the metallic "click" of the lock engaging,the front of the chest hardly showing the tiny seam. Returning the chest to it's resting place under his hammock,Martin stood and climbed to the main deck. Tossing a casual salute to the "Lobo" crewman that was standing watch he walked jauntily down the gangplank and headed for Rubin's storefront,thinking the ebony giant would know where he could take the precious stones to sell. Martin had been walking for a few minutes and he was enjoying the early morning stroll,noticing the sun just peeking over the rooftops. As he caught sight of the tall church steeple he thought of Brother Timothy. "Where has he been during this adventure?"He wondered aloud "By the by I haven't seen Kate about lately either!" That was the moment that his heard the deep rumble emanating from UNDER the church!!! 
Post by: Hibernian on September 09, 2008, 10:52:47 PM
“I should have gone with him, two is better than one, Daddy always said have someone to watch your back. But no Kate, you don’t know Latin Kate, there may be traps Kate, wish me luck Kate, I’ll wish that crazy old monk luck if I get my hands around his neck.” Sticking her head into the darkness of the open doorway Kate yells, “Brother Timothy!” She listens as the sound echoes downward.

“Oh my, how long has it been, he should be back by now. Damm, why doesn’t this church have a clock? No, he can take care of himself. I swear it’s been hours, but then the shadow line has only moved two bricks.” Pacing back and forth along the wall, her hands gesturing with every comment, Kate continues the two sided conversation with herself.  “So it’s come to this, the famous Kiss-Me-Kate, the one who has always had her pick of the lads wherever she went, who wrote her own rules and dared the fellows to keep up, the wench who would be a pirate, is talking to herself worrying about a monk who has disappeared down a hole in the wall of a church chasing who knows, no make that God knows what because I certainly do not!”

“What was that?” Nervously holding her hands against the wall, “ok, the nonstop rumbling is bad enough, but when the floor starts to shake I seriously believe we have a problem here.” Once more to the doorway, “Do you hear me? Hello monk, we have a problem here!”

“This is a church for crying out loud, how do I get in trouble in a church, I thought it was against the rules. I remember, I forgot to yell Sanctuary.” Kate gazes over toward the altar, “What is it, do I need to belong to the guild or something, do you need to see my membership card? Then remind me next time to wear black and cover my head but stop this shaking.”

The intensity of the rumbling increases as another shock wave crosses the floor. Only Brother Timothy’s staff keeps her upright and steady enough to take note of the new sound coming from the catacombs. It was the sound of rushing water, like a tide or better yet waves hitting the rocks.

“Water? No, it can’t be water, or could it? Then again, I’m in a church, which is built over catacombs, on a island, and I hear rushing water, this can’t be good thing. Brother Timothy! Time to go! I’m not ready to be baptize! Damm it, where is that monk!”

“No need to curse Kate. It shows a lack of intelligence.”

“Brother is that you?”

Suddenly with the sound of splashing water a figure emerged from the darkness. “You were expecting Lazarus arisen from the grave?” Brother Timothy ran through the doorway and into the light.

Kate’s mouth dropped as she ran to hug her brown robed companion. “You’re wet.”
“Thank you , I hadn’t noticed, Oh, Damm it!”
“Don’t curse Brother, remember it shows a lack of intelligence, besides you’ll dry out soon enough.”

“Not soon enough if we stay here Kate. If you wil note the water coming through the doorway, the smart thing for us to do is…”
“Correct” Grabbing her hand, Brother Timothy and Kate run for the door leading to the outside. Quick on their heels was an incoming tide rushing up from the catacombs and into the church.

Making their way through the double doors to stand on the church portico, they were greeted with a vision worthy of Dante’s Inferno. Not only was the water coming up from the catacombs within the church, but every treasure hole ever dug around the Church of St. Dimas was now erupting with water. Dashing forward, running first left then right, the two made their way through the maze of water geysers now surrounding the building. The sound of stone work and ground crumbling under the water’s assault filled the air.

Stopping at the edge of what had once been the common area, they were greeted by the sight of the church surrounded by water, and slowly as they watched the church was sinking into the surrounding pool of water. At the current rate, soon only the steeple would be visible.

“Did we do that?”

Seeing that people were started to gather and point, rather than reply to her question, he took her hand and simply said “run for the ship.” Brother Timothy took a strong hold of a small plain wooden chest under his left arm and ran after Kate.

Post by: Blackjack Roberts on September 10, 2008, 10:15:42 AM
Blackjack leaned on the rail of the Lobo del Mar idly smoking one of the thin black tobacco cigars he favored. The aroma was more akin to a pipe than the normal reek of a true cigar. Having settled his debt to Mad Jack he longed to check on the condition of Malcolm, but knew that to do so openly would destroy the illusion he felt was needed to keep the man in Jack's good graces, such as they could be given the past Dagget had inadvertently acquired with Honour.

He watched as Martin left the ship, at first concerned for the big man leaving without back up, started to follow, then thought better of it. Martin was well armed, and Rubin would be alerted by his lads the second Martin set foot ashore. Roberts grinned to himself at the sight of the new boots the cook wore. Whether or not he knew it the Zulu had a custom of giving footwear to only those they considered family. In their villages such things were a luxury and never used except for special occasion, hence the rarity of giving such a gift. Blackjack's own boots, though near three years older were a similar gift from the African giant.

He relaxed. Martin would be fine.

Exhaling a cloud of the fragrant blue white smoke Roberts pondered his currant situation. For the first time in over six years he was no longer a hunted man. Though that could not be said for England at the least he doubted the king would expend the amount of capital necessary to track him. The only man who would have done so was now rotting on an island suited to his character. For the first time since the cottage Jack found he could let go of Jenny's memory. Not that he would ever forget her, but now he could remember only the good times they had shared together. He had no desire to return to England anyway.

"How be things with ye, Mate?" The thin figure of Julian leaned on the rail next to him.

"Not bad, Mate. Not bad at all." Blackjack smiled and extended his hand to the Lobo's scribe. The man would never remember the events that had led to their conflict and Jack had no intention of acting as if they had occurred at all. Julian grasped forearms with the former highwayman.

"Wish I could say the same." He sighed heavily.

"Problems, Matey?" Blackjack inquired leaning on one elbow.

"You could say that." The scribe's color changed slightly. "I find Elinor at odds with me and for the life of me I don't know what I did to offend her." Roberts nodded, obviously the scribe had something on his mind and had come to him with it.

"This is hard for me, Blackjack. I don't usually go asking others for favors, but since Elinor seems to be a special friend of yours....." Julian struggled with the rest, the embarrassment he felt choking off the rest of his words.

"Ye want ta know if'n I can find out what ye may have done to turn her feelin's?" Blackjack finished for him.

"Exactly." Julian breathed a sigh of relief.

Blackjack clamped a friendly hand on the smaller man's shoulder. "Ill do what I can fer ye, Mate." He grinned. "But I can't say I know more'n any other man about the ways 'a women. Sometimes it takes the smallest 'a things ta set 'em on a course we've no charts fer."

"Aye." Julian nodded ruefully. "But I have to try. her too much not to. Thank ye, Jack."

"No problem, Mate. I'll........Hells bells, and Hob's bodkins!!!" Blackjack suddenly exclaimed. Julian whirled around to look in the direction Roberts was staring in. Several jets of water shot skyward from what he took to be the courtyard of the church, shooting as high as the steeple its self.

Blackjack jerked his cutlass free from it's scabbard and ran for the gangplank. Brother Timothy and Kate had headed in that direction. Over his shoulder he shouted to Julian. "Go inform our captains what's goin' on. I'm fer the church ta see if'n I can help!"

Roberts sprinted down the wide oak at a record pace, running full bore towards the church.
Post by: lilaney on September 10, 2008, 01:48:59 PM
'Ol Edgar and 'Ol Jim were taking the first watch of the day.
"Nice day, Jim" Edgar said in a disinterested voice.
"Ar, it be, matey." Jim replied back.
Jim would have rolled his eyes but, they had caught on something frilly.

The two old tars were sitting aft of the Quarterdeck; they were suppose to be re-taring the stay lines and instead had decided to light their pipes and splice sail lines.
If the Boatswain came by, the'yd claim they miss hear'em; old timers ears and all.
If they weren't the Boatswain's cranky old Uncles on his Mother's side, he woulda pitched'em off the ship by now, but, he promised Momma...

"Ey, getta look at that'un!" Jim nudged his brother.
Edgar turned a wizened eye on a pier Doxie.
"Usual fair, looks like yer sister."
Jim nodded sagely, then froze.
"Hey! That be yer sister too!"
Edgar snorted a laugh and nodded.
"That's why I canna look at her the way ye be..."
If Jim wasn't so old, and he actually cared enough, he'd swat his kin.
But, it was too early, too morning, and life onboard would simply be too boring without him.

The two heard the newest gent to the ship start cursing, push their green scribe aside and run hell-bent down the gangplank.
"Which one be he again?"
Jim shrugged at his brother.
"Dunno, named Jack, I think. Must have seen something worthwhile though."
The two men watched the scribe scurry down the steps to the passageway below.
Jim picked up the neatly splice line. Edgar puffed his pipe wisely and nodded.
"That be done now'un, what next?"
The two searched the decks, had to fill the time with something that looked worthwhile, else they would actually have to get to work.

"Oy! Ye olde reprobates! Best be getting ready for sail'un!"
One of the younger Jack Monkeys swung off the Top sail line and landed neatly in front of them.
"Ah! Jack! What be the gossip this day?"
Jim grinned toothlessly at the youngster.
Edgar rolled his old eyes, Jim had a habit of naming everyone 'Jack', it was easier to remember.
"Words is, we be off today and mebbe getting the Captain's missus her ship back. The Scribe's gots isself a new daliance, the Doc's sick, or 'it on the head. Anyway's he be acting off. And the Brother ain't been back yet."
Jim nodded and saluted the man's back as he turned upon seeing the Boatswain approaching.
"Iffn Mother ain't told me NOT to kill's ye! Ye'd be gone offa this ship faster than blinkin'!"

The roaring of the Boatswain at a couple of old timer's is what hit Lil's ears as she made it topside to watch the retreating back of BlackJack down the pier and out of sight.
Elinor having just helped her up from being knocked down by a frantic Julian, and then Elinor chasing after said scribe as he hurried towards the Captain's Quarters.
"Always in a hurry, that one."
She mused as the portside city began to awaken to a new day on the Island.
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on September 10, 2008, 08:19:56 PM
Briggs returned to Jack's cabin donning a reasonably fresh shirt and a very self-satisfied smile.  “Quite the favourable turn of events, wouldn't ye say?  A short layover for staples at Sangraal, then it's straight on to puttin' our passengers aboard their own ship and we get back to doin' an honest day's piratin'.”
Jack sat slouched in his chair, fiddling aimlessly with a mapmaker's compass.  “I don't know... I thought nearly all of Honour's crew had settled in nicely with ours.  The food's never been better, Duckie has an extra set of hands in the surgery, and Julian has finally taken interest in something other than his work.  Even Brother Timothy has lent an air of respectability to the ship which I've rather come to enjoy.”

“And Honour?  What's she brought to the table?”
“That's an incredibly stupid question, Josiah.  She's brought more than you realise.  A second chance, for starters.”
“A second chance?  At what?  You bein' lord an' master over a plantation?  Landed gentry?  'Pleased to meet you, Mister Wolfe.'  'That's Captain Wolfe, mum.  Retired.'  Yeah, I can see that happenin'.”
“And to think you were ready to toast that possibility at one time.”
“Aye, before she nicked those ten chests of guilders and pulled her little disappearin' trick!  Or have ye forgotten that wee larceny?"
“I think I'm beginning to understand her reasons.”  Jack tossed the compass on the table and sighed.  “The loss of the money chests never bothered me.  I've still got eleven of the seventeen that were left.  More money than I'll ever be able to spend.”  The prize that provided the fortune he and Honour enjoyed had been an entire year's payroll and operating capital for the Dutch East India Company in the Caribbean, to the tune of just over 4 million English pounds.
“But, ye made such a fuss at Castara when ye had to buy out the other's stakes in the smugglin' operation!  Tapped ye out clean, ye said!”
“It was more a matter of pride than price, Josiah.  It was the perfect setup until I was betrayed.  But it's far better to let the average simpleton think me dead broke than give them the truth.  I bought them out for pennies on the pound.”
Briggs burst into laughter.  “You mean the likes of Bourne-Fesse, Smithers, and even James Blake got back only a fraction of their stake?  You're a wonder, Jack!  Ye turned a busted smugglin' ring into a swindle!”
“Creative accounting makes the world go round, my friend.  Though I never understood why, out of all of them, Blake didn't so much as blink at the buyout offer.”
“James never does nothin' unless there be good reason.  Neither does Jack Wolfe.  What's the really behind yer charitable nature toward Honour and her crew?”
Jack took a sip of rum and smiled as he imagined that dark-haired baby girl in Wales.  His own daughter.  “It's a good reason, Josiah.  Really good.  In fact, it's perfect.”
“Ye ain't tellin' me, are ye?” laughed Briggs.
“I'll tell you.  When all the cards have been played.”

“Fair enough.  Can't ask for more'n that, I suppose.  But this charitable nature of yer wife enjoys... will the same charity be extended to that whelp Jennings when we run him down?”  The quartermaster swirled his glass of rum and sat it on the table.  Almost immediately, concentric ripples appeared on the surface of the dark liquid.  “Now what in the name of all that's good and givin' in this world is causin' that, do ye think?”

The door of the cabin flew open with a bang.  Jack and Briggs turned to find Julian standing there, looking for all the world as if he'd seen a ghost.  “Cap'n Wolfe!  The chu-- OOF!!!”
The young scribe went sprawling face first to the deck when Elinor plowed into him from behind.
“OWW!  Idiot!” she exclaimed, picking herself up off the deck.  “Warn me next time!”
Julian ignored her for the moment.  “Captain, the church Brother Timothy and Kate went to-- it's SINKING!”
“Sinking?!”  Jack looked out of the gallery windows toward the hill where the church had stood all these years.  All that was visible now amid the geysers of sea water was the steeple.  “Merde,” he said softly.
“Either it's the Second Comin', or those two got in a mess of trouble,” said Briggs.
“Whichever it is, I don't feel like sticking around for it,” Jack replied.  “I want this ship moving in 20 minutes time.  They know the monk is with us.  Getting detained here is the last any of us want.”
“I'll get a fire lit under the men!  Twenty, and we're under weigh!” Josiah acknowledged as he left for the weather deck.

“But, Brother Timothy and Kate aren't back yet!  Neither is Martin!” Elinor protested.
“And Roberts went running off to the church,” added Julian.
Jack set his jaw.  “Whoever makes it back, we'll get them aboard.  Whoever doesn't... they get to do the explaining for us.”

Post by: Hibernian on September 10, 2008, 09:22:37 PM
Kate had begun to move forward against the ever increasing crowd flowing toward the common and the waterworks about the church when suddenly she came to an abrupt stop. Now Kate being young, somewhat healthy and a normal size for a woman moves with great agility and is able to stop easily, quickly, and gracefully.

Brother Timothy is not young, has two bad knees, and is larger than the average man. While slow to start, once he has started rolling, stopping quickly is not easily done. Unfortunately, he was moving quite well when upon looking up he notices that Kate, who was suppose to be running in front of him, had stopped. As the lyrics to the song go, whether the stone hits the pitcher or the pitcher hits the stone, either way is bad for the pitcher. In this case, Kate is the pitcher.

“Oh no, don’t stop!” The two collide, the monk falling to the ground while Kate travels through the air landing no less than 20 feet away in a trough of water. Wiping her face and pulling wet strands of hair out of face Kate screams, “What is your problem, don’t you watch where you are going?”

“Well at least have the courtesy to signal and let me know when you are going to just stop in the middle of a get away! And why did you stop in the middle of the street?”

“I wasn’t sure we were on the proper heading, shouldn’t we ask for directions?”

“Oh sure, let’s ask this gathering mass of pirates, excuse me sir, we just destroyed your church and would like to leave now, could you point us on our way?”

“Well, I thought it was a good idea at the time.”

He offers his staff to help Kate out of the water and as Kate tries to wring the water out of hair Brother Timothy looks about. Things look familiar and he decides that this was indeed the way they had arrived at the church.

“Hey there they are, look over there!” The high pitched voice could barely be heard over the din of the crowd but several did take note. Brother Timothy located the source of the voice, it came from a small lad, the very same small lad who had served as their guide to the church. It was “Souris, why?”

The small boy open his arms wide, the palms of his hand upward and shrugged, “I’m a pirate.”

“Let’s go Kate, and don’t stop until you get to the Lobo!”
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on September 11, 2008, 09:11:51 AM
"Blast!" Blackjack fumed as he tried to make headway towards the church. "Move yer bloody arse, Mate!"

He had bulled his way through almost as far as he could go and was becoming more worried and frustrated by the second as the Church of St. Dimas began to grow shorter by the moment. The whole building was actually sinking! It seemed as if no matter where they went the crew of the Knight Hammer was bound and determined to sink something!

Finally as concerned as he could get Roberts rammed his cutlass home into it's sheath and jerked Old Hob free of it's frog. Aiming as high above the gathered crowd as he could he sent the black leather sailing above the throng's collective heads with a sharp crack. Coiling the whip quickly he allowed the open mouthed doxies and beggars to see the pistol in his hand. Something was wrong. There wasn't a real pirate one in the crowd, just the flotsam that made their way on LaVille du Traitre by catering to them. Where where all the pirates?

No time to ponder that now, if the monk and Kate were somehow involved with the current turn of events they might need all the help they could get. Blackjack touched the brim of his hat with two fingers as he shot through the open way made for him by the dock scum and ran for Scuttlebutt Alley. It was the quickest shortcut to Crossbones Road and the church.

As he ran from the alley Roberts skidded to a dead halt. There in front of him was the answer to the question that had puzzled him on the docks. Brother Timothy and Kate were running full bore in his direction with near every bloody handed pirate on the island hot on their heels! The shock of such a sight was more than even Blackjack's jaded senses could take and without thinking he turned and ran himself. Right into a wall that hadn't been there when he entered the road. Looking up from where he had landed on his backside he stared up openmouthed at the giant figure of Rubin staring down at him with an amused grin. Martin chuckling at the huge Kushite's side.

"Well, Blackjack, it's good to see you are back among the living." Rubin half laughed, holding his hand out to help the stunned pirate to his feet.

"Aye, ye bloody walkin' mountain." Jack grinned as he grasped Rubin's hand to be pulled up as easily as a child to his feet. "It's good to see ye as well, but what in God's name is going on?" Blackjack glanced behind Martin and his old friend to see nearly all of Rubin's men armed to the teeth.

"I am not sure myself. Your friend Martin came to me with a cry for help. I called my men together and he led us towards the church." Rubin scowled. "The whole island is up in arms. Some are saying the Treasure of St. Dimas is found."

"Well, we've no time to sort it out now!" Martin pointed up the road at the fast approaching horde. "Look!"

Rubin shoved Blackjack and Martin toward the alley motioning for Brother Timothy and Kate to hurry. "Take your friends back to your ship, Blackjack. I and my men will hold the others here as long as we can!" Soon The monk and Kate were in Scuttlebutt Alley, breathing hard from their exertions as Rubin and his men blocked the entrance with their bodies and steel.

"Can ye still run?" Blackjack asked the puffing holy man.

"I'll well run out of this!" Brother Timothy struggled to catch his breath.

"C'mon then, Brother." Jack grinned. "Scuttlebutt Alley is a shortcut straight ta the docks and I'm not sure how long even Rubin can hold back the crowd of admirers ye seem ta have attracted."

Raised angry voices behind them were all the encouragement the quartet needed to start them off at a dead run to the docks. Blackjack and Martin had pulled their pistols just in case any more surprises awaited them in the short distance back to the Lobo and relative safety. Roberts glanced back at the monk and girl. The treasure of St. Dimas? Whether or not they had found that long sought swag just the rumor would eventually bring the whole of the island down on their necks for sure.
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on September 11, 2008, 08:38:19 PM
“Whoever makes it back, we'll get them aboard.  Whoever doesn't... they get to do the explaining for us.”

Captain Wolfe's words hit her like a gong. "Well, then...I'll just have to make sure they DO get aboard the ship, won't I?" She exclaimed, her face flushed and her eyes starting to fill with tears.

Paying no more heed to Captain Wolfe or Julian, Elinor dashed her way toward the main deck, and immediately shaded her eyes from the bright sunshine overhead, searching frantically on the horizon. Off in the distance, she could see a horde of people. A horde that was headed by none other than Blackjack, Martin, Brother Timothy, and Kate! "Who're the rest of those folk behind your crewmates?" Julian asked, coming up behind her.

"It looks like they didn't have the most welcoming reception upon arriving at the church," She mused. The impulse to do something to aid their journey back was strong; however, with as much haste as they were making, she discerned it would be best not to hinder them by attempting to meet them onshore. Dashing forward, she began yelling at the crewmen of the El Lobo. "What are you all standing about for? Captain Wolfe wants the ship setting sail in twenty, and we have crew that I won't tolerate being left!" Several of the crew members--including Julian-- glanced at her, shock on their faces. A few began to giggle, but that didn't last for long; the crew had work to do and couldn't spend time laughing at a silly young girl-scribe. Frustrated at herself being made fun of, Elinor stood near the entrance to the ship. "If you want back in my good graces, Julian, you'll stand on the opposite side of me and make sure no-one hinders the entrance of my friends back on the boat. Do you understand?" She asked urgently. Julian nodded his head vigorously, and took his post.

All of this thought, however, was almost all for naught, for, moments after Elinor and Julian had begun to "keep the way clear," the group began to bound onto the ship.
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on September 12, 2008, 05:01:06 PM
Briggs paced the deck making sure everything was being made ready to get the ship back out to sea in short order, barking orders and hurling epithets at those not moving fast enough in his eyes. Across the deck he saw Elinor imploring some of the crew to do something, only to be met with laughter. He dashed to the shoreward gunwale and quickly saw why she was in such a state. The missing crewmates were racing along the docks toward the ship with an angry throng in pursuit.

“Quit yer laughin' and help the little lady, ye brainless maggots!” he bellowed. “Listen up! We've got crew comin' in hot! Get ready to receive 'em and provide cover, or ye'll have TWO Wolfes a-chewin' on ye!! Crews to the patereros! The rest of ye, prepare to repel borders!!”

The crew immediately shifted their efforts to safeguarding the ship and their imperilled comrades. Gunners uncapped the small swivel guns mounted on the ship's gunwales and began loading them with grape shot and two-pound balls. Pistols and boarding pikes where handed out, and men crowded the rails ready to mount a defence against the oncoming mob. Kate was the first to start up the gangway, with Brother Timothy and the rest close behind. Somewhere along the line they had picked up the runner that was sent to tell Dagget's ship to follow El Lobo to the port of Sangraal. The hoard was some twenty yards behind and gaining.

“Slow 'em down, boys!” ordered Briggs.
Two of the swivel guns fired, sending up a spray of shattered earth directly in front of the mob, but the onrushing pirates did not slow down. El Lobo's newest crew members made their way in single file up the narrow gangplank as fast as they could. Martin was the last on board, and pistol shots rang out about him as his new boots hit the deck. He was swept away from the gunwale by the helping hands of crewmen determined to keep him and everyone else safe.

Amid shouts from the crowd of “Give us the treasure!!”, a few men scrambled up the gangplank. There had been no time to haul it up before the pirates got there. The lead was the recipient of a boot in the face courtesy of Josiah Briggs.  The second found himself acquainted with the heavy brass handguard of his cutlass. Soon the ramp was crowded with men, making it too heavy to move. Any invader picked off by small arms fire was quickly replaced by another.

It was apparent that trying to fight a delaying action was a fools errand given the numbers hell bent on getting aboard. As grappling hooks were thrown from the shore and the small guns spoke once again, Briggs fell back from the front line to better command the situation.
“Make all sail!” he hollered over the din. “Every scrap o' canvas we've got, see that it's catchin' wind!! With a will, ye sluggards!!”
Men clambered up the lines and loosed the sails, which billowed out in the brisk breeze. The quartermaster breathed a sigh of relief when the new mast creaked and groaned softly against the strain, but held fast.

“Well, sink an' scupper me!” he laughed. “Ahmet, ye're slippin', givin' us quality work as such!” He turned back to where the men were still putting up a spirited and effective fight. “Now, lads!! Cut the lines!! Cut 'em all!!”

Swords and hatchets came down hard on the mooring lines holding the ship in place. After a couple blows the heavy ropes gave way, recoiling like huge angry serpents into the crowd on the shore. The vessel began moving forward at once and gathered speed quickly. The overloaded gangplank was shed, and the pirates on it were dumped into the water where they yelled and cursed like so many wet monkeys. Anyone foolish enough to still be holding on to a grapnel's line found themselves dragged into the drink to join them.

El Lobo del Mar was free, doing what she did best of all and faster than most.

Running like the wind.

Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on September 17, 2008, 04:18:41 PM
As her friends got on board, and the El Lobo set sail once more, Elinor breathed a sigh of relief. That was, until, her fellow scribe, Julian, tapped her on the shoulder. "Now that we've cast off once more, and all your friends are back on the ship, would we be able to talk?" He asked her, trying not to seem overeager.

"Possibly," Elinor said slowly, not wanting to give him much hope that her feelings had changed. In truth, they had...a little.  "What did you want to talk about?"

Julian led her to a slightly more secluded place--if there is such a locale on a ship--and motioned for her to sit with him. "I would like us to be friends again. What can I do to make that happen?" Julian asked, not beating around the bush. Elinor paused, thinking. Her mind flashed back to all that had occurred in the surgery, from Julian poking around in her belongings, to attempting to go to Captain Wolfe when he had thought they were committing mutiny. "I think very highly of my fellow crewmates. They are some of my dearest friends. My allegiance, my duty is to them foremost. You threatened our positions on this vessel when you were about to go to Captain Wolfe with news you thought you understood, but you did not. If you wish us to be friends once more, you must understand--I look out for my own. If that includes you, so much the better. If you make efforts not to be included, that is your choice." Elinor stared at him, making sure that he completely understood. He nodded. "I understand. I will do my best."

Elinor breathed another sigh of relief. She did not forget things of the past, but she hated keeping grudges. "Thank you. Now, I suppose I need to go see Brother Timothy, Martin and Kate and see why they were so delayed in getting upon the ship!"
Post by: Martin Montgomery on September 18, 2008, 12:17:54 AM
 As the "Lobo" left the protective harbor of Pirate ran Island Martin thought back over the last few hours,starting with his seemingly Innocent shopping trip for a few more items......"The whole bloody church is SINKING!!" Martin exclaimed with disbelief. "I thought that just once,we could leave a place ALMOST like it was BEFORE we got there!!" Even as the words crossed his lips the big man reacted with a speed that was brought about by fear for his friends. The ship's cook turned from the swiftly settling church and ran towards Rubin's massive warehouse sized store. Leaping up onto the boardwalk he retained all of his speed and kept on going! Hitting the solid door with such force he burst the thick wooden slab from it's heavy frame and both it and the rotund cook hit the warehouses floor with a resounding "OOOOFFFF!!!"  His breath left his lungs as the dust that covered the floor rose in a great cloud that rolled past the fully stocked shelves,adding to the layer of dirt already covering the various unsellable product that were on display there. As Martin lay there struggling to regain his breath,Rubin came out of the back room and rounded the front counter. "Martin Montgomery!!!" He bellowed "What in all of the Devil's Names gives you the right to destroy my place of business and my HOME!?!? The ebony giant was closely followed by three armed men,one being his strapping son. A look of concern crossed the shopkeepers face as Martin lay there gasping like a fish out of water! "Martin! Are you well my friend?"  The huge shopkeeper took a deep breath and after sheathing both of his lengthy weapons,he waved his two men too defensive positions outside of the broken door. Rubin reached down and without visible effort took a grip under Martin's arm and bodily yanked him to his feet. Steadying the cook with one hand he brushed his clothing off with his other hamsized hand. Keeping his voice steady,he rapidly asked again. "What is wrong?  Is there trouble aboard the "Lobo?" Why are you not on board? Reaching out and laying his own outsized hand on the Kushites arm ,Martin huffed one more deep breath then panted out "My friends.....Kate and...Brother T..T..Timothy at the ......TROUBLE!!!!" Turning to his men as they reentered the destroyed doorway Rubin barked "Malachi,gather as many armed men as you can in two minutes. Kosar take the rest and ready them to repel looters! Martin ,come with me!" The ebony giant,his son,Martin and five rough looking men each armed from knives or swords to pistols,raced out the ruined doorway. The stout cook having regained his breath set a fast pace and soon the disappearing spire and it's distinctive cross have into view. Two of Rubin's toughs instinctively made the sign of the cross as it settled lower among the geysers of seawater that shot to impressive heights from every treasure hole dug throughout the churchyard! Three figures were hotfooting it across the cobblestoned road looking back at the sinking church. Sliding on the wet cobblestones the shopkeep and the ship's cook came to a stop side by side and were plowed into by the fleeing trio! "Well, Blackjack, it's good to see you are back among the living." Rubin half laughed, holding his hand out to help the stunned pirate to his feet. "Aye, ye bloody walkin' mountain." Jack grinned as he grasped Rubin's hand to be pulled up much as Martin had been not minutes before. Martin himself lost the rest of their conversation as he steadied Kate and Brother Timothy,who had not been bowled over by their  collision with the,much softer feeling,cook. The big man quickly noticed the brown robed monk covering a small chest with the sleeve of his robe and earned a hard stare when he started to ask about it. Blackjack had grabbed Rubin's massive arm for emphasis as Malachi and another fifteen men in Rubin's employ appeared behind the small group,Martin cut in "Well, we've no time to sort it out now!" pointing  the opposite direction up the road at a fast approaching horde of hard eyed pirates "Look!" Turning to Martin,Rubin looked him in the eye and quietly whispered "Give me something. NOW!" Understanding crossed his slack face and he dug deeply into his beltpouch,pulling out a small cloth sack Martin addressed the Giant in a loud voice to be heard by all present. "Rubin! I am hear-by contracting you and your men for the protection of my shipmates and me to the safety of the decks of the "El Lobo Del Mar!" Placing the small sack in the huge man's hand who quickly opened it and emptied the contents into his dusky palm. "Lads!" He yelled "We have been contracted ,all legal and proper and in accordance with all bylaws of the CODE!" Smiling at Kate and giving Brother Timothy a quick bow "We will escort these good people back to their ship!" One of Rubin's toughs did a doubletake "WHAT!?!?" He yelled his face darkening with anger "We're workin' fer THEM?!!? WHY?!?" His eyes widened with fear as his Kushite employer's hand gathered his shirtfront and a good amount of his chesthairs in a bunch,pulling him to his tiptoes! "This is why Roget!!" Rubin's other hand waved in front of the surprised pirate's face showing him the three sparkling stones in his palm. "YES SIR!!" Roget said as he regained his feet and drew his daggers with a feral grin! Rubin shoved Blackjack and Martin toward the alley motioning for Brother Timothy and Kate to hurry. "Take your friends back to your ship, Blackjack. I and my men will hold the others here as long as we can!" As one ,the four shipmates turned and ran for the narrow confines of Scuttlebutt alley,Kate led the way followed closely by the,huffing and puffing but well moving,Brother Timothy still lugging his plain wooden chest. Blackjack and Martin were jogging along behind them,one moving lightly and one lumbering heavy,both with bared steel and drawn pistols. As they left the alley and came out on the docks the four friends heard the wild cries of several men who had gotten by Rubin and his men! A man from the "Lobo" who had been dispatched to looked behind them then turned and ran for the ship! The five ran up the gangplank and Martin swore he saw and heard Elinor casting about and chivying the crew into laying covering fire!! The swivelguns fired and earth was thrown up in front of the mob but it didn't slow them one bit! The small group stood and caught their breath as the "Lobo's" crew freed the gangplank and cut the ropes attached to grappling hooks. Martin felt a pain in his left leg and thought he had pulled a muscle,he reached back to massage it away and a stunned look froze on his face when his questing hand found the hilt of a small knife!! Pulling the four inch blade from his thigh and dropping it to the deck,the enraged man turned and grabbed an ironwood belaying pin from a rack that stood close. "You sons of *******!!! Do you realize these are NEW BOOTS!! Do you know what blood does to LEATHER?!?!?" The "Lobo" was pulling away from the docks smoothly,irate pirates were in the water and a large group was loitering on the dock waving there fist in the air! Martin stepped to the rail and closed one eye winging the heavy belaying pin across the thirty yards between the ship and the docks,hitting the mobs leader in the head,knocking him out! Martin gave a whoop of delight as the unconscious man tumbled into the water beside the wharf!!     

Post by: Welsh Wench on September 21, 2008, 09:19:03 PM
Wench landed on the floor when El Lobo del Mar broke free of her moorings. She picked herself up and looked out the port hole.
"By God, we ARE moving!"
Then a thought crossed her mind.
She raced out to the deck and saw Jack clapping Briggs on the shoulder.
She went up to Jack, her eyes blazing.
"You BASTARD! How can you leave my crew behind?"
Kate came up behind her and hugged her.
"Calm down, Wench! We made a flying leap and landed just as the gangplank fell into the brine with an overload of pirates!"
Brother Timothy stood there, dirt and mud on his habit and a tear across the hem. He held onto a small box for dear life.
Wench softened at the sight of the one person who had been her rock through all her shenanigans and yet he still forgave her. He was the one person who knew all her secrets.
Save one.
She came up to him and put her hand on his shoulder.
Softly she said, "Brother Timothy? You look a bit dazed. Are you alright?"
He nodded. "I'm fine, Wench. What a tale I have to...."
All of a sudden, a tremendous noise came from the port. The earth shuddered with such a tremor it extended to the ocean depths.  The force sent the crew of El Lobo del Mar to the deck. Scrambling to their feet, they all looked towards the port of La Ville du Traitre. Soot and fire shot from the land as the steeple disappeared. It was as if the earth had swallowed it up.
Black Jack Roberts gave a low whistle and said, "Saints alive, do you suppose Sodom and Gomorrah ended like that?"
Duckie came out of the infirmerary, concern on his face.
"All patients present and accounted for except one."
"Over here, Sawbones!" Jack Roberts called.
Kate sat down. "I really could use a drink!"
Jack opened up a bottle of his finest whiskey and passed it around. Martin held up his hand and said, "I'll pass....oh, thank you, Wench!"
She had passed a cup of hot coffee without Jack's preservative rum.
Wench did a mental tally. All her crew was present and accounted for.  They all survived La Ville du Traitre. Barely.
Thank God.
She looked towards the shore, the island looking like Dante's Inferno. A small part of her wondered if Gwydion was safe. While she wished to never lay eyes on him again, she never forgot her first lover and all he had taught her. A thought crossed her mind and she let out a little giggle.
Jack raised his eyebrow and said, "Care to share with the rest of us, Honour?"
"Just thinking of the creatures below the sea and wondering how many sharks are there."
It would just be like Gwydion to turn into the biggest predator of them all.
Lilaney spoke up.
"Brother Timothy, what is in the box?"
He stood there and said, "I don't exactly know--but whatever it is, it is holy."
Wench said softly, "Perhaps, Brother, you'd like to go to my quarters and open the box in private."
"Yes. I think that is best."
She gave him a kiss on the cheek and said softly, "God bless and keep you, Tim."
He looked startled. It was the first time she had called him by his proper name. Giving her a smile, he said, "I'm not sure. But I think this is something the Church would like to know about."
He left to examine the contents in private.
Jack turned to Wench and said, "The map, Honour. Did you decipher it?"
"Not only decipher but transcribed and in a way that only I can!"
Jack unfurled it. and shook his head. "Why does Antiqua have a little heart where the dot over the 'i' should be?"
She smiled. "I told you I transcribed it as only I could! Better than just signing my name to it."
Jack shook his head and handed the maps to Briggs.
"Davis? The ship is yours while Briggs and I go over the charts. Honour, don't fret. We'll get your ship back. Soon."
Her face darkened as she muttered, "You could have said, 'Sweetheart, the ship is yours till I get back.' But nooo! You have to give it to Davis!"
Kate stood there, mud splashed on her clothes. "I really need to change. Wench? Keep me company and I'll fill you in on what happened."
In her quarters, Kate washed up.
"I would KILL for that marble tub that is on the Knight Hammer."
"Maybe the next time El Lobo is in for repair, I can convince Jack we really need one. I miss the heated towel rack."
"Wench, do you ever think of Daemon?"
"Only every other day. And days that end in 'y'. If he never presented that offer of getting a ship, I'd be in Wales by now. That is what I planned. To have Daemon take me to Wales."
Wench sat cross-legged on the bed as Kate ran a comb through her wet hair.
Wench looked down and said, "I guess I said that out loud, didn't I?"
Kate looked at her and sat down too. "I had a feeling all your secrets are rooted there."
"Am I that transparent?"
"Only to me. Because I am your best friend. I always got the feeling you were running from something. What is it, Wench? A man?"
She shook her head. "Not running from something, Kate. But to. To something."
"And that would be..?"
Wench said quietly, "On your mother's life, Kate, you can't tell a soul."
"I promise, Wench. What has you tied to Wales?"
She gave Kate a small smile that reflected both pride and sadness.
"There is a little girl in Wales waiting for her mommy to show up."
"Wench! You....a MOTHER?"
She nodded. "I left her with my sister Megan and her husband Daffyd. When I ran into Daemon Vardus I had just left Barbados on my way back to get her. I needed my family. See, I had--inherited--some land in Barbados and was settling accounts with the overseer, making necessary adjustments to the house and such to make it a viable sugar plantation. Cade and I were going to marry and settle there. Rather, I was going to settle there and Cade would have a home base. I think being married to a smuggler appealed to my wilder and romantic side."
"Did you forget a little thing like a marriage to Captain Mad Jack Wolfe?"
Wench looked pensive. "Jack has sea water in his blood. He'd never settle down. He couldn't even if he tried. I realized that three weeks into our marriage. We were engaged in a sea battle with a ship called the Mercedes. Jack took a ball in the shoulder and was bleeding out. He talked me through it and I dug the ball out. At that point I could see it was all smoke and mirrors with us."

Kate asked, "Did Rhys Morgan know?"
"Did Rhys Morgan ever know about his daughter?"
"Kate, is that what you think? That my baby is Rhys Morgan's?"
"Well...yes. I thought you had a bit of comfort knowing you at least had his child."
Wench shook her head and said quietly, "Her name is Zara. Zara Wolfe."
"You mean...?"
"Yes, Kate. Jack and I have a child together. And the sad thing is, I haven't told him. And I am not sure if I ever will."
Post by: Hibernian on September 22, 2008, 08:34:02 PM
He closed the door to the cabin gently but then made sure that the latch was secure. A locked door would have been preferred, but a lifting latch would warn of anyone’s unexpected entrance. This was a task best done in private, until he actually knew what lay within the chest it would also be a task done safer alone as well.

The small chest still tightly held under his left arm he cleared the clutter of maps and papers from the table. Softly placing, as if afraid to break whatever was inside, the chest in the middle of the table he sat down upon the bed directly alongside.

The chest was made of common wood, perhaps a bit less of two feet in length and a foot in height, with an iron latch controlled by what appeared to be a circular piece of wood with four figures carved upon it. Trying to open the top it became obvious that the latch was locked in place by the wooden piece with the four carved figures.

“No key hole, so what is the key?” Looking to the cabin ceiling and heaven, “Well, any hints, clues, divine inspiration right about now would be welcomed.” Sitting back the monk just stared at the chest, “Probably made by Jesuits, never do it the easy way when you can make it so complicated you need a conclave of Cardinals to figure something out. Probably wrote two or three dozen papers just explaining the meaning behind those figures.”

The figures, what are those anyway? Look like an angel, an African lion, that one is an ox, and a big bird. That beak could be a vulture, no not with that neck, must be an eagle. Interesting the wooden piece moves, moves in the four points of the compass, perhaps moving in the proper combination of moves will open the chest. But what combination?

Think Timothy me boy, use your heaven sent senses, the answer must be right in front. What do we know dealing with four of a kind that a priest would approve, and come in animal shapes and that lone angel. Noah’s animals went in two by two not four by four, angels appeared to show the ram for sacrifice, and Adam and Eve named all the creatures, but nothing makes sense. Christ entered the city upon an weed puller not an ox, dam it I need more animals, even if I had all the help of the apostles I might not figure this one out.

Pacing back and forth in the cabin, Brother Timothy was praying one moment and ready at the next to just take a hammer to the chest. Then it hit, apostles, why didn’t he see it from the start, the figures were there to represent four very important men. The angel, lion, ox, eagle; just as the old bed time prayer taught to children, “Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, God bless the bed I lay on.”

Quickly he move the wooden piece in the direction of the four figures, first the Angel, then the lion, the ox was third followed by the eagle. As the wooden piece moved into the slot on the Eagle sides, a loud click could be heard as the latch sprang loose.

Blessings himself with the sign of the cross first he slowly lifted the lid to reveal the contents of the chest.

Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on October 01, 2008, 10:31:32 PM
Briggs spread out the map Honour had made on the table of the great cabin while Jack poured them some more rum.  The quartermaster worked his way around the table, feeling under the unruly piles of maps and charts piled there.
“Where'd ye leave the instruments?” he asked impatiently.
“They're somewhere under there, keep going,”Jack answered.
“That's like sayin' there's a loose farthing in the hold,” Briggs grumbled.  “Ain't a bit of good to no one if it can't be found.”
“You have a problem with my organisational system?”
“No, but yer lack of one is a real pain in the arse at the moment... I swear on me mamma's soul, Jack, as bad as ye are about puttin' things away, I thank God ye and Honour never had kids.”

Jack nearly choked on his rum.  If his friend only knew the truth!  Hopefully one day soon, he could announce to the world he had a daughter.  More importantly, he could see her with his own eyes and hold her.
“You all right?” asked Briggs.
“Yeah, I'm fine,” said Jack as he wiped rum from his chin with his shirt sleeve.  “The sudden image of you playing nanny to my children was a bit more than I could take.”  Indeed, the thought of Briggs trying to watch over little Zara was incredibly funny to him.
“Now there's a thought that'll be keepin' me awake at night... ah!  Here's somethin'.”  He extracted a compass and metal scale rule from the papers.
“Here, you'll be needing this.  I don't trust your memory.”  Jack pulled a reference map of the region from the bookcase and laid it out beside Honour's map.  “There's a set of dividers under that mess somewhere as well.  Shall I fetch you a fine tooth comb?”
“Just wantin' to sure this here map is accurate is all,” Briggs answered.  “That, an' whether or not it's on the up and up.”
“Please!  You're forgetting who taught her how to read maps in the first place.  I know you distrust her, Josiah, but what could she possibly stand to gain by providing us with an inaccurate map?  She has a heavy investment in it being right.”
“Sense and that woman don't exactly keep steady company from what I've seen.  But aye, there'd be no sense for her to keep us from findin' her ship.”
“My point exactly,” Jack agreed, though he himself was in no hurry to complete that particular task.  “Now, how do things look?”

Briggs rummaged around for the dividers and began comparing the two maps.  He found that though the scale varied somewhat, the known islands matched up as expected.  After much measuring and making of thoughtful noises, he laid down his instruments and drained the glass of rum he'd been given.
“Everything is spot on.  Have to admit, she did a fine job of it.  I can't say as I care for the thought of makin' port at any of these wee islands.  This ain't exactly a rutter!  No depth soundin's, no marked approaches...  It'll be a hell of a risk, Jack.”
“If that scheming cockerel could manage it,” said Jack, “then we'll have no trouble at all.”  He took a long look at his old friend, and began to chuckle.
“What's got ye so tickled this time?”
“I was wondering what you'd rather be called; Uncle Josiah, or Uncle Bwiggs?” replied Jack, dissolving into laughter.
Briggs shook his head and rolled up the map.  “I think ye're havin' far too much fun with the idea of bein' a pappy!”  Pausing at the door, he offered a final thought.  “Just think, ye could have ye a bouncin' baby girl to bring up!  Wouldn't that be a bit of irony?”

A few steps down the corridor, Briggs paused at the sound of a loud belly laugh coming from the door behind him.  He looked up and shook his head slowly.  “Please, Lord.  If those two ever do have children, don't let any of 'em be girls!  The world ain't ready!”
Post by: lilaney on October 09, 2008, 08:42:48 PM
Lil walked the main deck, careful to avoid those who were actually employed to the task of sailing the ship at its fastest clip.
She enjoyed the gentle rock and sway as the ship past out of the harbor and began to take on the big swells that make the ocean so beautiful, and yet so dangerous a taskmistress.
"Oi! Ya want a job?!"
Lil looked up at a line monkey who was looking back down at her. She scrutinized the man for honesty, trusting his eyes, she nodded her assent and the Jack smiled.
"Good O! Iffn ye ken, git up this man line an 'elp out wit the topsails!"
Lil grinned and tucking her skirts into her waistband, she mounted the man-lines and scurried to the top.
The bend and sway of the ship was far more pronounced up at the top.
Lil laughed into the wind at the sense of freedom she felt.
If she didn't have a brain in her head, she would have flung out her arms and pretended to soar, but, since she did have the brains God gave a Jellyfish, she held fast to the lines and helped unfurl the Mainsail which was eager to take the wind and let the El Lobo fly.

From the main deck a man watched her work, and inwardly grinned.
'She may be tough, but, I bet on the inside she's all heart' He thought.
The man coughed deeply, turned and headed back to the Surgery.

Post by: Welsh Wench on October 10, 2008, 09:56:36 PM
Kate stood there with a shocked look on her face.
"You don't know if you will ever tell Jack Wolfe he has a child? For heaven's sake, why not? Wench, he has a right to know."
"Kate, it is all so complicated."
"What is so complicated about saying, 'Oh, by the way, Captain Wolfe--I'll be asking you for a larger share of the booty. I have to keep the baby IN booties.'  Is that the reason you left him in the first place?"
Wench looked out the port window, lost in thought.
"One of the reasons. It's not a story I am proud of."
Kate sat down on the bed. "Sounds like this is a confession for Brother Timothy."
Wench laughed and said, "I took care of getting absolved of all sins when I was on the Dark Vexation heading to Port Royal."
"Port Royal! Why there?"
"Two words. James Blake."
"You left Jack for James Blake?"
"No, I left him because of--not for--Cade Jennings."
"I don't follow."
Wench sighed. "It's a long story."
"Well, I see us floating around for a while. You may as well tell me the story."
"Jack and I were returning to Barbados when he took the grand notion to settle an old score with Colonel Diego de Castille y Mendoza, a man out for blood. This very ship that we are sailing on is the altered flagship of Mendoza's. A slight that Mendoza never forgave. As you know, Jack was injured and I had to dig the musket ball out of his shoulder. But he was a changed man after that."
"How so?"
"Kate, he seemed to lose confidence in himself. El Lobo barely limped into port, heavily damaged. But worse than that, he lost interest in me. To make a long story short, he listened to tavern talk and believed that I was involved with Cade Jennings."
"Weren't you?"
Wench shook her head. "Not at that point. But Jack pulled a gun on me and threatened to kill both me and Cade. I--I foolishly ran to Cade's room and by the time I left in the morning, his accusations were no longer accusations but fact. The next day he was sorrowful and full of apologies and then he dumped the news on me. He was going to St Maarten to get the journal of Armand La Fork."
"Whatever. I had begun to suspect it a few days before that I was going to have a baby. Kate, I just couldn't bring a baby into that kind of environment. And I couldn't trust that Jack would ever accept being a father."
"Shouldn't you have at least given him that option?"
Wench shrugged. "I wasn't thinking too clearly. So I waited until he was gone and then took some money that Jack had. I didn't take it all. I just took what I needed to secure Zara's future."
"What of the plantation in Barbados that you inherited?"
Wench said, "Oh. Well, Jack left me with enough money to buy it. I bought it and deeded it in the name of R.C. Castlemaine. My real name."
"And you went to Wales? How did you sail there?"
Wench continued, "Captain James Blake helped me arrange passage. He took me as far as Port Royal and I caught another ship to Beaumaris. I went to stay with Megan. Zara was born March 1st during a terrible storm. I don't know what was louder--the thunder or the wail that Zara let out when she caught her first breath."
Kate grinned. "Like mother, like daughter. So what does this bouncing bundle of Wolfe look like?"
Wench laughed. "She has Jack's dark hair with loose curls and brilliant blue eyes. Delicate features and a little giggle that would put a smile on your face."
"I would love to see her."
Wench's voice caught as she said, "So would I, Kate. And somehow I have to go to Wales and pick up my child. Then give this life up and settle down to raise her."
"With or without Captain Wolfe as her father?"
"It remains to be seen, Kate."
"What would be the problem? Jack would be astounded to know he has a child."
"It's not so much Jack as it is Briggs."
Wench laughed. "I just can't see Briggs as a nanny...could you?"
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on October 12, 2008, 10:50:07 AM
No sooner had the gangplank struck the water when Blackjack clambered up into the riggings to help with the sails. At least the replacements were first rate and it made getting them tied into place all the easier. From the corner of his eye he caught Lil climbing up to help with the topsails. "Excellent, Lass." He thought. "Now that the treasure of St. Dimas has been taken we'll need all the speed we can get."

From the moment Blackjack had intentionally marooned himself on LaVille du Traitre to escape Malcolm he had heard rumors of that fabled swag. Some said it was a horde of gemstones, each as big as a man's fist. Others that it contained the original thirty pieces of silver paid to Judas. Were that true the Vatican would pay through the nose to posses them. Still others swore it was a map showing the secret way to the mines of King Solomon. Jack neither knew, nor cared. Such relics and fancies usually carried with them the kind of consequences that sane men wished to avoid.

Either way it was Brother Timothy's responsibility now. At least a Holy man was better equipped to deal with what traps and curses may have been put on the thing to safeguard it. Several shots rang out from the docks and Jack wrapped his legs in the rigging to steady himself. Holding tight with one hand he pulled one pistol after the other and returned fire with the other. Not that it would do much good, but the satisfaction of seeing a body fall into the drink after each shot brought a evil smile to his face. "Take another pot shot at us, Dogs." he hissed.

Once they were well under way he swung down to the deck. Most of the command had vanished below deck, even Briggs. Blackjack scratched his head in puzzlement. Mad Jack obviously knew the Island of Traitors. Surely he would know that the "Boss" wouldn't let a rare treasure like the one the monk had pilfered go that easily. Something important must be distracting him. Captain Mad Jack Wolfe wasn't a man known to make mistakes. True, they had a good head start, but.

Blackjack walked easily to the aft of the fleeing Lobo del Mar. No since in getting everyone in a state unnecessarily. Casually he unfastened his small spyglass from his belt. With luck he was just being his over cautious self. He lifted the telescope to his eye, pointing it in the direction of the rapidly shrinking island.

"Oh, bloody Hell!" He cursed as he spied the two small specks separating from the larger speck of land. "I thought as much. Brother Tim, ye've stirred up a bloody hornet's nest now!" Snapping the spyglass shut and securing it to his belt he turned to cup his hands to his mouth when the shout came down from the crow's nest.

"SHIPS AHOY!" Gordy shouted down to the deck. "WE'RE BEING FOLLOWED, MATES!"
Post by: Hibernian on October 12, 2008, 08:30:09 PM
“God bless Saint Peter and Paul.” His eyes widen as he gazed on the contents of the wooden chest, bringing his hands together by his chin and interlocking his fingers he slowly lean forward in his seat and placed his elbows upon the table. His chin resting now on top of his fingers he reminded himself to breath as his eyes traveled the length of the chest left to right and back again. The initial reaction had been to reach out and immediately touch, but the wisdom of years kept his hands in check while he thought things through. These church relics were usual not guarded beyond a lock, but most relics were not kept on an island of thieves and pirates. There may be more here than meets the eye.

After all, hadn’t everything been going well down in the catacombs until that unfortunate moment when he turned the lever on that final gate left instead of right. Yes the gate blocking the access to the relic opened but so too it appears the gate holding out the ocean. Before one could say three Our Fathers there was water up to the knees that kept slowly rising. It was only by the grace of Himself that he was able to grab the chest and then a bit of Irish luck the water was flowing in the direction towards the very exit he desired. Yes, there are tricks and secrets here, probably those Jesuits, so it would be wise to slow down and think.

What now? What he needed was a way to reveal something unseen, something he is perhaps missing. Looking about the Wench’s cabin for inspiration his eyes dwelled on her table top, One of those boxes in front of the mirror should have what he needs. Checking several he picks one up and returns to the chest. Removing the lid, a small blow from his cheeks results in a small cloud of perfumed dust. Carefully he picks up the puff and slowly shakes a fine layer of powder across the interior of the wooden chest.

Within the wooden chest the powder settles like a layer of fresh snow revealing uneven surfaces and unseen lines. One particular line stands out, very small and hair like his eyes trace its route from one end of the chest to the other. Anyone just reaching in and withdrawing the chest would break the line and receive in return what appeared to be a small but rather nasty looking dart in the back of one hand. Carefully, with his small dagger, the monk trips the wire and watches as the dart clunks harmlessly.

Moving the sleeves of his brown robe over his hands Brother Timothy slowly reaches into the wooden chest, firmly grasping the object within on both sides and slowly lifts and lowers it to the table. It is another chest, but even under the layer of perfumed powder it is obvious that this one is not made of wood. This rectangular shaped chest is made of gold, and embedded across the chest are gems the like of which he has never seen. Relics aside the chest alone is worth the ransom of a king. No wonder every pirate and thief with his brother on that cursed isle has spent a lifetime looking for this chest. But what must lie within?

A deep breath to steady his hand and now it is time to find out.

Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on October 13, 2008, 07:35:43 PM
Briggs had scarcely turned the handle to his cabin door when Gordy's cry of “Sail ho!  We're being followed, mates!” hit his ears.  He cursed under his breath and opened the door.  Taking the new map from under his arm, he leaned in to his quarters with the intent of tossing the chart on his desk, but he stopped at the sight of a smoke grey cat curled up in the middle of his bed.
“Oi!  Puddin'!  How did ye get in here, ye devil!” the quartermaster hissed.
Puddin' lifted his head, scarcely opening his eyes beyond half mast.  His ears swung out flat to either side of his sleek head, and he gave a cavernous yawn.
Briggs could barely contain himself. 
“Offa my bed, ye beast!  I'm tired of findin' hairballs and bits o' mice buried under my pillow!”
He flung the map at the cat.  It landed harmlessly on the end of the bed and rolled toward where the emerald-eyed cat lay like a miniature Sphinx.  The map rolled up onto his front legs, and Puddin' promptly made a pillow of it.
“I'll be back to settle with ye, bucko!”  Briggs fumed.  He was certain the cat rolled his eyes dismissively.

Turning his attention to more urgent matters, Briggs strode purposefully on to the weather deck.
“Where be our shadows, Gordy?” he shouted.
“A league and a half to stern, maybe a bit more!” the lookout answered.  “They be makin' a course parallel to us.  Not movin' to intercept, at least not now!”
“Thank 'ee, Gordy!  Your eyes be the sharpest, bar none!” Briggs replied as he climbed the steps to the quarterdeck.  He pulled the large perspective glass from the binnacle and walked to the aft gunwale.  Extending the glass, he regarded the pursuing vessels.  They kept on a parallel course, matching the Lobo's speed.  A broad red stripe down the sides of each vessel at the gun ports gave him the last bit of information he needed.  He pulled the glass from his eye and announced his findings.
“Stand down, lads!  It's Daggett's mates, come to follow us to Sangraal!  Stand down the gun crews, and keep us in full canvas!  Cap'n Wolfe wants as much sea in between us and La Ville du Traitre as we can muster!  Now, let's give him all we have!”

Though he knew it was his station, Briggs didn't care much for being the authoritarian.  It was a necessary evil in his eyes, and he'd developed quite the acerbic tongue thanks to his many years with Jack.  Still, it was not something he enjoyed.  Pausing at the top of the steps, he regarded the crew as they went about their duties.  El Lobo was not the first pirate ship he'd served on, but it was certainly the most disciplined.  With a satisfied smile, he descended the steps to make his report to his long time friend and captain.

Briggs rapped his customary rhythm on Jack's door.
“Come in, Josiah!”
He opened the door to find Jack pouring over a large leather bound book.
“I thought ye'd be wantin' to know, we're bein' followed by two ships,” the quartermaster annonounced.
“Malcolm's ships?  Good.  I was hoping they'd be along.”  Jack never looked up.  Instead, he kept one finger on the book's page as the other hand scribbled notes.  Briggs tried to look at what the book contained, but found himself confronted by fanciful images with a combination of Welsh and Latin text.
“Aye, they're Daggett's all right.  Erm...  I'm almost afraid to ask, Jack.  What is it that's got ye so wrapped up?  More of that Fang Stewie?”
Jack finished a notation, then laid down his quill.
“Just going over some Celtic mythology.  I have some questions about this for Duckie.  If memory serves, some of his relatives were Welsh.”
“Honour's Welsh, ain't she?  Why don't ye ask her?”
Jack closed the book and returned it to its place in the bookshelf.  “It's a surprise,” he lied.  “I thought it might impress her if I knew some of the stories she grew up hearing.”
“Suit yerself,” Briggs shrugged.  “I'll let Duckie know you're lookin' for him if I see him.”  With that, the quartermaster excused himself to return to the main deck.

Jack looked over his noted with a furrowed brow.  He had been reading about the Celtic goddess who's name matched that of his bride: Rhiannon.  According to the legends, Rhiannon could transform herself into a bird or a horse, just as he's seen his wife do on the island.  Had he really seen what he thought he had?  Was there a connection?  And would he ever know the truth?
Post by: Ice Mage on October 14, 2008, 10:13:24 PM
*White Rose sifted through her dresses, trying to find the right gown for the occasion.  Memories of her days in the Royal Palace came back to her, especially as she found old cloths that were once staples in her wardrobe.  Everything from Elegant Ball Gowns to battle armor, she found herself almost forgetting about what had happened.  Then suddenly an image of her hands soaked in her daughters blood flashed before her eyes.  It was almost as if she could see and feel it once more.

Unlike previous bouts with her feelings over her daughter, she was no longer feeling sad.  She had a sadistic rage come over her that could only be rivaled by Vlad Tepes himself.  She pulled her Battle Armor from the closet, making a point to leave her Tabard behind.  She slipped her tattered clothing off her shoulders, and started putting on her Armor.  Dorean found his personal luggage by the bed, and went ahead and pulled out a modest suit.

Once he was dressed he walked over to his wife, who was sheathing her sword.*

[Getting ready for battle are we?]

*She turned to glare at him!*

‘I want their heads on a platter!  I will make those B******s pay for what they did!  And don’t you even think about trying to stop me.’

*She pun away and started for the door.  Dorean grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back.*

[listen Honey!  I want revenge too, but now is not the time.  We will get them one at a time, but right now we need to get to your son!]

*She ripped her arm from his hand, and grunted in anger!*

‘Fine!  But once we liberate him from my father, I WILL HAVE MY REVENGE!’

*Dorean nodded in agreement, and they exited for the captain’s quarters.  Outside were two guards, who motioned down the hall.  The sound of music filled the air, accompanied by the smell of fresh meats, baked breads and deserts.  Angry or no, their mouths began to water.  As they entered the Captains Cabin, they were greeted by warm smiles and music.  The captain was playing a violin alongside a couple officers with other instruments.  The ships quartermaster came to them, a glass of wine in one hand and a Pint in the other.*

-Milord, Milady!  Could I perchance offer you a Glass of our Ships finest wine, or perhaps a pint of the Captain personal stock of Ale?-

*Dorean grabbed the pint, and Rose the Wine.  They were then escorted to a large table, adorned with fine china and the best Asian silk.  The Captain welcomed them to his table, and went back to playing his Violin.  Dorean and Rose looked at each other with a very unsure feeling.  Although they were perfectly validated for being angry, they could not help but be pulled into the party.  Staying cautious, they simply raise their glasses in thanks.  Everything continued seamlessly until the doors were thrown open.  In walked a hooded gentleman wearing a dark blue armor and carrying a very familiar staff.  The Man raised his head and pulled off the hood.  I was apparently Daemon, but something seemed wrong.  From his belt hung the Rune Blade that he wielded on the Knight Hammer, the very blade that gave him command of the undead, and made him return to evil incarnate.  So not only was he wearing his Royal Armor, but he was carrying the sword that grants him his position as Lord General of The Dark Legion.  He quietly bowed and looked at the now still Dining Room.

“I do apologize for being late, my clothes seem to have shrunk since the last time I wore them.”
Post by: Ice Mage on October 16, 2008, 08:15:30 PM
*Anger flowed over Roses eyes, at the mere sight of Daemon in that uniform, and wearing that sword.  The knowledge of the influence that rune blade has over its wielder, motivated her to leap at him with her sword drawn.  If it were not for Dorean grabbing her arm once again, she probably would have skewered him from end to end. 

Pulling her back, Dorean shook his head no.*

[Wait!] Dorean said in a hushed tone.

*Rose sat back down and glared at Dorean.  Daemon looked over at Rose.*

“No Milady, Don’t get up.” Daemon motioned for her to sit.  “No need to get up on my account.”

*The Captain put his violin down, and walked to his end of the Table.*

=Good evening Sir!  I do hope you attire is a sign of things to come.=

*Daemon nodded in approval, and moved to sit next to Rose.  Rose leaned over and whispered in his ear.*

‘What the hell are you thinking?  If it hasn’t taken control of you by now, you know it will.  And what’s with the armor?  I mean you do look good in it, but never mind that.  We are here to save our son, not join him.’

*Daemon waved her off, and looked into her eyes.*

“Trust me; I know what I am doing!  Besides, you are one to talk.”

*Rose’s jaw dropped.*

‘Excuse Me?”

“Just trust me please!”

*Rose sat back in frustration and started brooding.  The Captain called everyone to the table, and soon the large banquet table was filled to the brim.  Servants were standing behind the Officers, waiting to refill glasses at a moments notice.  Once everyone was seated comfortably, the Captain called for attention by tapping on his glass of wine.*

=Well there we are.  I do hope that we have met your needs in every way possible.  And I truly welcome you to my table.  I believe introductions are necessary.  Now my officers are well aware of you, but let me bring you up to speed on them.=

*The Captain went ahead and introduced his officers; finishing up with his personal Chef, who was at that moment brining in the feast.  A great variety of foods, apparently tailored to the specific tastes.  Everything from the most exquisite salted pork, to Italian pastas.  A great roasted turkey adorned the center of the table, with a platter of full of legs along side.  Smoked ham, braised chicken, broiled beef, fruits, vegetables, breads, deserts, and a crown roast littered the entire length of the giant table.  After a brief prayer the captain raised his glass for a toast.*

=Let me officially welcome you properly to my vessel.  We are a simple crew, and I hope that during our short voyage we can set right a relationship that should have started better.  Now please eat drink and be merry, and we shall discuss business once we have partaken of this fine meal.=

*The crew and their illustrious guests began to eat, although White Rose was a bit reluctant at first.  They discussed stories of home, and traded great sea shanties.  The Captain told a few wonderful anecdotes about some of the greatest British admirals.  All the while, the trio of prisoners remained respectfully quiet.  They ate and listened, and when it came time for coffee and brandy, the conversation took a serious turn.*

=Look, this has been a delightful evening.  Unfortunately there is a matter of importance that needs to be addressed. =

*The trio stopped what they were doing, and looked up at the Captain.*

=In our infirmary is your lies your daughter milady.=

*Rose’s face went cold, and she jumped up.*

‘Where is she?  I want to see her!  Give her to me now!’

*Her eye’s turned red, and she muttered an incantation.  A giant Voidwalker (Risen Spirit) appeared and started tearing apart everyone that got in her way.  The Captain jumped up and started trying to calm things down.*

=Please Milady stop, we will take you to her!  Please stop your beast, I’ll take you myself!=

*Pulling her sword from the chest of a guard, she muttered another incantation, and the Voidwalker disappeared.  Guards lay dead and bleeding across the Cabin, and the officers stand between Rose and the Captain.*

‘Take me now!’
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on October 20, 2008, 04:48:26 PM
"Do you have to do that right away?" Julian asked as she readied her supplies to interview her shipmates. "Time stretches before you now that they're on board!" He called, which made her pause in her preparation. "I suppose," She said carefully. "My fingers still do not grip my quill fast enough to take dictation, anyway..." She mused, glancing at him. "What did you have in mind instead?"
Post by: lilaney on October 27, 2008, 11:57:13 AM
"Oy! We gots this er now, missy. Git down afor ye bloomers be mistaken fer a flag!"
The Old Tar hollered up to Lil who was at the topmost sail, a good ocean breeze took the sails and was making the El Lobo dance across the tops of the waves at a swift clip, the wind had also grabbed hold of Lil's hair and it was now everywhere about her face.
It had grown out nicely since oh so long ago when it was burnt the night they aquired the Knight Hammer.
Almost to her shoulders, the stuff was still brown. Lil had hoped it might grow in another color.
Ah, well, wishful thinking.
"Aye, Old Tar!! And what be yer bloomers mistaken fer!? A flag warnin' o the Plague!!?"
Lil remarks drew laughs from the line monkeys nearby and one good barrell laugh from the Tar in question before he shouted a half-hearted curse at her and she descended to the main deck.
Her landing was not gracefull, in fact, she slipped on the deck and landed on a pile of neatly coiled line topknot over toe-shoes.
Much to the Salts around her's entertainment.
A bit embarrised she was hoisted out of the line by a gent who called her 'Jack' and she was sent on her way with a pat on the shoulder.

"I'm hungry" she thought and headed to the Galley.
Sea Air always did bring out an appetite in her.

The passageway from the maindeck to the galley had several doors that led off of it.
A couple led to store rooms and belowdeck berthings.
Lil's berthing she shared with the other ladies, and Brigg's stateroom were the doors on the Left, straight ahead was the kitchens and Galley, to the right there was a passageway that led to the Surgery, the Barber-Surgeon's quarters, and the Captain's Stateroom.

As she stepped into the passageway's dim light, there was an eerie silence about it that was completely opposite of how it was not two hours ago.
Lil's interests were piqued when she heard femanine laughter and froze in her shoes.
Her curiosity was burning to discover the source, but, her manners kept her in check.
Who ever was laughing must have been having a really good time.
She tried the latch of her berthing as she passed, and found it locked.
'Kate must be asleep' Lil thought as she continued on.
But, she then heard quiet scuffling from within, pausing at the door, she pressed her ear to the wood.
Inwardly she laughed for joy with her friend, and outwardly she held a smirk as she began again down the passageway, making a right instead of going straight.
"Bugger food, I need a good laugh me'self."
She muttered as she shifted her course, and plan of attack.

Post by: Welsh Wench on October 27, 2008, 08:59:22 PM
Wench left Kate to get some rest and went up to the quarterdeck. She glanced out over the water and saw two ships following them. Her body stiffened but she heard a voice behind her say, "Not to worry, Captain Bright. It's Daggett's men following to pick him up in Sangraal."
Wench looked out over the ocean and her eyes took on a faraway look.
Softly, she said, "Did you know, Josiah, that Sangraal is from the words 'Sang Real'?"
"What of it, Honour?"
She folded her arms across the gunwale. "Sang Real. Sang is the Latin word for 'blood'. Real becomes grail.  The Grail was the cup that Christ drank out of at the Last Supper. And it caught his blood as he was executed.  Joseph of Arimathea supposedly brought the Grail to Glastonbury Abbey. But did you know that the Grail ws actually a Welsh legend?"
"Honour, I know you are Welsh....but really!"
"Briggs, would you like a little lesson in legends?"
He laughed. "Why not?"
Honour smiled, "We Welsh revel in our stories. The bards told tales and they are passed down. These were the stories Nanny Greyson used to tell me.
Rhiannon, the Celtic goddess of the moon was a Welsh goddess. In her myths, Rhiannon was promised in marriage to an older man she found repugnant. Can you blame her, Briggs? Marrying an older man?"
Briggs shrugged, "Sometimes it is the only way, Honour."
She grew defiant and said, "No. It is the way that is convenient for a father who wants to be rid of his child."
"Calm down, Honour. Don't take it so personally. I mean, Jack isn't THAT old."
She retorted, "I'm not talking about Jack. I am talking about Rhiannon. The goddess Rhiannon. Let me finish the story."
"Alright, I won't interrupt."

"Rhiannon chose the mortal Prince Pwyll as her future husband. She appeared to Pwyll one afternoon while he stood with his companions on a great grass-covered mound in the deep forest surrounding his castle. These mounds, called Tors, were thought to be magical places, perhaps covering the entrance to the otherworld beneath the earth.  It was thought that those who stood upon them would become enchanted, so most people avoided them. 

So it is no surprise that the young prince was enchanted by the vision of the beautiful young goddess Rhiannon, who was dressed in glittering gold as she galloped by on her powerful white horse.  Rhiannon rode by without sparing him even a glance. Pwyll was intrigued and enraptured, and his companions were understandably concerned. 

Ignoring the protest of his friends, Pwyll sent his servant off riding his swiftest horse to catch her and asked her to return to meet the prince.  But the servant soon returned and reported that she rode so swiftly that it seemed her horse’s feet scarcely touched the ground and that he could not even follow her to learn where she went.

The next day, ignoring his friends’ advice, Pwyll returned alone to the mound and, once more, the Celtic goddess appeared.  Mounted on his horse, Pwyll pursued her but could not overtake her. Although his horse ran even faster than Rhiannon's, the distance between them always remained the same.  Finally, after his horse began to tremble with exhaustion, he stopped and called out for her to wait.   And Rhiannon did. 

When Pwyll drew close she teased him gently, telling him that it would have been much kinder to his horse had he simply called out instead of chasing her. Rhiannon then let him know that she had come to find him, seeking his love.

Pwyll welcomed this for the very sight of this beautiful Celtic goddess had tugged at his heart, and he reached for her reins to guide her to his kingdom.  But Rhiannon smiled tenderly and shook her head, telling him that they must wait a year and that then she would marry him.  In the next moment, Rhiannon simply disappeared from him into the deep forest.

Rhiannon returned one year later, dressed as before, to greet Pwyll on the Tor. He was accompanied by a troop of his own men, as befitted a prince on his wedding day. Speaking no words, Rhiannon turned her horse and gestured for the men to follow her into the tangled woods.  Although fearful, they complied.  As they rode the trees suddenly parted before them, clearing a path, then closing in behind them when they passed. 

Soon they entered a clearing and were joined by a flock of small songbirds that swooped playfully in the air around Rhiannon’s head.  At the sound of their beautiful caroling all fear and worry suddenly left the men.  Before long they arrived at her father’s palace, a stunning site that was surrounded by a lake.  The castle, unlike any they had ever seen, was built not of wood or stone, but of silvery crystal. It spires soared into the heavens.

After the wedding a great feast was held to celebrate the marriage of the goddess.  Rhiannon’s family and people were both welcoming and merry, but a quarrel broke out at the festivities.  It was said that the man she’d once been promised to marry was making a scene, arguing that she should not be allowed to marry outside her own people. 

Rhiannon slipped away from her husband’s side to deal with the situation as discreetly as she could. Using a bit of magic, she turned the persistent suitor into a badger and caught him in a bag which she tied close and threw into the lake.  Unfortunately, he managed to escape and later returned to cause great havoc in Rhiannon's life.

 The next day Rhiannon left with Pwyll and his men to go to Wales as his princess.  When they emerged from the forest and the trees closed behind them, Rhiannon took a moment to glance lovingly behind her.  She knew that the entrance to the fairy kingdom was now closed and that she could never return to her childhood home.  But she didn’t pause for long and seemed to have no regret.

Two full years had passed without her becoming pregnant with an heir to the throne, the question of her bloodline, her fitness to be queen began to be raised. 

Fortunately, in the next year she delivered a fine and healthy son.  And this baby was said to be Peredur, who ended up with the Holy Grail."
Post by: Welsh Wench on October 27, 2008, 09:14:46 PM
"A myth to be sure, Honour."
She sighed. "I know, Briggs. There is no fairy kingdom."
"Aye, but Jack swept ye away, like that Pwyll did to Rhiannon."

She sighed.  "True. But sometimes old men can return and ruin the most beautiful thing in your life. Or so you thought."
Briggs said, "Rhiannon. Unusual name. Very Welsh. I heard about a Welsh woman named Rhiannon."
Honour looked out over the water and murmured, "It's a common Welsh name."
Briggs struck his match and lit his pipe. "But this one was no goddess."
"What was she, a tavern wench? A doxy?"
He took a deep puff on his pipe. "No, this one was a murderess."
Honour felt her blood run cold. "A---a murderess?"
Briggs leaned agains the gunwale. "Ah, now who is ready for a story, Honour? Care to hear the tale?"
She nodded wordlessly. Briggs grinned.

"Jack and I were in Jamaica a few years ago. Two men came in. Travelers. Jack engaged them in conversation. On account of no one but pirates ever came into The Jamaican Rose. Anyways, they said they were hired to look for a young woman. She disappeared after killing her husband. A fortune in jewelry, money and heirlooms was gone. A price was on her head. Jack and I talked about it afterwards. We wondered if that was the name of the woman that Rhys Morgan was involved with and he died for the crime of loving her."
Honour said in a voice scarcely above a whisper, "Did--did you and Jack ever find out her name?"
"Castlemaine. Lady Rhiannon Castlemaine. Jack thought it was odd."
"Why so?"
"Because the plantation Jack left for you to buy was bought out from under you to a person with the name Castlemaine. Can't remember the initials."
Wench's head began to swim. Lies. Lies. And more lies still. She told so many she was beginning to get confused.
There was only one thing left to do.

Go back to Wales and pick up Zara. Let Lady Rhiannon Conaway Castlemaine die a quiet death and never become her. Ever again. She looked back over the ocean, her heart racing and her breath coming quickly.
"Briggs, after Sangraal, where is Jack planning on heading?"
"I believe it is El Dorado, Honour. Why?"
She turned from the gunwale to look at Briggs. Her voice was shaky and he saw a touch of desperation in her eyes.
"What, Honour?"
"What about it?"
"We have to go. We have to go NOW."
"Are you out of your mind, girl?"
"Not any more. I've wasted too much time already. Time I will never, ever get back. And if Jack won't take me, I am leaving this ship at Sangraal and I will book passage to Beaumaris. I've left her far too long as it is!"

Post by: Hibernian on October 28, 2008, 07:47:32 PM
Brother Timothy could stand it no longer, he had been sitting here staring at the chest from St. Dimas long enough, time to act. A quick sign of the cross, a look heavenward, and a soft shrug of the shoulders as if to say here goes nothing, his fingers slowly reached out and gently touched the gold of the small chest. No shocks, no bolt of lightning from the sky, no sudden swarm of locust just the cool feel of the gold as he work his hand around and examine the chest from every aspect. "So far so good."

He leaned ever closer so as to examine the fine detail of the metalwork, this was the work of a master. In addition to the fine craftsmanship of the gold work, he also appreciated that each of the cut stones across the chest’s lid were exactly what they appeared to be, the finest collection of gems this side of the crown jewels of England and France. Wonder what our dear Captains will say when they see these beauties?

Forcing himself to breath, the monk turned the small gold chest so the latch now faced forward. Simple latch, should be no problem, he’ll just open it and see what’s inside. Should be a relic, but what kind of relic? He expected he would have to share the value of the chest with the crew, but the relic belong to the Church and would remain with him. That would not be open for discusson.

Past experience told him that many relics were body parts of the saints, but many of these must be frauds as counting all of the fingers of St. Peter he has seen over the years the man must have had six hands! But one never knows, He who is above us all works in strange ways. "Just please, not another finger, something exciting would be nice."

As the chest opens, light illuminates the interior to reveal what appears to be a rolled up parchment and something wrapped in leather. Picking up the leather bound object, it was just the right size to fit in the palm of his hand, he began unwrapping it.

Suddenly the light in the cabin began to fade! No wait, the light wasn't fading, there was a growing darkness in the cabin, a darkness emitting from the chest, a darkness slowly filling the cabin that was also moving toward the monk as he step back away from it. In two steps he felt the wall at his back, and the darkness still advancing toward him.

"Oh great, I asked for exciting not life threatening. Ahoy the watch!"

Post by: Blackjack Roberts on October 29, 2008, 09:56:04 AM
Wench turned and headed below for her and Mad jack's cabin. Still thinking about the daughter she had left home so long ago she could be forgiven for failing to hear the boots coming up behind her.

"Thinking 'a jumpin' ship, Luv?"

The captain of the Knight Hammer started and whirled about so fast she nearly tumbled over. Only the close walls below deck and the firm grasp of Blackjack's hand on her arm saved her behind from colliding with another floor for the umpteenth time.

"Steady, Captain." Jack grinned, releasing her arm once he was sure she wouldn't topple over. "Didn't mean ta startle ya."

"You didn't. It's these cheap heels all the boot makers seem to be using now days." The pretty blonde smiled the embarrassed grin of one taken unawares. "To answer your question, I have pressing business back there and I'm not sure it can wait any longer."

"More pressing than regaining your ship from my idiot cousin?" Roberts dropped the pirate act.

Wench's sparkling blue eyes widened. "Your what?!"

"Aye, Lass." Blackjack's grin turned wistful. "Cade is mine, and Malcolm's cousin. He always was a bit more impulsive than was good for him."

"Is there anyone I know that your not related to, Jack?"  Wench asked, one hand on her hip and a half smile, half frown on her lips.

"I couldn't rightly say, Luv. Who do you know?" Roberts grinned roguishly, one eyebrow raised.

Now Wench was certain of it. Although Blackjack bared little resemblance to Malcolm the relationship to Cade Jennings was unmistakable. Blackjack, however seemed more mature and a bit darker than she remembered her former lover to be. While it was true Jennings could be too impulsive, something Mad Jack had tried to cure in him when he was Cade's mentor, the theft of the Knight Hammer proved that he had not been entirely successful in that endeavor. Worse still. How would Jack react to find that not only was Blackjack related to a man he had come to hate, but Malcolm as well?!!

Her head spun with the implications. It seemed that the more she tried to unravel the twisted web fate had wound about her the more tangled it became. Another secret she would have to keep from Jack Wolfe, another thread to complicate an already too complicated life. Perhaps Gwydion was right after all, it seemed that she had nothing but trouble since she had stolen that book.

"So, Lass. Ye headed for merry old England, or not?" Blackjack asked again. "Because if you are I'll have to take more than a few precautions."

"Why?" Wench asked. "Malcolm isn't hunting for you now."

"True, but that doesn't mean the rest of England has forgiven, nor forgotten me." Roberts sighed. "Before certain events forced me to leave England I was probably the best known highwayman since "Swift Nick" Nevison himself. That could make things a bit sticky if we head for home."

Before Wench could answer they both heard the raised voice of Brother Timothy, shouting at the top of his lungs.

"If I remember my Latin, that sounded like either a benediction, or the beginning of an exorcism!" Blackjack's eyes widened as a feeling of dread clamped his heart.
Post by: Martin Montgomery on October 30, 2008, 11:43:25 PM
 Martin stood stock still as all able hands leaped to their appointed tasks and the "Lobo" answered with the grace of a seaborn dolphin,her bow cutting a clean path through the waves far past the shelter of La Ville du Traitre's harbor. The big man felt a deep throbbing from the knife wound in his thigh and the wetness he felt inside his precious new boot could only mean trouble! Rough hands clenched tightly upon the rail as the pain dulled slightly and the weakness that had almost overcome him past. "Ouch!" he muttered under his breath as he probed the hole in his trousers and felt gingerly for the wound itself,his sausage sized finger tenderly measuring it's length and breadth. "I am afraid ,Martin, this warrants a visit to Good Doctor Gander's Surgery for a tiny bit of attention!" The large man had observed Lilaney swarm up the ratlines to pitch in with the mainsail and ,though he'd come to appreciate her skill as a Doctor and ,yes, admire her friendship,loyalty,trustworthiness and ..........form,he thought that his wound might require........a less intriguing form to work on him. Less.......trouble to deal with afterwards,so to speak. "SHIPS AHOY!" Gordy shouted down to the deck. "WE'RE BEING FOLLOWED, MATES!" BLOODY HELL!!!! The epitaph crossed his lips without a thought as,when he turned towards the aft gunwale and caught sight of two tiny dots several leagues behind them,his leg gave a spasm that had him gritting his teeth to keep from screaming!! The next clear thought that he had was relief doubled,firstly the pain subsided to a more bearable level and second he heard Briggs on the Quarterdeck above his position call out the two ships were friends of Daggett's and to stand down the guncrews but keep up the speed of the ship. Martin raised his sweaty face to the sky and saw a flash of color,Lil's skirts,as she labored in the Tops,calling back and forth with the line monkeys in good humor. "Best get these old bones ***Whoa****!!!!!!!!" He sat heavily on a neat pile of line coiled nearby and covered his eyes with his hastily snatched  beret. "I suppose that means I've lost a lot more blood than I had realized." He whispered as he noticed the trail of red that led back to the opening in the rails where the gangplank had been,then down to the slowly growing puddle between his boots. Taking several deep breaths he felt his head clear slightly so he heaved his bulk up and back to the rail. Holding to it with fading strength,Martin lost his beret to a gust of wind and almost followed it over the rail when he freed one hand to recover it! "My day is getting worse by the minute!!!" He thought as his eyes followed threadbare headcovering as it seemed to dance on the crest of a wave momentarily,it's golden horsehead pin twinkled in the sun's bright rays before it sank from sight beneath the frothing water. "Oh! Goodbye my sweet!" The whisper was so soft that he did not know if he'd actually voiced it His mind whipping back to the happy day he'd placed the pin upon his beret's band,and the woman who had gifted it to him. She had been Very Important to him even though they had only a short time together,they parted friends but the heat of their passions had cooled and both knew it was for the best. A single tear appeared from his right eye,traveling his weathered cheek to disappear into his thick goatee. The pain of his wounded thigh paled, momentarily overcomer by the pain of losing her gift,his oversized heart ached with the loss of yet another piece of his unrecoverable past. " Time moves us all forward!! My best wishes go out to you ,my sweet! I pray that the one who holds you now,protects you better than I kept your Token!"  With that said the cook lurched unsteadily to the hatch leading belowdecks and down the companionway towards the Galley at the end. Off to the left were the First Mate's "new" cabin and the slightly larger one shared by Elinor,Kate and Lilaney,turning to the left he followed the passage that led to the Captain's Cabin,the Doctor's cabin and Gander's Barber/Surgery. Leaning heavily on the bulkhead beside the door,Martin slammed his fist against the wooden panels almost falling when it was jerked open on the third swing!! "What the Devil is going on out here ?!?!?" Gander's ire was evident on his red face as he stood tall,and yelled into the big cook's chest "Don't you realize that there are people in here trying to recover before the next disaster hits.....**MARTIN**!?!?!?WHAT'S WRONG?!!?"  Crossing the threshhold and sitting as gently as possible on the unoccupied table,Martin grimaced then showed the flustered medical man his blood covered right hand "They got me in a most tender area Doctor and I cannot see the wound myself. I would be deeply grateful if you would be so kind as to share your medical opinion ***** "Shut up Martin, you're babbling!! Now tell me,How did this happen and Where is your wound?" Gander might have been dwarfed by his patient but he had handled worse,under enemy fire as he recalled with a rakish grin and soon Martin's story and wound both were revealed. "I don't like the fact that your wound is still seeping Martin. Where is the blade that caused this wound?" Taking a sharp breath the cook stated through clenched teeth "It's out on deck or at the bottom of that blasted harbor,WHY!??! Skilled fingers felt around the outer edges of the wound as the cook lay face down on the table. Martin had threatened bodily harm when the Doctor stated he would need to cut off his right boot to remove the blood soaked trousers,so he had done the next best thing. The tough cloth of the trousers had parted under the skillfully wielded scalpel,and the lighter cotton of the drawers fairly melted away,remnants of both were folded back to reveal the cooks wound and the boot was still bloody yet unhurt. "Martin I am afraid that the tip of that blade is still in your ....rump,and I can't stitch you up while it's there! Your wound could get infected and you could lose the leg or die!" Sweat streamed down the cook's face as he turned to look at Gander "Well?" He said "You're the Doctor! Get  it out!!"  "Martin, I may have to cut the wound larger,my fingers are too big to get in there!" And that is when the two heard light footsteps outside the Surgery door...........
Post by: lilaney on October 31, 2008, 10:46:27 AM
With both hands, Lil gently pushed the surgery's door open.
"Drake, you weren't in your stateroom, so I assumed you were checking on paitents.."
Lil's words died away at the sight of the blood.

She stood motionless on the lintel as she absorbed the sight before her.
Several desperate seconds ticked by as, owl-eyed, she took in the situation.
"Martin?" She whispered, her heart sank to her knees.

Duckie had looked up at the sound of his given name and watched Lil's emotions cross her face.
He knew what she would have to do, and he wasn't squeamish of asking it of her.
"Need your help over here."
Lil shook our of her reverie at the sound of his voice, focusing on him, she saw his hands covered in her friend's blood.
 A mental shield went up around the raw emotion for her friend and her proffesional self stepped in.
"What happened?"
Duckie began explaining and as Lil washed her hands in carbide solution she had an achy feeling of what he was asking her.
"I am afraid they nicked the Popliteal artery on the intial upward slice and thanks to Martin's tough hide, the knife tip might be lodged in the muscle near the Femoral. Tricky, and although I have the knowledge to keep him from bleeding out, I do not have the nimble fingers get at the blade end and keep his blood pressure stable."
Lil found her surgery apron and silently came to stand by the Dr.
"So, team effort?"
Duckie nodded gravely as Martin watched soberly from his prone position on the table.
Lil couldn't help it, she gently squeezed her friend's hand and gave a reassuring smile.
"Know what any of that means?" Martin blinked slowly, Lil noticed how white his face was.
Duckie handed Lil an ether-soaked rag.
"Just place that under his nose, that will help him."
 Internally Lil knew that Duckie was trying to knock Martin out, she also knew that arterial wounds would eventually stop bleeding if enough pressure was applied. What she didn't know was, could she actually find the knife tip, keep from acidentally slicing his main artery and keep him from bleeding out?
Smiling gently, Lil placed the rag near Martin's face, and watched as his eyes slowly closed as his breathing slowed.
"He's as out as he is going to get."
Duckie nodded solemly and worked the wound open a bit more.
"I'll talk you through it, just remember. Don't hit any nerves and do not put any pressure on the metal once you've found it."
Duckie and Lil's eyes met for an instant and she knew.
She was not alone, and her friend would survive.

It took Lil only three minutes of feeling around to find the knife point. With her index and middle finger she grasped the metal, which felt only as long as a baby's fingernail, and slowly brought it to the surface and into the light.
Duckie was right next to her, he had switched from talking her through the removal procedure, to telling her history of medicine while applying as much pressure as he could on the wounded artery without cutting off circulation.
She felt like throwing the offensive piece of steel into the ocean as hard as she could fling it.
But, she knew Martin would want to see. So, pitching into the bowl nearest her, she cleaned her hands, as well as the wound and began stitching.
After the adrenalin wore off and Lil saw her friend sleeping, she changed places with the doctor to apply the pressure. Arterial wounds always took so long to clot.
Duckie shook his hands to return feeling to the fingers.
"Tough one, he is, he'll make it. But, I think the back of his legs from the rump to the knee might be numb for a few days, until the shock wears off."
Lil nodded as her muscled tightened to push pressure firmly on the back of Martin's leg.
"So, he is out of commision for a few days? I think even Gordie might come down to bring him flowers."
"I don't want whatever Gordie thinks are 'flowers' in this Surgery."
Duckie and Lil shared a laugh as Martin began to shift as he came around.
"Bloody hell" he moaned softly.
Duckie bent down and stared eye level at the Cook.
"You made it, but, you are not going anywhere for a few days. Please for the love of your life, don't move or all the good work we just did will be for nothing. You are still clotting and that takes time."
Martin groaned, turned his head and passed out, peaceful in the knowledge that he would indeed wake up again.
Post by: lilaney on November 03, 2008, 10:18:35 AM
Lil dusted her hands in satisfaction.
"Not bad for a morning's work." She said in triumph.
Martin would survive, that was worth more than a battle royale.
Duckie chuckled inwardly at the gleam of victory in Lil's eye.
"I would have to agree. Well done."
Lil cocked her head at Duckie, something in his smile made her heart change beat.
She blinked and shrugged off the sensation, he was simply elated that he had saved
someone, just as she had.
"Thanks, Doc."
She meant for the reply to come out boastful, but, it came out a couple of degrees below that and a bit to the left.
His eyes held a spark that made the room feel suddenly warm.
"You are welcome."
Lil was entranced, the doc slowly moved towards her.
The world around her dispersed as his eyes became her world.
And as suddenly as it happened, it went just as fast.

A hardy thump hit the side of the ship and broke the two out of their reverie.
"Thank God for that!"
The one lone paitent, who was still laying in the corner smirked at his care providers.
"Thought I would have to throw a bucket on you two!"

Lil gave a shaky cough and stepped back from Drake, who somehow was within arms length now; found the door with her hand, fumbled with the latch, tripped over the lintel, shot a quick glance at the sleeping form of Martin, and departed like the scared bunny she was.

"I truly, utterly, and with my whole being despide adrenalin!" She muttered as she high-taled it to the Galley, she suddenly had an aching hunger for chocolate, and wanted as much physical distance as she could muster.

Martin's men were in the kitchen, stirring something that smelled lovely. Both anxious for news of their master's health.
Lil assured them, he was fine and would be back on his feet by the next port of call.
"But, what about meals until then?"
Lil looked around the kitchen, aside from washing dishes, nothing in the place held any recognition in her brain.
Maybe, Elinor knew how you turned all these metal tools, a pile of goods, and a fire into meals.
She smiled a wonderous grin at the two sailors. And with a flourished curtsey she made the hair on the two men's necks stand on end.
"That will be no trouble at all, the ladies of the Knight Hammer, at your service! Purveyors of the pantry, mistresses of meals and overall general cooks ready to serve the El Lobo."

Post by: Hibernian on November 03, 2008, 08:09:23 PM
“Smelly and dark and getting bigger by the moment, this can not be good. Brother, time to beat a hasty retreat and exit the room.” A quick jump up followed by a bounce across the bed brought the cabin door within reach. Yet spreading even quicker the dark smoke quickly covered the door forcing the monk back across the bed.

Another quick move in the opposite direction, this time toward the window until once again the dark smoke countered his move and the monk once again withdrew to a safe distance. “Dam, can’t go left or right..."

" do not know the true meaning of that word...what would you know of being dammed" The voice that cut him off seemed to come from the middle of the black cloud that had been slowly filling the cabin.
"Who is this? Where are you?" His back firmly planted against the cabin wall the monk shouted out his challenges all the while looking about for anything that might be of use to improve his situation.

"Once I was Gestas, some call me Dumachus, most do not know my name, just that I am dammed. What do you know of dammed that you use the word so freely?" Perhaps it was wishing thinking, or his eyes were off, after all he wasn't a young man anymore; that voice was coming from the cloud and the cloud was getting a bit smaller and looked to be taking on a more solid shape.

Brother Timothy heard voices and running feet in the hall, his friends were coming, gotta stall, gotta think of something. The cloud appearred almost solid, dam I wish I had my kit. How in the name of all thats holy do I stall a cloud? Now what did it call itself? Good Lord, look at me talking with a rain cloud in a woman's cabin, "Gestas, Gestas who are you?"

"I am one of three, I am the one left upon the hill, I am he who was dammed."
"What?" I asked a simple enough question and now I'm getting riddles. Obviously this thing is a spirit, a demon, keep in the chest but why and even more important to the moment how?

As the cloud grew smaller and more dense the Knight Hammer's cleric could now see the top of the Wench's dresser. Scattered with cans and bottles it didn't offer up much in the way of help. His eyes continued to scan the room for an opening of escape all the while trying to figure out his next move. Although the dark shape was smaller it was now moving closer toward the monk.

"Time to think Timothy me boyo, how did that prayer go, oh I hate Latin I can never conjugate correctly, lets see...Exorcizo te, omnis spiritus nomine Dei Patris omnipotentis, et in noimine Jesu Christi Filii ejus, Domini et Judicis nostri, et in virtute Spiritus Sancti...ut descedas ab hoc plasmate Dei...I need a name, who's being pocessed, oh no, wrong exorcise prayer, its not working!" Quickly moving to his right the monk stayed just out of reach with the cabin window at his back but the darkness remained between him and freedom through the cabin door. "Hello, need a little help in here!"

As he blessed himself out of reflect he was reminded of the small leather bound object clutched in his right hand. It had come from the chest, must be important. With one eye on the slowly creeping darkness he opened the leather wrapping to reveal a metal cross, bounded to the center was a small piece of wood, with an inscription. As he held the cross aloft the sunlight from the window cast a shadow upon the darkness with an interesting effect.

Post by: lilaney on November 14, 2008, 11:28:14 AM
A shiver passed over Lil as the ship felt as if it was cast over by a dark cloud.
She did not smell rain on the wind, so she pondered the sensation.
"I wonder if this is a calm before a storm"
Lil was not usually keen on 'feeling' the weather before it came upon a ship, so she was in part thrilled and in part frightened by her feelings.
In her usual manner of ignoring what she did not understand she doggedly continued in her task.
With a handwritten book of Martin's being held open by the largest cleaver she could find she glanced again at the recipe.
"2 eggs, alright. Where are eggs kept on a ship?"
Having the two kitchen staff trying to assist her had annoyed her so much that she had thrown a knife at one and a bowl at the other, they had fled for safer ground and now Lil felt the comfort of being alone as she struggled to learn this new skill.
She rummaged around, which in turn made a bigger mess of the cabinets and pantry, and she could not find any eggs.
"Hmm.. well what are eggs used for anyway? Maybe I could cheat a bit and use a paste of water and flour, that might work."
Lil smiled at her brilliant stroke of creativity.
~~~~1 hour later~~~~

Martin's head felt heavy and groggy as he pried his eyes apart.
Duckie was sitting at the desk in the Surgery soundlessly tapping his finger on parchment as he wrote in a log book. He looked up as the Cook began to shift.
"I wouldn't shift overmuch, my lad." Duckie stated to Martin.
"It would ruin all we have done for you."
Martin sighed and tried, without moving, to get to a more restive position.
"Apologies, Doc, I had a nightmare; a demon had overthrown my kitchen and was tearing the place apart, and no matter what I did, I could not stop it."
Duckie had gotten up by then and come to Martin's side to check him. The doc was impressed at how quickly his paitent was recovering. He inwardly admired his Captain's wife on her choice of crew.
"It was probably the ether, old man. Stuff's been known to muddle the mind."
Martin lifted his head and sniffed the air.
"What's that burning smell?"

Back in the Galley, Lil was completely flustered. And it did not seem anything was going well.
The two boys watched from the doorframe, desperate to come to the aid of the provisions, but, Lil had barred the way and was not allowing them to come near the chaos.
Suddenly, the Galley door banged open.
Post by: Welsh Wench on November 17, 2008, 04:40:37 PM
"Duckie? May I come in?"
Wench stuck her head in the door. Duckie looked up from his log book.
"Of course, Honour."
She smiled to herself. Only three people on El Lobo called her Honour. Briggs, Duckie and Jack. 'The Unholy Trinty', Wench referred to them as. But then, they both were there when Wench had married Jack in a sudden fit. Or fever.
She snapped herself out of her reverie and looked at Martin's sleeping form. Quietly, she said, "One of the crewmen told me that Martin had been hurt. Is he alright?"
"He will be if he lies still. A blade point stuck in his bum. Nicked an artery. Lilaney helped me. Actually, I helped her. She bravely dug the tip out of his wound and then together we stitched him up and put pressure on the artery until it clotted."
Wench felt her eyes fill with tears as she looked at her unselfish friend lying sound asleep.
"First time I've ever seen Martin lie quiet. He will be alright, yes?"
"He will if he doesn't move around and his wound heals."
Wench adjusted the cover on Martin. "See that he gets whatever---WHATEVER--it takes to make him comfortable. You are sure he will be alright?"
Duckie nodded. "Yes, Honour. If he follows my instructions then he will be alright."
She put her hand on the doorknob and turned to him. "Thank goodness. Good cooks are hard to find. But good friends are even harder."
She opened the door to walk out when Duckie said quietly, "What do you know about Lilaney, Honour?"
She stopped suddenly and turned to face him.
"She's a good friend. Loyal."
"Where is she from?"
Wench shrugged. "Where all of us are from, Duckie. Nowhere in particular. And if she is, she isn't sharing with the rest of us. We all have secrets. Some more than others."
She closed the door to the infirmary.
Duckie sat there, nibbling on the end of the quill.
'All in due time, Lilaney. I'll ferret out your secrets. And the biggest one being, 'Where did you get your medical training?' '
He sighed deeply and then continued to write in his log book.
Post by: Hibernian on November 17, 2008, 09:24:16 PM
As the reflected beam of sunlight, now in the shape of the crucifix held in Brother Timothy's hand, struck the demon squarely in the middle a loud unearthly howl filled the cabin. Despite the pain in his ears, realizing that anything that was bad for the demon was most likely good for him, the monk attempted to keep the beam of light focused directly in the middle of the darkness. This was and would have continued to work well, until the deck shifted slightly and the ship began to turn.

His eyes quickly looked to the window and the sea beyond, the horizon was moving, the ship was changing directions.
"Oh oh, this is not a good time for a course correction." As the pirate ship steadied on its new heading the beam of light that was keeping the demon at bay was lost. The howling ceased, "This is not good, Timmy you really are in trouble this time."

The monk's eyes never left the darkness as he slowly backed away angeling toward the window. He believed his only hope lay in getting to the window and catching a new beam of light. Unfortunately the demon also realized this and moved even faster blocking the window with his dark mass. The window covered the demon slowly began to advance forward.

No slow backing up this time, hiking his robe Brother Timothy quickly turned and jumped up on the bed! Jumping up and down he was able to reach the ceiling and each time struck it solidly with the flat of his hand. Shouting aloud all the time. "Hello! Anyone!  We have company! Bad company! Help!"

Just before the darkness swallowed the bed, a quick hop and Brother Timothy found himself sitting on the floor with a bruised bum and his back against the dresser. A not quite proper but true to the situation prayer of "Oh God, what now?" was answered in his mind by two words, "talk...wash"

"Talk and Wash? Lord I'm facing a demon here, not getting ready for a pleasant dinner companion. I don't suppose you could be a little more helpful in your suggestions?  How about a sign then, maybe a bolt of lightning or even better the sword of St. Michael!" No bolt or sword materialized as Brother Timothy slowly stood up to face the demon.

"Demon, in His name I command you to halt and leave this ship."
"You can not command me, I am Gestas, I am one of the three upon the hill, I am he who is forgotten no more!"
"Then I name you Gestas, tell me plainly who you are."
No answer was given as the dark cloud moved toward the monk who reacted instinctively by raising his right hand, which happen to be the one holding the crucifx... 
"In His name and by His cross you will answer!"
The darkness did not advance any closer but it did begin to grow in size.

Just at that moment a voice could be heard outside the cabin's door, "Brother Timothy! Are you alright in there?"
"A little help if you don't mind!"
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on November 20, 2008, 08:55:44 PM
It seemed that now wasn't the time for Duckie to sit and write in his log book in silence for long. A few moments after Wench left the infirmary, Elinor came bounding towards the infirmary door, as quickly as her small strides could take her. Julian was in tow, his face pained that she would interrupt their previous activities for any reason at all. Shortly before she came to the infirmary's entrance, she wheeled around and put her finger to her lips. "You wanted us to be...friends, Julian? Well, here comes the friend part. I need to see Martin --alone-- so I would appreciate it if you ran along and...just ran along."


"No buts, Julian. He's a dear friend of mine, and I'm already ashamed enough that I wasn't there to help him in his time of need."

Reluctantly, Julian followed her request, walking in the opposite direction and soon out of sight. Elinor took a deep breath, attempted to get the intense flush out of her cheeks to no avail, opened the door, and stuck her head in. "Dr. Gander?"

"Yes?" She heard from the other side of the door.

"I heard about Martin. Would I be able to see him?" She asked, loud enough for him to hear, but gentle enough that it wouldn't wake Martin if he were sleeping.

"Yes, but please make it quick. He needs peace and quiet," came the reply, and Elinor, breathing a sigh of relief, opened the door further and stepped into the infirmary, immediately going over to her friend. "Martin," She breathed, observing his wounds. "I'm sorry I wasn't there to aid you like you've been there for me," She whispered softly, putting her hand out gently to rest upon his for a brief moment, as she didn't wish to wake him. Dr. Gander was right, he did need rest, and she would not begrudge him that. Perhaps I can sing him a song when he awakes, She thought, and that cheered her a little. "Sleep well, Martin." Giving Duckie a little smile and nod in acknowledgement of the favor he did her by letting her see her friend, she left the infirmary, closing the door softly behind her.
Post by: Welsh Wench on November 20, 2008, 09:03:26 PM
Wench headed for the galley and sniffed the air. Oh Lord, something is burning! She rushed in before the smoke smell hit the quarterdeck.
She banged the door open and through the smoke, she saw Lil's outline. Wench waved the smoke away from her face.
"Lilaney, what in blazes is going on here?"
Lil stood there with a dish that was rapidly losing its pouf.
Wench frowned, "I give up, Lil. What was it in its former life?"
She looked down at it. "It was supposed to be a souffle but I guess it kind of lost its puffiness."
Wench looked around. "Where did you throw the eggshells?"
"We were out of eggs so I tried to make it do with flour and water. They are both white."
Wench poked the mess and it let out a mighty sigh and deflated even more.
"And I thought I was a bad cook!"
Lilaney sighed. "I guess cooking is not my strong suit."
Wench gave her a hug and said gratefully, "No, but sewing is. I heard from Duckie about the marvelous job you did saving Martin's life."
Lilaney hesitated and then plunged in. "Wench, you have known Dr. Gander a long time. What do you know about him?"
Wench opened up a few cupboards. "Hmm? Oh...not too much. Why?"
"He has sad eyes."
Wench sighed. "You noticed it too. Duckie was never forthcoming about details in his life. I know that Duckie, Jack and Malcolm Daggett all were in Oxford at the same time. I once asked Jack if something happened to Duckie. A long lost love that dumped illness...was he orphaned....."
"What did you find out?"
"Nothing. Jack always found a way to shut me up. Oh, did I say that out loud?"
Lilaney said overly-casual, "I was just curious."
Wench raised her eyebrow and said, "Uh huh. I'll see what I can find out from Jack. Without the interruptions."
"So what are you doing in the kitchen galley?"
"Oh...I don't know. I have a craving for chocolate and I thought I would snoop around and see what I could find. I came across a recipe."
She held it up. "It was in a book I found in Jack's bookcase. I didn't know he was into cooking.."
Wench opened up a few covered containers. "I see flour....salt...sugar....chocolate..eggs..."
"Where did you find eggs?"
"In that cupboard over there. Now where is the butter?"
Lilaney looked over in another cupboard. "What is this?"
Wench took it from her and looked at the label. "Alot of this is worn off. I see a C-A-and an S in here..Oh!
I bet this is cashew butter. Perfect!"
"What are you making?"
"Some sort of brownies. Want to help?"
Lilaney shook her head. "I'd better get back to check on Martin."
Wench muttered, "You mean check out Dr. Duckie."
Lilaney turned. "What did you say?"
"Did I say anything?"
"You said...something."
Wench laughed. "Go check on the boys. And maybe take a peek to make sure Malcolm is doing alright."
"Feeling sentimental, Wench?"
"No...but it is a good way to keep Jack a bit jealous!"
They both laughed as Lil headed out.
Wench continued to assemble her ingredients and measuring equipment. She sniffed at the cashew butter and then dipped her finger in it. "Mmmm! Not bad."
She sifted the flour, added the cocoa along with the rest of the ingredients and then beat it all with a wooden spoon. She dipped her finger in the batter and then licked it off.
'This has to be the best batter I have ever eaten!'
She took a spoonful and ate it. "Mmm!"
Carefully she poured it into one of Martin's pans and put it in his iron cooking stove. She looked at the bowl.
'It would be a shame to let that batter go to waste now, wouldn't it?'
Wench took a mixing spoon and polished off the batter.
"Honour, WHAT are you doing?"
She sat there, her eyes were kind of glazed. "OH..hiya, Captain Jack! I was trying my hand at baking. And you will be so proud of me."
She headed towards the stove and was about to open it when Jack caught her arm. "Are you out of your mind? You need some sort of pot holder when you take anything out of the oven."
"Oh. Yeah.  Pot. Holders."
"Are you alright, Honour?"
She giggled, "As righty-right as rain, mon capitan!"
He looked at her askance. "Uh huh."
She carefully opened the oven door and shut it fast. "It looks weird. All bright and...everything!"
Jack felt her forehead. "Are you alright?"
She batted his hand away. "Of course I am alright! I've never felt better and don't think I ever WILL feel this good. Ever, ever, ever and ever....."
Jack took the potholders and pulled the pan out, "I must say, Honour, that it does look good."
"Do you want to do the honours?"
She handed him the knife. He gently took it. "Presentation is everything, love. That is why it is important to hand over a blade with the handle and not the knife."
Jack cut a square. "It looks really good. Honour, I never knew you could bake."
He handed a piece to her. "Mmmm....this is wonderful! Like every taste bud is doing a happy dance!"
He popped one in his mouth. "It's the best brownie I ever ate. Want another?"

Jack helped himself to another piece. "Wonder what makes them so good?"
Honour ate a third piece. "It must be the cashew butter."
"Cashew butter? We don't have any cashew butter."
"Sure we do."
She handed him the container. "See? Some of the letters are worn off. But this is what I used."
Jack looked at the package and then to Honour unbelievingly.
"Honour, where did you get this?"
"Behind--WAY behind, I might add--the condi---con--condo---stuff you put on meat that Lucky had in that cupboard"
Jack groaned.
"dangnubbit...this is CANNABIS BUTTER!"
"Ewww, Jack! Where would I get cannibals? We haven't been anywhere near Africa."
"Oh. Those big lilies...."
"Hashish, Honour."
"The stuff people smoked in Jamaica and got a little strange on it."
"Yes. Oh."
Post by: Martin Montgomery on November 20, 2008, 10:27:50 PM
 Martin awoke,uncomfortable in the standard sized cot of the "Lobo's" surgery,weak yet feeling much better. The large man knew that he owed his continued existence to the skills of Lilaney and Duckie. A wan smile crossed his lips as he realized that he thought of the gentel Doctor, now only as "Duckie". Cool air circulated through the venting,letting the big cook know that the ship was still underway,and the very fact that the wick of the oil lamp in the holder by the cabin door was lit and set to it's lowest setting told him that darkness had settled. Turning his head only,so as not to bother his wound,he surveyed the otherwise empty room. His  bloodstains had been cleaned up and every little sharp tool had been cleaned,sterilized and carefully replaced in it's proper place,lined up in precise ranks each ready at a moments notice to perform it's intended job. "A place for everything and everything in it's place! That would be due to Lil and Duckie both!" He mused aloud  'I wonder if they have realized the attraction is mutual and would more than likely be welcomed!? A low chuckle passed his lips as he thought of the brave woman,frightend not by life threatening danger but by her own feelings. "That highborn idiot is just as bad! Hah !! Worried about the way things look and not by the feelings stirring in his own heart!'  He struggled to not reach down his leg and explore the neatly tied off bandage,slightly embarrassed himself when he realized that Lil must have been the one to tie it on him. "Good work,nice and tight!!" A lingering scent of light flowers wafted past his nose and he knew that the Welsh Wench had checked on her cook sometime in the last hour or so "She's sure to want a big to do as soon as I'm up and around." His grin widened as he caught the slight smell of ink and....... chocolate. "Well now!" He rumbled " Little Elinor has made the rounds too!! It seems she still has a bit of her brownie stash left!! AND she finally pried that boy's hooks off of her ......Logbooks!"  On a low stool next to his cot,along with a tin cup of water, Martin found a puzzling sight. Bits of whalebone scrimshaw,a carved wooden pipe,a seamans knife it's blade sharp enough to shave with but most strange was a single perfect rose. His eyes narrowing as he picked it up and studied it wasn't carved but,molded, each petal just so,the stem was a quill cut down from a feather and the two leaves themselves were actually downy feathers died light green and attached to the stem. The roses color was one not readily found in nature,it was a deep dark crimson. He was startled as a low cough came from the slightly opened door "I was 'opin 'at yood like 'at!!" Gordie said with a look that carried his unease at being belowdecks, the level of the sea just outside the frail wooden bulkheads was more than the little man could stand. "Sam and the others hepp'ed me wit  'at!" He gestured to the unlikely looking flower. "Bet'cha caint figure out 'ow I got er 'at color Sir!" The rattled man knuckled the nonexistent hatbrim with a quick salute. "At ther is yoor own blood a colorin' 'at rose!!" He cackled "I come down from the 'Nest ta hepp 'em clean tha decks! "Gordie!!!" an irate Duckie entered the door and the lookout promptly scampered out of the room,headed for the open air of the main deck!'  With an amused look  Martin fingered the delicate rose. "Now Duckie!" He admonished the good Doctor, " Why would you chase a visitor from my lonely bedside!?" Snatching the flower from the cooks hand with blinding speed, Duckie looked at it and smiled.widely,"Just as I thought!! He crowed, "This thing is naught but scraps of cloth ,parts of several feathers,your blood ...........and gull droppings!!" "GOOOOOOORRRRRRRRDIE!!!!" Martin howled as he watched Duckie break into a prolonged laugh!!!!!!               
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on November 23, 2008, 12:04:58 PM
“'Whoopsie'?  That's all you have to say?”
“Whoopsie daisy?”, offered a doe-eyed Honour.  She popped another brownie in his mouth, and ate one more herself.
Jack tried to give his wife a stern look, but it was seriously blunted by a ridiculous smile that refused to go away.  The snort of a suppressed laugh further ruined the effect.  Within moments, the pair were laughing almost uncontrollably.
“Wait!  Wait... I have to figure this one out,” said Jack.  He picked up the empty container and looked at the nearly illegible label.  “Oh, I see it now!  'Caaaashew Butter'.  Easy mistake.  Lucky was always slurring his words.”
Honour grabbed Jack by his shirt collar and pulled his face close to hers.  “You're making fun of me again, aren't you?”
He cocked his head, then moved as if he were about to kiss her.  His lips brushed hers ever so slightly, but enough to send a thrill running through her. 
“Just a little,” he smiled devilishly.
She looked at him wide-eyed for a moment, trying to regain her composure. 
“Well, that won't do,” said Honour, not quite sure why he was still so close.  Then she remembered, and let go of his shirt.  Clearing her throat, she continued.  “In the future, you have to ask my persimmon.”
Jack burst into a wide grin.  “Darling, as much as I enjoy sampling your fruits, I think you mean another word.”

Honour could feel her face getting hot.
“Oh!  I mean my parmesan... no, that's not right.”
“Your pomegranate?  I like that one...”
“No!  Now hush!  I'll think of it.  And quit helping.”
“My lips are sealed.”
She stuck her tongue out at him.  “As if.  I know where those lips have been.”
“Ah, but where they could be is so much more intriguing.”
She could feel the heat plunging south.  She'd seen Jack eat a pomegranate, and she had wanted to trade places.  “Hush!  What were we talking about?  Oh, right.  What you have to ask for...”
Jack started to open his mouth, and Honour slapped her hand over it before he could make a sound.  “Shush!!  Perdition, persimmon...”
“We did that one...” he said around her fingers.
“That too...”
“Pompadour, parachute, paramedic, pardner, pardner, parma--”
Jack perked up with a quizzical look.  “Par-ma??!!”
She slapped him on the forehead.  “That's not being quiet!”  Then her eyes lit up.  “Permission!  That's the word!  Permission!  That's what you have to ask.”
“You know how much I like begging for forgiveness instead.”
“Yeah, well, that was yesterday.” 

Jack sighed heavily, and took another brownie for her and himself.  “There was a time 'permission' didn't factor into things.”
“Just...  don't do it in front of my crew, please?  Make fun of me, I mean.”
“You mean our crew?”
Honour's eyes lit up.  “Our crew?”
“Well, of course!  They've already distinguished themselves under fire.  Ships don't work well under two crews, darling.  We're already pushing the limits with two captains, but I know that will work out just fine.  Your little artillery drill proved that out.”
She smiled at the thought of the two ships she permanently buried in the harbour of Glenlivet.
“It takes more than a loud voice and a snazzy pair of boots to make our master gunner snap to,” continued Jack.  “You acquitted yourself quite nicely.  The men respect you.”
“Only because they know you'll flay them alive if they don't...”
“Don't go getting all modest on me, Honour Bright.  I haven't said word one to them, yet they obeyed.  You've got what it takes to be a captain.”
“What?  A strong notion and abject fear?”
Jack laughed.  “That's about it.”

“How do you do it, Jack?  Lead these men through hell and back, and keep them loyal?”
“Easy,” he smiled.  “I'm too stupid to know I can't do it.”
Honour leaned back and laughed heartily.  “You're anything but stupid.  You don't attend Oxford and get away with being stupid.”
“All right, you caught me.  But I don't have a good answer.  I speak, they follow.  That's all that matters, right?”
“I suppose,” she said.  “And you weave a good tale.  I remember the stories you'd tell me when we'd go to bed.”
“I remember them, too.  I enjoyed it so much.”
“So of all those stories,” she asked carefully, “how many of them were true?”
“Why, my dearest, all of them were true.”
“What about the lies?”
Jack gave her a sly smile.  “Especially the lies.”
Honour leaned close and took him by the collar.
“Jack Wolfe, you are, without a doubt, so full of--”

Her words were drowned out by an artillery volley that shook the entire vessel.
“Bloody hell!” cried Jack.
“There's that Bacardi thing again!” she laughed.
Jack jumped to his feet and nearly fell over.  If it hadn't been for the bulkhead, he would have been flat on his face.
“Walk much?” she teased.
“You heard that!  It was a full broadside!  Maybe those following ships weren't out friends after all!”  He ran at full speed to the door, opened it, and plunged headlong into the pantry.
Honour nearly fell off her seat laughing at the sight of Jack stumbling backwards out of the the narrow space, trying franticly not to lose his footing on the dried beans he'd sent spilling across the deck.
“Bollocks!” he exclaimed.
“You'd better not teach that language to our...” she trailed off, realising what she'd almost said.
“Our what?” asked Jack, knowing full well she was talking about Zara.
“Um, our crew!”
“Right.  They're terribly impressionable.  Anyway, I'm off to the main deck to find out what's going on.  Care to join?”
“Lead on!” she said merrily, and tried not to laugh when Jack's feet slipped again on the beans.

Jack strode on to the weather deck with a purpose, straightening his frock coat for the umpteenth time.
“Mr. Godwin!  What's the meaning of all this?” he barked.
The master gunner scurried over to face his captain.
Jack rolled his eyes.  “What is going on?” he asked, louder and slower.
“Oh, this?  Just an impromptu gunnery drill, sah!” Godwin said with a grin.
“Live rounds?”
“Of course, sah!  Not much point in doin' it, otherwise!”
Jack gave a heavy sigh.  “Right.  Gun crews!  Your attention!”
“Aye, Cap'n!” came a cry from the gun decks.
“Gentlemen,” Jack intoned with as much authority as he could muster.  “Cool it with the boom-booms.”
The men looked at each other in confusion.  “Aye, sir!” came the lukewarm reply.
“But what of the proficiency drills?” Godwin asked.
“You can blow holes in the waves another day,” answered Jack. 
Suddenly, he felt his hair being swept away to one side, and his eyes grew wide at the suggestions being whispered into his ear.  When he turned, he saw the retreating form of Honour pause at the companionway door.  She gave him a smoky smile and crooked her finger before turning away to walk toward the great cabin they seemed destined to share.  Transfixed by the sway of her hips, Jack waved the master gunner away and followed, oblivious to the world around him.

Mason pushed past the couple as he came onto the deck, finishing off the last of the brownies.
“You just missed the spectacle,” smirked Davis.
“What you mean?” asked Mason around his mouthful of brownie.
“The cap'n and his missus were up here actin', well, uncaptainly.”
Mason chuckled.   “'At's because they're stoned.”
“Yeah,” said Mason, matter-of-factly.  “These brownies were chock full of hashish!”
“Like what them Jamaican mystics smoke to get visions?”
“Yeah, somethin' like that.”
“It don't seen to affect you one bit.”
“Yeah, funny, ain't it?” Mason smiled.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on November 23, 2008, 02:00:41 PM
"I'm sure it's nothing more than Brother Timothy's excitement over something valuable he's found in the chest he nicked from the church." Honour smiled beguilingly. "At the moment we have more pressing concerns. Martin will be laid up for a few days and someone other than Gordie had better make up the duty."

"Aye!" Blackjack nodded grimacing. "I'd hate to think what that half mad lookout would try to turn into something palatable."

"Well can you cook, Mr. Roberts?" Though her voice was slightly demanding, the merry twinkle in her sapphire blue eyes told the buccaneer she was teasing him.

"Nay, Captain." Roberts chuckled good heartedly. "With perhaps the exception of camp cooking for myself, but I learned to acquire a taste for my own charcoal mishaps that I could be fairly certain the rest of the crew will not share."

"Then it's up to me." Wench grinned.

"As you wish, M' Lady." Blackjack swept the cavalier hat from his head in an exaggerated bow before turning to leave.

"You might want to make peace with Malcolm while your at it." She called lowly after his back. Jack froze for a moment.

Without looking back she heard him say in a tone so low he might have been talking to himself. "I already have, Luv......I already have."

"Then why not go and see him?" Wench asked seriously.

"The other Captain Wolfe is a fine man, but how long do you think his charity would hold out were he to find that I, Malcolm, and Cade are related? As long as I don't draw too much attention to Malcolm he remains an old school chum, with a bit of a sticky past. Add Cade to that mix and it might be more than the man could bare."

Roberts turned his head just enough to look at her. "I know a bit about the lengths the love of a woman can push a man to, Luv. I saved Malcolm from a death I had intended to inflict upon him. I'll not risk that for a few moments of sentimentality."

Honour sighed sadly before he continued with that same roguish smile. "However I do believe I'll take the time to visit with Martin a bit later." With a knowing wink Roberts walked away down the hall as Wench smiled, shook her head, and started towards the galley.

Just to be certain of what he had thought he heard he stopped at the closed door the monk's voice had sounded loudly from a few moments before. From inside he heard the sound of two distinct voices. One Brother Timothy's, the other deep and malovent. That was when Jack remembered the priest was supposed to be alone in the room. Had one of the malcontents from the Isle of Tratiors managed to sneak aboard durring the scramble to get out to open sea? Jack scowled deeply, flames of anger sparking his blue green eyes.

Loudly he rapped on the solid wood. It seemed unnaturaly cold to his hand. "Brother Timothy!! Are you alright in there?!!"

"A little help if you don't mind!" Came the reply from the other side.

Blackjack drew back and rammed his shoulder into the door with all his weight. It was like ramming an iceburg.

"Damn!" He cursed rubbing his cold numbed shoulder. "This isn't going to be easy." Drawing back he attacked the stubborn door over and over again, hoping against all hope the next blow from his shoulder would be the one to gain him the entrance in time to aid the holy man.
Post by: lilaney on November 24, 2008, 08:23:30 AM
Lil's mind was off in a place that did not belong on the high seas.
There, it was green and hilly, with old buildings full of knowledge and learning.
The smell of tobacco and paper mixed with the sharp scent of lye.
How she missed it so.
Not only did it shake her out of her reverie, it shook the entire ship!.
"FOUR!!!" she heard someone yell and the masculine laughter of men getting into trouble.
She physically relaxed as she realized the men topside were being men and did not need her help, when she saw Jack systematically kicking at a cabin door.
"Need some assistance?" She asked dryly.
"A bit would be useful, luv. Seems Brother Hibernian is behind the door with something unfriendly. Have to get in there."
Lil nodded and with their combined effort they kicked open the door to the room where Brother Hibernian and the Treasure of St. Dismas lay.

Post by: Martin Montgomery on December 08, 2008, 04:27:06 AM
 Martin carefully gathered his boots,breeches and other belongings in a bundled up sheet and after wrapping himself up with another spare sheet,as if it were a kilt,the big man moved gingerly out of the surgery door and down the passageway toward the galley. He had tightly bound up his wound and now moved with extra care not wishing to open the neat line of stitches that Lilaney had sewn into his hide. He felt a little guilty for sneaking out of the recovery area but the cot there was not built to hold someone as tall or as wide as he. The big cook felt that he would rest better in his own hammock,swinging gently to and fro in his curtained off corner of the galley. That and he was slightly worried about the crews unvoiced reactions when he'd asked his visitors who was cooking. Martin knew that the Taylor brothers were competent cooks but the smells that had drifted back as far as the stern Surgery told him that they weren't involved! Moving slowly the injured cook padded along the passageway in his stockingfeet,and the futher he walked the stronger he felt. A slight smile crossed his face as he thought of the members of the combined crew that had visited him or had just left little handmade gifts such a the several pieces of whalebone that was covered with fine scrimshaw designs, carefully carved by one of the gunner's mates that Martin knew could not read a lick but could turn out such finely detailed work freehand that the bone pieces were transformed into art rather than craft. Nearing amidships he began to see crewmen going about their everyday tasks,he nodded to each man that raised a knuckle to his brow and received many smiles in silent greeting. "MARTIN!!!! What in Heaven's Name are you doing out of bed?!?!" The shrill cry cut through the background noise like a hot knife through warm butter!! " AND why are you wandering about the ship with no pants on?!?!?!" More smiles blossomed on several faces as each man present studiously attended his given task with single minded determination! But every man turned to keep the wounded cook and his petite blond captain in view! It wasn't everyday that the Butterfly cowed the Bear!!! Martin grimaced as small hands took away his bundled belongings and a delicate shoulder found it's way under his arm. "Wench! I'm fin......" He began to speak but thought better of it once he saw the worry on her fine features. " Do you see these lines?!? A vague wave of her other hand brought to his attention the faint traces, barely discernible on her flushed face. "These are all because of you!!!" A smile crossed her face and it was as if a cloud had moved from in front of the sun,her features suddenly becoming cheerful, "Well as long as your up and you don't seem to be leaking", a quick swish of the draped sheet and she had a clear view of his wound and the fact that he wasn't wearing his trews!! WW turned a lovely shade of pink and cleared her throat,"Yes. Well I will have someone find the good Doctor and he will check you out. You can supervise the cooking if he releases you to do light duty work." Schooling her face into a scowl she waved one of the loitering crewmen off to that task and then led Martin into the galley,past the still smoking oven and into his small curtained area. "Sit sit wait here til Duckie can check your wound!!" With that she swept off,out into the passageway and crossing from his sight!! Leaving him sitting on his hammock  looking bewilderdly at the dark smoke escaping from the ovens' corners
Post by: lilaney on December 08, 2008, 08:30:49 AM
" 'O meny Times ye gonna be tellin' me! I knows it now, straight from me heart!" Gordy, a man who was not nessicarily afraid of anything; was now hollering from the safety of his Crow's Nest.

Dr. Gander shaded his eyes as he looked up at the protesting lookout, he inwardly reveled in the fact that most sailors were superstitous and if he had to use that superstition against them to make them behave, so be it.

 Tucking the Witch Doctor's 'magic pouch' (which was really a bag of sand, nails, bits of glass, and lavender) back in his side pocket, Drake headed back into the skin of the vessel. He had noticed the sailors acting a bit wobbly and he could smell wafts of fragrance on the air that was akin to that one time in Jamaca, but, he was not concerned. Those on watch were fine, thus, the ship would survive.
A few long strides had him at the door of the surgery, to find it unsurprisingly empty, an eye roll an several more strides had him going past the door to the Captain's quarters, the ladies berthing, and broken in door of the Brother's room.
He paused for a second as he peered into that room. The interior was pitch black, and no sound was coming from there.
"Odd" he thought, but, he kept moving, straight to where he thought he might find one errant paitent.

"Doc! I thought it would be better if I slept in my own space and kept an eye on things in here."
Before Drake could get a word out, Martin was on the defense. He raised a hand to quiet him. And gave a reassuring smile.
"I figured that you would eventually come home to roost. Not to worry, the initial harm is over. If there has been no bleeding up until now, as long as you take it easy. And no, that does not mean you can go back to your duties. You can command from right where you are. What is burning?"

Martin gestured to the oven. Drake turned to look at the gentle black smoke that was coming through the cracks in the front.
"It seems my Captain has been cooking."
Martin's blithe answer was commented back with a mild flurry of coughing and creative upper-crust cursing as Drake took the pan of brown/black substance out of the oven and placed it on the counter.
"Oh! There done! Thank you, Ducky!"

Welsh Wench sauntered, as best as she could, into the Galley retrieved the pan and staggering as the ship dipped slightly, she sauntered back out.
Dr. Gander stood there, a passive and unimpressed look on his face.
"I'll be in my stateroom" He gave Martin a look that warned him to stay where he was, and left the Galley.
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on December 11, 2008, 05:36:31 PM
"Elinor? Where are you, lass?"

Safely hidden -- for the moment -- from Julian's prying eyes, she held her breath, listening to the sound of his voice gently calling throughout the ship. "Incredibly foolish, Elinor, to let your guard down like that. Now he can't stop looking for me!" She whispered, not sure whether to laugh or groan at the thought. She liked Julian well enough, and she would be the first to admit that she had enjoyed "reconciling their friendship" together, but...

It was wrong of her to kiss him. She was betrothed! Her mind flitted back to thoughts of the nightmare she'd had while recovering from her wound, William with another woman, leaving her in the dust...

No. He wouldn't act in such a manner, She thought to herself.

She couldn't hear Julian calling her name any longer, and breathed a sigh of relief at that realization. I'll go see him at some point, She resolved. But for now, it would be nice to catch up with my crewmates...alone.

Wondering where most of her friends had gotten off to, she wandered the ship, careful to keep a lookout for Julian. All of a sudden, she heard a crash, the sound of a door being broken down, and she rushed to where the commotion had come from. As she approached, she saw Lil and Blackjack entering into a cabin. "What is going on here?" Elinor muttered, frowning.
Post by: Hibernian on December 12, 2008, 10:45:00 PM
Blackjack moved through the now open doorway then stepped left knowing that Lil following closely even without being told would take the right. By the time both were within the cabin their hands were filled, pistols for the first and throwing daggers for the latter. Yet the scene before them left both doubtful that either could help.

His back againt the cabin's dresser, arms extended with a small silver crucifix in his left hand Brother Timothy stood facing a dark cloud that seemed to be looming over him. Although he seemed unharmed, Blackjack noticed the beads of sweat upon his face and that the monk's face seem pale even for this Irishman. Yet his hand and voice was steady.

"Roberts, Lil, glad you join us."
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on December 13, 2008, 11:37:21 AM
Blackjack stood stunned for a moment, then instinctively fired the flintlock in his right hand at the shadowy shape slowly taking form in front of Brother Timothy, aiming for the center of the mass where it seemed the thickest. Hollow, bone chilling laughter filled the room, bringing the short hair on the back of his neck to attention.

"What in bloody hell is that thing?!" He shouted to the trapped monk.

"It's a demon! And watch your bloody language, if you please, Jack!" Brother Timothy shouted back. Swearing from a monk was certainly not a good sign. To Blackjack's relief the darkening cloud floated a few steps away from the holy man and seemed to be facing them all at once now.

"Any bright ideas, Blackjack?" Lil quipped staring at the shadow with a mixture of resolve and apprehension.

"Love me if I know, Luv." Blackjack shoved the now useless pistol back into his belt and filled the free hand with his strange cutlass. "Even in the Orient I've had little to do with spooks. Besides, he's the priest!" Jack nodded in Brother Tim's direction, his widened eyes never leaving the shadow quickly taking the shape of a man before them.

"Monk!" Brother Timothy corrected. "From what I can gather it's the soul of the thief that insulted our lord while on the cross and was damned for his sin."

"Well he's here now!" Lil interjected. "So how do we send him back?!"

"I would suggest we think of something rather soon." Blackjack mused, his heart pounding madly in his chest. "I've a feeling that once it finishes taking shape we'll be needing all the divine help we can muster, and personally I'm a bit short on favors from Heaven!"
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on December 13, 2008, 01:34:08 PM
As Elinor took her final steps towards the doorway leading into the cabin full of commotion, she heard the otherworldly laughter that emanated from the cabin, and a violent shiver ran up and down her body, making her hands quake. Fumbling at her bodice, she retrieved her dagger and held it out in front of her with clumsy fingers, reluctantly stepping forward. She saw the black shape that slowly gathered itself into being, and could only gape at its horribleness. Every instinct told her to run away, screaming, but she knew she couldn't, not while her friends were stuck with it and thus in danger.

Upon her arrival, however, the shape seemed to sense her presence, and, deciding that the monk wasn't as easy a target as it had once thought, strode forward towards Elinor. Elinor's eyes widened, and despite her fear, an odd thought occurred to her: I really need to stop being the helpless maiden that all the bad guys go for...
Post by: Welsh Wench on December 14, 2008, 08:34:14 PM
Wench was struggling with the latch on the captain's door when Jack came behind her, slipping an arm around her waist.
"Finally, Honour! It will be you and me, just like the old days. Do you know how long I have waited for you?"
She laughed. "As long as I have waited for you?"
He reached over and opened the door.
"After you..."
"Something's burning."
"I know, love. It's me and I----"
Wench dashed back to the kitchen. She batted the smoke away with her hands, fanning it in every direction. She remembered to take the potholders and took the pan of brownies out of the overn.
"Cooking is not your strong suit, is it, Wench?"
"Martin! I didn't see you there!! You can see the smoke dancing and rising all over the galley.  Kind of like little butterflies, you know?"
She threw the pan down and sighed. "Well, Daemon always said I was smokin' hot."
"I don't think that was what he meant, Wench. By the way, what did they used to be in a former life?"
"Brownies from a recipe I found in one of Jack's books. It was next to some stuff called khat. Think it was some kind of ground up melon. Like khataloupe."
"That too. Puddin' seems to like it."
She snapped her fingers. "That's it! It's khatnip! He used to get really funny on it. He'd get all slobbery and the stuff would get like tea and dribble down his chin--they do have chins, don't they, Martin? Cat chins?"
He shrugged his shoulders.
She continued, "Anyways, anytime you got near him to take the khat away, he'd swat your hand and hiss."
"Jack? Or the cat?"
"Um....I guess both of them.  But Jack didn't dribble down his chin. His eyes would get a bit glazed and he was a wonderful....oh, look! They are cool enough to cut now!"
All of a sudden, Wench burst out crying. Martin sighed, "What is it now, Wench?"
"I miss Muir! And we need to find Amber, too! DAMN CADE!  Messing up my life was enough but what did those itty bitty pooches ever do to deserve this?"
Martin took Wench in his arms and awkwardly patted her on the back.
"There, there..."
She dabbed her eyes and said, "Where? Where?"
"Wench, I think you need to leave the brownies alone and sleep off this.....mood."
She blew her nose. "Martin, I am so sorry you were injured in the dock melee at La Ville du Traitre. It was so unfair! Have I ever told you what a good friend you are to me?"
He smiled and said, "With every breath you take, Captain."
She smiled back and cut the brownies.
"Would you like one, Martin?"
He shook his head.
"I'll pass, thank you very much. They look a bit burnt. Where did all that smoke come from anyways?"
She popped a brownie in her mouth. "I don't know. But it seems to have waffled--"
"Right. Wafted. Wafted from Brother Timothy's cabin and---OH MY GOD I LEFT SOMETHING HEATING UP IN THE CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS!'
She dashed out of the kitchen and then came back.
"Umm...I'll be taking these with me."
Jack had turned down the bed and lit a few candles.  He opened up the bottle of merlot he knew Wench was fond of.  Now just what was taking her so damned long?
Wench ran past Brother Timothy's cabin and heard an otherworldy voice emanating. She came to a screeching halt and opened the door.
There stood Brother Timothy holding a crucifix before a shape evolving as a man. Blackjack Roberts stood there with smoking flintlock in his hand.
Wench stood there with her mouth forming a perfect O.
She gazed from Brother Timothy to the form to Lil to Blackjack back to the form.

She offered the plate to the entity and said in a cheery voice, "Um...would you like a brownie?"
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on December 23, 2008, 10:22:48 AM
As the quickly thickening shadow moved forward towards Elinor and Wench Blackjack stepped in the way. His left hand shot forward releasing a ball of flame, followed a split second later by a full force swing of his cutlass. For a moment the weapon slowed, as if he had sliced into something with all the resistance of water, then passed through with enough momentum to cause him to nearly lose his balance.

The shocked pirate stepped backward, his eyes wide with fear. "This is not good!" He exclaimed staring down at his blade.

His fingers were numb and cold, a thin sheet of frost covered the oriental steel. Light wisps of fog curled up from the steel. A vile chuckle was the only reaction from the demon.

"Blackjack! I didn't know you were a wizard!" Wench giggled, a bit too happily considering the situation.

"I'm afraid I'm not, Luv." Roberts explained. "That were not more than a bit of trickery I learned in the Chinas. The only magic I know is naught but a few conjuror's tricks with special applications. At the moment I would suggest either a rather hasty retreat, a bit of real magic, or a few heartfelt prayers!"

"Now I lay me down to sleep. A bag of peanuts by my feet." Wench began.

Blackjack stared at her incredulously for a moment. "Luv, have ye been in yer cups?!"

"Not at all, Mr. Roberts." Wench giggled again. "It's these brownies. I made them with real cannibal butter.....Oh, that's not right!....Can of bliss butter! No, that's not it either....but close."

"Cannabis butter?" Blackjack interjected.

"That's it!" Wench held one finger up.

"Could you two save the cooking lesson for later?" Lil broke in, pointing one dagger at the dark shade. "LOOK!"
Post by: Hibernian on December 25, 2008, 03:34:12 PM
His eyelids clamped tight at the same moment his mind was screaming at Roberts and wondering to all the saints in heaven where that man had gotten a fireball! Pirate yes, highwayman yes, reliable ally so far so good but magical arts no way, but the burn upon the monk’s face told overwise. Had he missed something or was there more to this Roberts than met the eye? Note to self, worry about pirate later, worry about spawn of the Evil One now or there may not be a later.

While Robert’s fireball and gallant effort to slash the demon in half actually had little effect, Brother Timothy was surprised to see the demon turn toward the cabin doorway. Like the thunder head of a dark storm cloud the mass slowly shifted within itself until what could best be called a front was now moving toward Wench who was kneeling upon the floor with her hands folded and appeared to be praying over her plate of brownies. Roberts, too far to the left to reach her, pulled his second and last pistol but the look upon his face told all that it was wishful thinking.

Why was it going for her? Dam it, turn around come to me…do something you’re the monk! Then the relic cross raiseed high, shouting out loud in a clear voice “Exorcizo te, omnis spiritus immunde, in nomine Dei Patris omnipotentis, et in noimine Jesu Christi Filii ejus, Domini et Judicis nostri, et in virtute Spiritus Sancti, ut descedas! In His name unclean spirit depart!”

The deck beneath his feet shudder as he felt a small breeze from nowhere cool the burn upon his face, and then it appeared that the swirling mass of darkness stopped in its tracks. Perhaps only for the blink of an eye but none the less long enough for Lilaney to dive to her left rolling Wench out of the harm’s way. The two ended up in the corner behind Roberts where Wench, thinking it great fun was now shouting for her turn.

“You have no power here evil one, your time has come and gone, there is no one left for you, return to you master and depart this world.” On the one side Blackjack kept moving but always staying between the women and the darkness, hoping that Brother Timothy had an ace to play because the pirate was all in and ready to fold. For his part, Brother Timothy kept talking, kept praying and as he pass the cabin dresser quietly grabbed a bottle of water. The demon seemed hestitant, no easy prey, no doubters, now was the time, bless the water, trust the power of the relic cross from the chest and banish the demon. Slowly the monk moved forward. What had his old novice master always said, ‘trust in the…’a noise at doorway drew his attention.

Elinor walked through the doorway and looked straight at the swirling mass of darkness. Elinor’s eyes widened, and despite her fear, an odd thought occurred to her: I really need to stop being the helpless maiden that all the bad guys go for…
“I can help you, I can teach you how not to be the weak one.”
Elinor heard the words in her head and a small part of her listened. Not to be the weak one, that would be nice. I would be more useful then.
“You would not be the weak one, you could be the leader, the one who protects the others.”
To protect others is a good thing, to help them, like Wench helps her crew.
“You could be strong like her, you could be Captain, just let me help you.”

As Elinore entered the room the demon moved toward her and both Timothy and Roberts saw her eyes glaze over and her body stiffen.

“No! Not her, leave her be, she is not for you” Roberts was looking directly at Elinore as he heard the monk shouting and knew in his heart somehow the evil in the room was attacking the young scribe. Why bother with a tough old monk and black hearted rogue when a fresh young thing walks right into your grasp. Her eyes were glazed as she slowly moved toward the darkness. Roberts knew he had to stop her, he raised the pistol in his hand, there had to be another way.

“Blackjack, stop her, don’t let her make physical contact. Dam it Roberts move!”
He looked at the monk and then at his pistol, lowering his arm he couldn’t shoot her, not Elinore.
“Roberts, don’t let him have her, she will be the entry into our world, put her down now! You have to do it.”

Brother Timothy was trying to move around to the side of the darkness, relic cross in one hand the bottle of water in the other.  The words he was shouting  lost in the confusion  but as the monk moved he was waving the cross over the water. Elinore continued to step ever closer and Roberts tears in his eyes raised his pistol.

Taking a deep breath to steady his aim, Roberts pulled his hand back to his ear and then a quick snap of the wrist launched his pistol at the young girl’s head. True to his aim the butt end connected and down went Elinore.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on December 29, 2008, 06:27:30 PM
"Bloody Hell, and damnation!" Blackjack stepped into the small space remaining between the unholy apparition and the unconscious scribe. His insides all but screaming for him to flee, and the undercurrent of rage at being forced to harm a friend. In the end it was the rage that won out.

"I'll be damned if ye'll harm a single hair on that child's head!!" Roberts roared, his free hand searching inside his half open shirt for another of his Lin Qui tricks. Anything to buy them a few precious seconds until the monk could find something to send the creature back to the Abyss it belonged to.

"That can be easily arranged, Jack Roberts." The disembodied voice sent shivers of dread coursing through the highwayman, come pirate. Yet whether it was from the unearthly tone, or the sound of his given name from the demon that caused such horror to course through him, even Roberts couldn't say.

Two loud thunks into the wood of the bulkhead to his right showed that Lil had sent two of her deadly throwing daggers sailing through the vile smoke that formed the spirit's head to little avail. Blackjack rummaged deeper in his clothing, he was certain that he had brought....A sudden howl of rage and despair froze him in his tracks as the shadow floated a few feet backwards from the panicked buccaneer.

Looking down he noticed the jade amulet that Jun Quon had given to him in prison so long ago had slipped out. A dragon and a tiger locked in mortal combat around a flawless black pearl. Blackjack swore his fear had caused his eyes to play him tricks, the pearl seemed to glow with a light bluish haze.

Roberts shook his head for a moment to clear his sight and when he looked again the faint glow was gone, if it had ever really been there to start with. Small matter, for some reason the evil shade had retreated and given them a bit of breathing room.

Jack quickly took Elinore by the arms as Lil grabbed her ankles and they half carried the unconscious girl over to where Wench crouched with her plate of happy brownies.

Blackjack shoved the small amulet back into his shirt, then jerked Old Hob free of it's frog. Whirling around, cutlass in one hand, whip in the other he faced the denizen of the netherworld again with small hopes for a victory, but determined to go down fighting if it came to that.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw Lil take up the position on his right. If the thing tried to attack Elinore again, it would have to pass the two of them first.
Post by: Hibernian on December 29, 2008, 10:04:31 PM
They were taking a beating and he was afraid things were just heating up. It was time to make a stand, he only hoped it was not the last one. An age old prayer said slowly and deliberately over the water, the water then poured carefully upon the relic cross and with a practiced motion the water was sprayed upon the darkness. “I name thee evil one and in His Name cast you back to the dark abyss from whence you came!”

One would have thought the water would have as little effect upon the dark swirling mass as Lilaney’s stars or Jack’s whip yet somehow wherever the water passed the air cleared, if just for a moment. Unlike the obvious weapons the blessed water appearred to hurt the evil one and it responded in kind. A section of the darkness although vaporous in appearance was solid enough to swing around forcefully sending the monk flying through the air and crashing into the far bulkhead.

“Oh, that was not what I was hoping for Brother.” Robert’s eyes darted between watching the monk and hoping he was going to get up and trying to keep a good angle between the evil one and his companions.

“You fools, the power you face is greater than you can ever imagine, the girl will be mine…” Whether due to the influence of the voice or some other dark  power, everyone in the cabin felt the evil to their very core, a foreboding feeling that only increased as the darkness approach the two woman in the cabin corner.

Wench had been sitting quietly in the corner attempting to count the remaining brownies and divide them into equal piles in order to share with her friends. In their haste to pull Elinore from danger, Lil and Roberts had deposited her in the middle of Wench’s brownie hills. Thinking Elinore had come to play, Wench was confused when her friend failed to respond.

“Elley, Elley belly. hey Elinore, this is your captain speaking, time to wake up I have chocolate to share. Something wrong, Hey something’s wrong with Elinore  she won’t wake up. Ow, what’s that on your head, hey who hurt my Elinore. No one allow to hurt my crew, my friends.” The adrenaline rush brought on by her concern for the youngest of her crew brought the Welsh Wench back to the surface just as the voice of evil made its desires known.

Slowly the maid of Wales, trained in the old ways by the druids, her eyes aglow stood and walked to stand between  Roberts and Lil and joining the wall between the darkness and the fallen friend.

Black Jack wasn’t sure what was happening, it was Wench but not as he had ever seen her before, the look in her eyes was of another world. Her mouth was moving but the words were barely audible.

Across the room a crash of wood announced the return of the crew’s cleric. Rolling to his knees and then upright, the relic cross and water still in hand he moved forward with a limp and a prayer.

"I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation..."
Post by: lilaney on December 30, 2008, 08:55:26 AM
'Oh, this is gonna hurt!'
Lil felt the power in the room, useless to do anything but stand and be a pawn; she squeezed her eyes shut and slipped an arm around her Captain's waist, and held fast to her side, no one was getting by them.
Instinctually, she knew to leave Wench's hands free, if she should need them.

Lil felt awful from the inside out, ever regretful evil that had ever been done to her came shining back in one fell swoop.
Her father's betrayal, her mother's abandonment, her sister's at the brothel, everything. She felt she was drowning, or going mad.
If something didn't happen soon, she was going to end up on the floor right next to Elinore.
'Hopefully, if I plan it right, I could fall face first into those brownies'
Whatever thoughts she had left were engulfed in darkness as the actions around her began...
Post by: Welsh Wench on December 30, 2008, 10:56:37 AM
Wench suddenly threw her hat down and yelled, "OK you blighted fog! It's just you and me. You think you can best me? Doubtful! I took on Gwydion, I took on Jonas Corwin. I ran Daemon Vardus through and I parked a 300' ship! I SUNK THE AZURE TOOLED AND THE CRUDE ORGAN DONOR, DAMN IT! You--YOU--have never come across me! And you know why I can best you? Because I am not only Captain Honour Bright, I am also Mrs. Jack Wolfe, wife of the most fearsome pirate in the whole of the Caribbean! So what do you say to that?"

The fog emanated, "I had Gwydion's soul a long time ago. And he had promised to deliver me a new disciple by the full moon all those many years ago. But she escaped. Escaped with a book that had ultimately been written by me. And now I have come to collect what was promised. And if I can't have you, I'll take the young girl."

Wench drew herself up and unsheathed her rapier. She walked towards the entity with a measured gait, one foot in front of the other in a carefully synchronized strut. She was practiced and she was cool. In a controlled voice, she said, "No one is leaving this room. Nothing you can do can hurt me. I have been hurt by the best."

Lil whispered, "Who was he, Wench?"
She said in a clear voice. "Captain Jack Wolfe. I had the most horrific experience with him."
Elinor whispered, "Your wedding night was that bad?

Wench said evenly, "No. It was awful. He hurt me in the worst way possible."
The essence stopped.
She then whispered to the force, "YOU try pushing Briggs through a port hole window! Because that is what pushing a baby out is like!"
Post by: Hibernian on January 05, 2009, 08:22:26 PM
It started as a low rumble that those in the room felt long before they heard it. A light touch, a slight tickle as when a fly lands on one’s arm, slowly the hairs on the skin raise up as the feeling slowly ascends to the brain and awareness. The low rumble deepens into a bass and the tremor fills everyone in the room.

Wench’s face remains composed and neutral but her step falters and she comes to a stop. Sword raised reactively in defense against what she is not certain. Her eyes widen trying to take in the entire room at once trying to leave nothing to chance. 

‘Calm down, center your thoughts, remember the lessons, don’t do something hasty and add to your troubles.’ O gods of heaven and earth what have we gotten into this time, can we truly win this one?  This thing speaks as if Gwydion were a mere pupil, truth be told I barely beat that pupil on my own how can I match his master?

The laughter once again fills the cabin, the sound echoing off the walls, the mortal eyes squint with heads’ cocked to the side, breath sharply inhaled and held as the companions struggle to keep their gaze upon the enemy and fight their way through the pain in their heads.
Even Elinore, unconscious in the corner begins to moan and thrash about in what could be her only response to the pain. Somehow knowing that Wench no longer needs her, or perhaps the needs of Elinore are greater, Lilaney quickly move to the corner to protect the young scribe from further injuries.

“Honour Bright,  Mistress Jack Wolfe, Welsh Wench, Featherhead, Maid of the Bay, and how many others are you known by, you have so many names, so many lives, and yet no secrets from me. I see you, I know who you are, I know what you are and that you can not hope to defeat me and live.”

“Yet it doesn’t have to be, lay aside your cares, stop your running, protect your friends. Be the Captain you were always meant to be, protect your crew and friends, do what is needed.”

Both the laughter in the cabin and the Wench’s forward movement had stopped at the same time. While neither he nor Blackjack could hear anything, Brother Timothy was willing to bet an evening worth of rosaries that somehow the two were interacting and judging by the look in her eyes, Wench was losing. Without a word his eyes sought and found Jack, words were not necessary as to his intent and Jack nodded in response.

“There is no need to do otherwise, with just a word all would be well and you will find the peace you so wish, the peace you so deserve. The family you so want, a husband to love and a daughter to raise…”

A sudden breath filled her lungs, falling back a step as her head with eyes blinking from tears raise up to look dead into the middle of the darkness. The power of one word brought one picture to her mind freeing her.

“No! Now I understand and you shall not have her, even if I must die you shall not have Zara!”

From the corner where she sat, Elinore’s head on her lap, Lilaney watched in hope and wonder as her three friends suddenly and without a word attacked the darkness as one.

Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on January 06, 2009, 07:36:13 PM
Jack paced about the great cabin with growing impatience, wondering what could be keeping Honour.  He was a bit baffled as to how she could be ahead of him in a narrow companionway one moment and gone the next.  El Lobo was a large ship, but hardly labyrinthine.  As he pondered this, he heard a strange commotion followed by an odd, increasing rumble.  Experience told him that if anything strange or odd involving a commotion was going on, Honour was usually in the middle of it.  He grabbed the pistol off his desk and shoved it into his belt, and set out to discover what was going on.

Jack got his answer, or a part of it, when he got to the door of Briggs's cabin, which Honour was in the process of vacating.  And uneasy feeling came over him, an almost sickening dread, when he heard Honour shout “... you shall not have Zara!”  Rage filled him, and and he burst into the room with pistol drawn.
“Who the hell dares to threaten my wife and child?!” he roared.

A bizarre scene was playing out before him.  Honour, Brother Timothy, and Roberts were about to square off with a roiling, rumbling column of inky black smoke.  Lil was cradling an unconscious Elinor in the corner.  Jack looked at the thing for a moment, then from face to face of those gathered in the room.  Finally he looked back to Honour.
“Another cooking experiment gone awry, darling?” he asked.
Honour let the tip of her rapier drop slowly.  “Your daughter?  What makes you think Zara is yours?”
Jack shifted uneasily.  “A wild guess?  Anyway, is this... thing threatening you?”
Angry realisation dawned in Honour's face.  “You bastard!  You went through my things, didn't you?  The night I caught you in here!”
“Um, well... maybe just a little.  Until I ran across the birth certificate.  Then I stopped.”  He smiled until he realised just how lame that sounded.
Honour leaned on her sword, her fist on her hip.  “Damn you, Jack!  I'm surprised you didn't confront me about it then and there.  That's your usual style.”
“I was not going to confront you.  Not on something as wonderful as that,” he said.  “I wanted to discuss it civilly.”

“I am so glad Blue crapped on you!” she snapped.  “What, were you expecting me to bring it up over dinner?  'Oh, by the way, you're a daddy.  Pass the asparagus'?”
“My hope was you'd volunteer it.  I was being patient.”
“There's a first,” she sniffed.
“Jack Wolfe, you are indeed the girl's father...” the entity gurgled.
Jack rolled his eyes.  “Yes, I knew that, you flatulent fog bank!  The whole room knew it!  Now butt out!”
“Yeah, and get off his side, Mister Helpful Smoke Thingy!” Honour fumed.
The entity made a couple of non-committal noises, and the intensity of the rumbling faded slightly.

“For God's sake, Jack and Wench!  Don't taunt it!” Brother Timothy implored.  “You don't know what you're dealing with!”
“It's a bloody stowaway, is what it is,” answered Jack.  “And a smelly one at that.”
Honour took her sword and whacked Jack across the back with the flat side of the blade.
“Ow!  What was that for?”
“How dare you go through my things?” she demanded.
“Oh, God, we're back to this?” he sighed.
“You're damned right we're back to this.”
“Fine.  Would you have let me go through your things if I'd asked?”
“Of course not!” she laughed.
“See?” said Jack.  “My way saved us both a lot of time and effort.  Now, exactly when had you planned to tell me about our daughter?”
“Um... eventually?” Honour hedged.
“Honour Bright shorthand for 'never'.”  He shook his head.  “Why did you hide her from me?”
“You weren't exactly sterling fatherhood material at the time,” she explained.  “Look, can we talk about this some other time when we're not in front of the crew or some stinky, child-snatching smoke monster?”
The entity seemed to churn a little more vigorously now.  Evidently smoke monsters were uncomfortable around public domestic squabbles.  Either that, or it was just getting angry.  Hard to tell with smoke monsters.

“No, we're talking about this now,” countered Jack.
“Oh, you are impossible!”  To punctuate her exasperation, Honour jammed the tip of her rapier into the deck.
“Hey!  Watch that!  Decking isn't cheap!” he yelped.
Honour pulled her rapier free, and an defiant look came into her eyes.  It didn't make conventional sense that she would choose this moment to start pushing Jack's buttons, especially with a demonic whatever hovering in the middle of the room.  But it made perfect married people sense.
Her fingers tightened around the hilt of the sword.  “What, this?” she asked innocently, as she jabbed the deck again with a thunk.
“Stop that!” he yelled.
“I'll 'oopsie' you..”
“Sorry.  Heavy sword.”
“Damn it, Honour!”
“I'm starting to get a rhythm!” she grinned.

The entity's rumble grew rapidly, and it spoke with a voice that to travel a great distance before the words could be heard.   “Both of you!  Be silent!” it demanded.  It sounded almost like the thing had the start of a tension headache, if smoke monsters got headaches.  Or heads.

Jack whirled and gave the entity a warning glare.  “I've about had it with you, you... whatever you are!  Now get this through your puffy little brains-”  He pulled himself up to full height, placing himself in between the thing and Honour.  “Get off my ship,” he commanded slowly and deliberately, with a voice like ice.  “Go back to whatever dark little corner of Hell you crawled out of and leave us alone.  You're not getting my daughter or my wife, and you're going to have to get through me to even try.”
A low menacing laugh emanated from the column of smoke.  “I'm going to enjoy crushing you like the pathetic little bug you are, Jack Wolfe.”  The entity grew taller, and began to snake over toward Jack.
Suddenly, Jack found himself shoved backwards.  Not by the monster, but by his wife.  His beautiful, incredibly cheesed off wife.

“Now just a damned minute, you refugee from a camp fire!” she growled angrily.  “That's my husband you're talking about, and nobody, NOBODY gets to talk about him like that except for me!”
Jack put his hand on Honour's shoulder to pull her back from her nose-to-nose stance with the entity.  She whirled and put her finger in his face.
“You're next,” she warned.  He put his hands up in front of him and backed away a few steps.
“He is nothing,” the thing chuckled.
“Wrong again, Smoke Boy,” Honour answered, with the fire of defiance blazing in her eyes.  “He may be ill mannered, stubborn, infuriating, and yeah, sometimes he doesn't bathe as often as I'd like...”
“Hey!” protested Jack.
“But that is Jack Wolfe,” she continued.  “CAPTAIN Jack Wolfe.  The most fearsome pirate in the Caribbean.  A legend.  And he is my husband.  The father of my little girl.  And I'll be damned if you're going to come along and screw things up for me!”
She held her hand out at her side, and Jack's fingers entwined with hers.  They stood together as husband and wife before the malevolent force that had invaded their world.
“Now listen, and listen good,” she continued, her voice strong and unyielding.  “You're in the Wolfe's den now, and you're not welcome here.  We will fight you, together.  And you will lose.”

The entity boiled and churned, weaving its form back and forth like a snake cornered by a mongoose.  And then it did something no one in the room expected.

It backed away from the defiant couple.

Post by: Blackjack Roberts on January 07, 2009, 11:04:31 PM
Blackjack nodded imperceptibly to the monk. Whatever the thing was it was obvious that it could reach into the minds of it's prey, and like most vile things in the world it sought out what it perceived as weakness. Roberts felt his blood boil with rage, then something else.

Knowing that his parlor tricks were all but useless against an otherworldly creature he moved to pull his captain away from the entity, unwilling to render her unconscious, and hope the holy man had yet another ace up his wide sleeve.

Just as he prepared to make his move a strange sensatio0n began to flow through his chest, and limbs. Down within the confines of his billowing shirt a bright glow had again begun to envelop the jade charm. It's warm glow filling him with a calm strength he had only experienced once before in his life, the night he had miraculously saved the lives of Mi Lin and the children.

It distracted him for only a second, but long enough for him to hear Wench shout something about a child named Zara and for Mad Jack Wolfe to burst into the room with pistol drawn and murder in his eye.

"This has just gotten a lot more interesting." Roberts thought to himself as he made way for the Lobo's captain.

Trying to keep both the entity and Brother Timothy in his line of sight he glanced over to the monk with a quizzical look. Should they press their assault with both captains not more than a foot away from the noxious spirit. The brown robed man shrugged as the two captains of the pirate ship did what they did best......antagonize each other.

Though the exchange took less than a few moments, it left the renegade highwayman with more than a few puzzling questions. Things that could be sorted out later, if there were to be a later.

The tirade ended with the two standing almost nose to nose with the demon, a couple more concerned with the fate of their child than their own safety. A good sign to be sure, and Blackjack grinned in spite of himself. That was when he noticed something else. The blade of his cutlass was enveloped in the same bluish glow that he had thought he had seen encircling the amulet moments before. Just faint enough to make him doubt his own senses.

Brother Timothy caught his attention again and Roberts nodded his agreement. As one they moved, unnoticed to either side of the co-captains and the entity did the last thing any of them expected it to do. It backed away.
Post by: Hibernian on January 13, 2009, 07:13:00 PM
“Ha, back away you puff of smoke before I open a port hole and the trades blow you away! Here allow me to help.” That said Mad Jack step forward drawing his blade and starting waving it around the demon in an intricate pattern, never quite making contact, but all the while forcing the demon backwards.

“Captain don’t,” but before Brother Timothy could finish his sentence Jack’s cutlass sliced through the middle of the darkness. A more apt description would be that Captain Wolfe’s cutlass started to slice through the demon’s middle and stop dead in the middle. The suddenness drove the pirate captain to his knees and from that vantage point he watched his blade slowly melt away until only the basket hilt around his hand remained.
“Oh, bad form there, that was my favorite sword.”

“There is no power in you, Captain you may be, yet you are but a man.” Before the blink of eye Captain Mad Jack Wolfe found himself flying through the air to a forceful collision with the cabin door. Crumbled to the deck in front of the door, the body of the unconscious pirate ensured that no one would be entering or leaving the cabin until this matter was at a close.

“Jack!” She was half turned toward her love and the father of her child, all thoughts had left her except her concern for him. Go to him, care for him, protect him was all she could think.

“Rhiannon atal!” The familiar Welsh of her childhood, the commanding voice cut through to her and she hesitated and looked to the monk. His eyes look straight into hers as he spoke, “atal, amdiffyn.” Yes she understood his words, stop and protect, yes she must stop and protect her loved one. He needed her and she turned toward Jack once again.

“Atal! Cydaddoli ni alltudio tywyll diafol! Cydaddoli amddiffyn” The voice was steady and strong, it cut through the emotions and commanded her attention. Oh Mother Goddess he is right, only together would they be able to make a stand and banish the demon.

Black Jack stood silently watching and listening, he recognized enough of the Welsh to know it was about the diafol or devil. Then he saw the Wench turn away from the door and Captain Wolfe, her hands clutched tightly into fists as if ready to strike the very gates of hell itself, her voice low as if she was trying very hard to keep control.

“Brother Timothy your Welsh is terrible, but you are right, it is time to end this once and for all.”

Without waiting for a response she slowly moved away from the two men. Her eyes locked onto the demon as if nothing else matter. Black Jack didn’t know what to make of it, he could see her mouth was moving but the voice was low, only the occasional word could be heard. It may have been his eyes but he could swear Wench’s hands were beginning to glow.  Then her voice started getting louder and as it did the glow about her fists grew brighter.

“Brother we better do something now before the lady explodes!”
“Just another minute Jack, I need to concentrate or my Latin will be off!” His right hand raise the relic cross high while his left held the bottle of blessed water. The words came slowly but surely as his memories remember the studies of a life time. “Exorcizo te, omnis spiritus immunde…I exorcise thee, every unclean spirit.”

Glowing Captain to the right, monk to the left, highwayman stuck alone in the middle. What’s a fella to do? It was then he hear the voice shouting his name.
“Jack, Jack!”
Looking to the heavens “I’m here but I’m almost afraid to ask who’s there?”
“No you idiot, not up there, over here!”
Turning quickly toward the voice there was Lil, still in the corner with Elinor, “Right Lil, I knew it was you all the time.”

“Jack you must hurry, Elinor needs more help and Captain Wolfe hasn’t move yet, this needs to be finished now!”
“The management is open to suggestions.”
“Use that glowing amulet again and do more than just make that thing stop and back up.”

Dam if the girl wasn’t right, the amulet was not only glowing but so was his sword.
His sword was totally enveloped by a glow, the glow from his amulet! No chanting or praying required, Jack now had a weapon!

Depending upon who is telling a tale, there are moments when an action occurs at just the right moment and it is credited to skill, planning, experienced, or even the workings of a higher power. Jack smiled at Lil, raise his sword and turn to attack the demon at exactly the same moment that the Welsh Wench released the full fury of the Mother Goddess’s power from deep within her soul and Brother Timothy with holy water and Latin flying drove the relic cross into the darkness. Sometimes, as Jack would say, you just have to be lucky.

The three attacked as one, whenever the demon thought to recover from one the others were there to press the moment. Jack’s sword flashed and every contact drove the demon to the right where the Wench’s fury exploded as bolts of light and sound driving and exploding through the very heart of the demon darkness. When the demon turned to retreat, there stood the monk, the barrier of the holy water burning the dark mist away, his prayers shaking the very fabric of the demon’s existence.

But this was no one sided battle, the demon was not without weapons and the three ship mates were showing the physical and mental trauma of the fight. Jack continued to slash and hack but a fair portion of the stains on the sword were his own, while the Wench turned paler with every bolt as her very being was drained to power the attack.

He knew they were not winning, at best they had battled the demon to a standstill, and his friends were faltering, after all they were only human. He had started this and the brother knew that in the end it was up to him to bring the cycle full.
“Oh God, I’m getting to old for this, I should be in a garden back at the Abbey teaching novices how to make mead and brew ale.” A quick glance to heavens “just kidding Lord, I know what is expected of me and now is the time; I ask, I pray, for your love, your guidance and your protection.”

Quickly marking himself with the sign of the cross and holding the relic cross tightly to his chest, Brother Timothy steps into the middle of the darkness.

“What the…”
“NO, don’t….”
“Brother damm….”

He wasn’t sure what he was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t this. Everyone in the cabin seemed to be frozen in place. And the cabin was very full of light, but I stepped into the middle of darkness, shouldn’t everything be dark?

“Not when the demon has been vanquished.”
Brother Timothy stood looking at a short dark man, could this be…
“Who do you think I am?  Whose cross do you clutch to your chest? The wood contained within the relic you hold came from my cross.”
“St. Dimas?”
“You were perhaps expecting an archangel? Everyone always wants a tall blonde man with a sword, right”
“The thought did occur to me, after all we were fighting and it was a demon.”
“That is true, but it was the demon of Gesmas with whom you fought, he who was one of three and shared Calvary, so it was my place to come to your aid.”
“And now?”
“Your faith has saved you and your friends, your friends will survive, you will survive and continue upon your journey.”
“Look within the chest of St Dimas, there you will find your answer.” The small man turned and started walking away when he suddenly stopped and faced the monk, “and stay with that Welsh woman, she will lead you to that which you seek. Besides, the way trouble seeks her out she need all the friends she can get.”

Brother Timothy found himself sitting on the floor in the middle of cabin.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on January 16, 2009, 09:48:00 AM
Blackjack slashed at the demon with all the fury he could muster. Each time his cutlass struck home the blue glow surrounding the strange blade flashed brighter driving the howling supernatural being to one of the other three attacking it. Like some bizarre game of table tennis it bounced from the glowing Piratess, to the furious monk and back.

Any loose object in the cabin swirled through the air striking at the trio as the dark entity attempted to drive them back long enough for it to gather it's strength. Books, candle sticks, a sextant, cups, and various weapons rained on them like the debris from a hurricane.

Wench surrounded by golden light that seemed to concentrate in her eyes and hands took little notice as most all of the objects ricocheted away inches before touching her. Brother Timothy and Roberts ducked most of the flying implements while holding their ground, usually when the demon was more involved with one of the others.

Blackjack barely side stepped a dagger and took a slight nick on his thigh for his troubles. Various minor cuts and bruises around his body barely registered, he'd suffered worse in a good tavern fight. The only real pain he felt came from the inside of his forearms. A burning sensation he attributed to probably being struck by a candle or two while he was occupied with the rapidly diminishing spook.

"I ask, I pray, for your love, your guidance and your protection.” The monk's words cut into Roberts' brain as surely as his glowing cutlass cut into the smoky body of the vile spirit. Risking a glance towards the holy man his blue green eyes flew wide as the monk made the sign of the cross, clutched the relic to his breast and strode right into the swirling mass of the demon!

"What the??" He exclaimed as he heard Wench shout "NO! Don't!"

"Brother!!!......Damn!!" Blackjack and Wench stood helpless. Neither daring to strike for fear of hitting their friend.

Suddenly the roiling shade howled with the sound of a doomed soul and vanished, leaving a stunned looking monk sitting on the deck where moments before it had been.

Blackjack and Wench rushed to the smiling clergyman's side, both dropping to one knee. "That were about as fool a stunt as I've seen, or did meself, Monk." Roberts grinned. "Are ye still in one piece?"

"I'll let you know after a few tankards of the Lord's brew, Jack." Brother Timothy grinned.

"Are you sure, your ok?!" Wench asked worriedly. "Where did that monster go?!"

"Back to Hell, where it belongs." Timothy smiled. "Now if one of you will kindly help a servant of the Lord to his feet.?"

Wench and Blackjack stood and held out one arm to either side of Brother Timothy, Jack wincing slightly as the priest grasped his forearm. A moan from the doorway brought Wench around and she rushed to Mad Jack's side, as the former highwayman surveyed the damage. The cabin looked as if a tornado had ripped through it.

"Dear God! What a mess!" Roberts whispered.

"I couldn't have put it better myself." Hibernian sighed.

Blackjack sheathed his no longer glowing cutlass, picked his caviler style hat up from the jumbled mess of the wrecked cabin, dusted it off and placed it back on his head. A moan from Elinor brought him striding across the room.

"How is she, Lil?" He reached out gently touching the bruise above the young scribe's temple where his hurled pistol had struck her.

"I think she'll be fine, but I need to get her back to the surgery to be certain." Lil returned, worry written in every word.

"No problem, Luv." Blackjack smiled as reassuringly as he could, noting that Wench was struggling to lift her husband from the floor. "Hold on a moment, and we'll be on our way."

Striding over to Wench he swung the captain of the Lobo's arm around his neck, then positioning him in a way that most of the unconscious man's weight was distributed across his shoulders, stood. "If'n ye'll help Lil with Elinor, Luv, I'll take the captain." He grinned.

Wench's eyes sparkled with gratitude. "Thank you, Jack." She smiled.

"No worries, M'lady. He's more'n earned it." Jack cocked one eyebrow as he grinned. "Besides, it leaves the cleanin' up 'a this mess fer the Monk."

"Thank you very much, Mr. Roberts!" Brother Timothy called after the quickly retreating pirate.

Duckie looked up from his conversation with Malcolm as Blackjack kicked the door to the surgery open. "We'll be need'n yer help here far more than that treacherous dog, Sawbones!" He shouted, half dragging Mad Jack through the doorway, Wench, Lil, and Elinor hot on his heels. As they deposited their respective charges on the cots he turned to his cousin with a grin and a wink.

"What the Hell happened to them and you?!" Duckie exclaimed. "You look like you've all been through a mutiny!"

"Sawbones," Blackjack sighed, "ye wouldn't believe it if'n we told ye!"
Post by: lilaney on January 21, 2009, 08:31:42 AM
Duckie got up from his desk chair and stretched, twisting this way and that, he relieved his spine of the tension that sitting for long periods brought on.
Having just finished his own personal logs he knew it was time to go and check on his paitent. Crossing the passageway from his stateroom to the Surgery, Drake was oblivious to the silence of the place.

He did not notice the lack of complaining from the Captains', the lack of cursing from his recalcitrant nursing assistant, or the scritch-scratching of the Scribe's quill.

His mind was for Martin.
He gathered his supplies and headed for the Galley, where he found Martin, quite white and with suspicious red stains on his leg.
Drake shook his head and meeting Martin's eye, he said no words as he helped Martin hobble back to the Surgery.
"Really Doc, I just got up to check the stove and I felt the stitching loosen."
Drake nodded consolingly.
"Be at ease, Martin, you have done nothing wrong. It is a tricky wound, that is all."
Drake knew it was much more than that, but, keeping the paitent calm was more important for the healing process than stating bald facts.
He assisted Martin onto the cot and placed pressure back on the wound.
"Have you see Lil anywhere?"
Martin cocked and eyebrow at the Doc
'Oh, it is Lil now is it?' he thought.
Martin shook his head.
"No, come to think of it, I have not seen any of the ships' ladies all afternoon."

Duckie looked up from his conversation with Malcolm as Blackjack kicked the door to the surgery open. "We'll be need'n yer help here far more than that treacherous dog, Sawbones!" He shouted, half dragging Mad Jack through the doorway, Wench, Lil, and Elinor hot on his heels. As they deposited their respective charges on the cots he turned to his cousin with a grin and a wink.

"What the Hell happened to them and you?!" Duckie exclaimed. "You look like you've all been through a mutiny!"

"Sawbones," Blackjack sighed, "ye wouldn't believe it if'n we told ye!"
Duckie looked into Lil's strained face. He had a strange feeling Jack was indeed right, nothing they would say would make the least bit of sense.
Blocking all that from his mind, he went straight to work.

Lil laid the dazed Elinor on the farthest cot from the others, Elinor needed dark and quiet for the moment.
Placing a cold cloth on the bruise on Elinor's head, Lil began her vigil next to her friend.
Oh, she would live all right. But, had the thing that injured the others hurt Elinor's mind as it had hurt Lil?
Lil shook from the emotional toll.
It was all right to be brave in the face of physical danger, but, this mental stuff was something she did not think she could ever recover from.

Post by: lilaney on January 26, 2009, 04:33:32 PM
"Mhmm.. mmMMM!!"
Elinor stirred violently, Lil kicked herself out of her pity pool and calmly held her friend down before she began thrashing.
"Elinor! Wake up, it's me, Lil. You're safe and sound."
Elinor ceased to struggle and opened her eyes, Lil felt her relax and assisted her with sitting up, wincing, Elinor put a finger to the side of her head.
"Oooh.. what happened?"
Lil looked at Elinor's eyes, they were not quite focusing in sync yet.
'Concussion' she thought, 'not good'.
"Well, you were just about to head over to the big grey baddie and we had to do something."

Her head felt like a lead weight bobbing in rough waters; All Elinor wanted to do was sleep.
The gentle rocking of the boat felt good, and her dreams were all fuzzy and warm.
"Thas good.." she slurred and leaned into Lil side, giving a comforting moan she begin to slide back out of conciousness.
"Elinor? Elinor! No good missy, you have to wake up now. Now is not the time for sleep. C'mon, get up!"
Lil felt a small panic, Concussions were tricky mischief, not enough sleep and one would never heal right, too much sleep and one never woke up.
She was hesitant in her movements but still gave Elinor a slight jostle that seemed to rouse her.
"Mmmh?" was Elinor's only response.
"Elinor, listen, that bump on your head, it gave you a concussion. You gotta wake up for a second all right? Then, I'll let you sleep until we reach the next port. Drake!"

The panicked cry hit Duckie right in the heart. His mind was still force-focused on Jack.
Steeling a glance over to the corner, he saw Lilaney sitting on the cot with an unconscious and very pale Elinor in her arms. He saw what Lil saw.
"Just a moment, and I'll be right there."
His voice was calmer than his mind.
"Mrs. Wolfe, could you please attend to your Mr. Wolfe? When he is ready, I believe his own bed will be the safest place for him to recover."
"Are you sure?" The worry in Wench's voice made him pause to smile.
"Oh, aye, he has dealt with heftier slings and arrows before. A couple of busted ribs, a bruised torso and a sour stomach did not stop him then, it certainly cannot stop him now. Although, if you can, take it easy on him for a while."
Duckie's barest whisper of a wink, reassured Wench as she stepped in closer to attend her husband.

Martin looked on with concern, he did not like the looks of things in the corner. Lil was panicked, which did not happen often.
"Think they'll be alright?" he asked Blackjack who seemed to be self medicating from the stores near Martin's cot.
Blackjack pulled the stopper out of a bottle with his teeth and generously pored some astringent on his arm. He barely blinked as the medicine bubbled and hissed as it cleaned the nasty cut.
"Oh, aye, Lil and Duckie will have her right in no time."
Blackjack was the best with the blank face, but, even he furrowed a brow at the corner for a moment, then poffered the jug at Martin.
"Care for a slug?"

"Duckie, I am not sure what to do. She has not quite healed from her last sojourn, and now that.. 'thing' hit her in the mind. I am just not sure what to do."
Lil could hear the panic and alarm in her voice and felt ashamed for it. But, she could not stop the panic from engulfing her.
Duckie placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder and steered her face to look at him.
She paused in her ramblings as their eyes met.
"Firstly, we are not going to panic."
If ever a voice could break through the cloud of emotion that wound tightly around her mind, this was the one.
"Secondly, you can lay Elinor back down, she isn't going to break. Now, if you'll simply let her go.."
Drake focused his attention on unwinding Lil's arms from Elinor's body, which was a struggle, Lil had a firm grip on the girl.
"Lil let go."
His eyes never left hers.
But, she did not budge.
"Lil, LET go."
Duckie was fairly certain that Lil could not hear him.
Whatever had attacked these crewmates had certainly left its mark on them.
"LIL! Let GO!"
Lilaney blinked once and, finally, loosed her grip, enough that Duckie was able to arrange Elinor more comfortably on the cot.
"Will she be all right?"
Duckie took her vitals, and after a pause, nodded.
"She is asleep for now. Lilaney? What happened?"
Lil felt shame crawl up her skin, she could feel the heat in her cheeks.
"I..I.. I have to go..."
Lil ran out of the surgery.
Duckie watched her depart.
 His calm face panned across the other people in the room.
"Well?", he looked at BlackJack, " I am certain now I would believe anything you have to tell me."

Post by: Blackjack Roberts on January 27, 2009, 12:08:52 PM
The several nicks, cuts, and bruises Blackjack had suffered during the battle with the demon stung and ached, but nothing like the burning fire on the inside of his forearms. Had he not known better, he would have sworn he had been branded in a torturer’s cell, and he’d enough experience there to know.

After helping Duckie to settle Jack Wolfe as comfortable as they could, he strode over to where Martin lay, raising one burning forearm to wipe the sweat from his brow and hide the fact that as he passed Malcolm he mouthed the words, “Later. Be quite now.” Malcolm Dagget nodded his head just enough to acknowledge the silent message.

Roberts had spent more than enough time tending his own many wounds during his time as a hunted man. He had learned from long talks with many a ships doctor on the various pirate ships he had signed on, and the healing arts of the Lin Qui as well. There were times when one simply could not afford to seek the aid of a physician.

Selecting a bottle of astringent he noticed Lil’s worry over Elinore. “Think they’ll be alright?” He asked Martin as he rolled up his left sleeve.

"Oh, aye, Lil and Duckie will have her right in no time." The gentile giant half rolled onto his side to get a better position for speaking. His eyes widened slightly as Jack poured the anti-infection solution on one of the angrier cuts. “You might want to do that to that burn as well, Blackjack.”

Roberts glanced at the inside of his forearm. For a moment he once again refused to believe his senses. There, as if placed by a very intricate branding iron, was a perfectly etched image of lunging tiger. Roberts suspected instantly what he would find on his right arm. His brow furrowed for a moment, then he offered the open bottle to Martin as he shook the sleeve back into place. "Care for a slug?"

Martin grinned and shook his head. “I believe that is for external use only, Jack.” He chuckled, shaking his head.

“Be that as it may, Mate, Ye never know when……” Blackjack broke off the quip he had in mind as he noticed Duckie struggling with Lil.

Before he could offer to help the struggle was over and Duckie gently placed the young scribe’s head back onto the pillow. Lil’s face grew bright pink as she excused herself and fairly flew from the surgery.

Duckie took them all in, Wench tending Mad Jack, Martin propped on his elbows, Malcolm’s eyes switching from one to the other. The Lobo’s resident physician finally locking eyes with Blackjack. "Well?", I am certain now I would believe anything you have to tell me."

“That be dependin’ on how practical a man ye be, Sawbones.” Robert’s tilted his head slightly to the left, falling into the pirate persona he used to keep things to himself. “If’n ya have no belief in things what go bump in the night, ye’ll no doubt think me a liar of the first caliber.”

“Drop it, Roberts!” Drake demanded. “You forget I know perfectly well you are somewhat educated and can speak perfectly well when you wish to! I need to know exactly what happened.”

“Very well, Sawbones.” Blackjack grinned like a cat that had just dined on the proverbial canary. “But, I’ve little doubt ya won’t believe a word of it.”

The former highwayman went on to explain how he had heard Brother Timothy shouting in the cabin and how with Lilaney’s help they had broken down the door to find an evil supernatural entity. He described as much of the subsequent events, carefully leaving out Wench’s magic, his own strange abilities, and the revelation of the co-captain's child.

“Then that fool monk dove headlong into the creature. The next thing any of us knew it had gone. I helped bring the captain here to you.” Roberts shrugged as if the whole affair meant no more to him than a minor inconvenience. “That’s about as much as I know, Mate.”

Blackjack’s turquoise eyes looked in Elinore’s direction, and for a second softened. “You sure she’ll be alright? I tried to keep the blow as soft as I could.”

Gander looked up from deep thought as he tried to digest the incredible story. “Hmmmm? Oh, yes. She’ll be fine as far as I can tell. You’d better let me look at some of those wounds you have, Jack.”

Roberts immediately backed towards the open door away from the doctor, his hands held palm out in front of him. “I’d rather ye not, Sawbones. They be no more’n scratches and I’ve tended far worse in me time, if’n ya please. My guess is ye’d be far better served by tendin’ ta the captains, and the rest ye have here.”

“Some of those wounds could be more serious than you know, Jack.” Duckie scowled.

“A tankard of rum, or two, and I’ll be fine.” Blackjack grinned wickedly just before he vanished out the door.

Returning to his quarters Blackjack all but ripped the sleeves of his buccaneer shirt off as he exposed the flesh of his forearms. Staring in disbelief his eyes shot from one to the other, but there was no denying it. Both arms had been branded on the inside. The left with an exact, though larger, copy of the tiger from the amulet. The right with the dragon.

“Bloody Hell, Jun Quon! Just what have ya gotten me into??!!”

Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on January 27, 2009, 05:24:09 PM
Remnants of the evil spirit that had appeared in the monk's cabin swirled around her mind, wrapping themselves around the pleasant thoughts that would have made Elinor sleep peacefully, resting from the concussion she'd received earlier. Though she lay still, her dreams were far from pleasant.

She wanted to fight back, but found she couldn't - or, at least, she couldn't fight back as strongly as she needed to. She was always the weak one of the crew, the one that wasn't able to defend herself adequately. No matter how much training she'd received from her crew mates, she'd never been able to escape the bad things that had befallen the crew.

I'm worthless...

That thought overcame the others in her mind.

Wait, She found herself thinking, That isn't right...I'm full of worth...I record the goings on of the ship's crew, and occasionally sing to make their hearts lighter! As her mind focused on that idea, a bright light appeared, which grew from a tiny pin prick to a ball of flowing, energetic luminosity that acted as a beacon for her mind. As the light grew, she found the darkness receding to the point where it released its hold upon her, at least for the moment. She relaxed into a peaceful sleep, only half-awakening for a few moments here and there during the next few hours.

After what seemed like a day long nap, she drowsily awoke, feeling an immense pain upon her head where Blackjack's pistol had hit her. She let out a groan, reaching up with her right hand to touch the spot that ached. "How did this happen?" She muttered to herself. Her mind groggily sifted through the memories of the past day, and she remembered Lil telling her about a concussion, and a 'big baddie.' "Remind me to have a talk with whoever lodged whatever at my head, not to do it ever again..." She mumbled.

Dr. Gander came over to her then, having noticed that she'd woken up from her less-than-restful nap. He held up his index and middle fingers. "How many fingers am I holding up?" He asked, gazing into her eyes. "Two, Dr. Gander," Elinor mumbled. "I'm fine, just have a horrible headache," She told the doctor, attempting to sit up. "Is it just me, or is the room spinning a little? Since when did we get a spinning boat? Is this one of the improvements Wench had Captain Wolfe put in?" She asked, trying to stop her vision from spinning.

"Lay down, young scribe," Dr. Gander replied, his tone and expression half amused, half serious. "It's best if you just relax now. I'll try to find something for the pain, but this will be best cured by rest and time." Elinor attempted to nod, but then thought better of it. "I agree," She said instead, taking a slow, deep breath and letting it out slowly. Relaxing seemed like a plan... "Are the rest of them okay?" She asked, thinking of Lil, Wench, Brother Timothy, Blackjack and Captain Wolfe.
Post by: Welsh Wench on January 27, 2009, 09:20:00 PM
Wench laid a hand on Dr. Gander's arm.
"Duckie, are you sure I should take him to his cabin?"
He gave her arm a quick squeeze.
"It would be two less people getting in the way, Honour."
"Yes, crew. Our crew. They need us."
"Nonsense!" Duckie said briskly. "If you take care of Jack, then I can devote my attention to Elinor and Martin...and others."
His eyes strayed to where Lil had fled the room.
'He cares for her. More than he is willing to admit,' Wench thought.
She hesitated. Duckie took her arm and led her to a corner.
"Honour, I don't know what happened. But something phenomenal did. And I don't want an explanation now. But I will want one. I have a man with a burned arm and various contussions, Martin is bleeding again and needs watched carefully. Lil suffers from some sort of traumatic stress and Elinor has a concussion. And Lord knows where Brother Timothy is. I need you to take Jack out of here and give me the room I need. We can talk about what happened later. Can you do that for me?"
Wench nodded. Jack had sat up on the cot, holding his head in his hands.
"Oooh, Ducks, this hurts more than that tavern fight we were in back in Port Royal. The one where I got hit over the head with that bottle and then Monique..."
Duckie said quickly, "Jack, I think you had better be quiet and let it--YOU--rest. Honour? Do you need help?"
She grabbed Jack by the arm and pulled him to a standing position.
"Certainly not, Duckie. But Jack may need your services. Oh, I'd say in about an hour. He may need you to straighten out his nose after I punch his snooping lights out."
She turned to Jack and said sweetly, "Need any help, dear?"
He stood and wobbled. "Can I lean on you?"
"For support and not pleasure. Let's go. Duckie? I'll straighten Jack out and then I think we should all meet in the dining galley later this evening to discuss the incident."
"Incident?" Jack blurted out. "More like a catastrophe!"
Wench grabbed his arm and steadied him. "Now say goodbye to the nice people who brought you here."
Jack waved feebly, "Bye-bye."
"Can it, Jack. This won't save you."
She smiled grimly to the crew. "No matter what you hear, do not open the door."
As they were going down the hall, Jack was heard to say, "Can you kill a man and not leave any marks, Honour? Because if you can, I think I need to write a letter to my solicitor..."
Wench pulled the door open and led Jack through it.  He sat gingerly on the edge of the bed.
Wench yelled, "What the HELL were you doing going through my private property?"
Jack winced and put his hands over his ears.
"You know, that was the one thing that I hated about you. Lord knows I could almost see the glass shattering. Are you sure you aren't Irish with that temper? I mean, the Welsh are known for their lyrical ways and.....HONOUR, PUT THAT VASE DOWN! NOW!"
Honour did the one thing that surprised Jack.
She put it down.
"Now, that's better. Can we talk about this rationally? Like two adults?"
She nodded and sat down.
"Well, will wonders ever cease?"
She sighed heavily and whispered, "Thank God."
"For what?"
She looked out the port window and said, "Do you know how hard it is to keep a secret like that?"
He reached under the bed and pulled out the bottle of merlot that had been there from a previous hopeful night.
"Don't try to deny she is mine, Honour. I saw--alright, so I snooped--the baptismal record. Your name is not Honour Bright Wolfe. It is really Rhiannon Conaway.  The father is listed as John Michael Wolfe. When did you plan on telling me about her?"
"When the time was right?"
Jack tried mightily to control the Wolfe temper. "What gave you the right to keep the knowledge from me?"
"You lost that right, Jack Wolfe, when you drew a pistol on me and threatened to kill me and Cade Jennings for an imagined indiscretion."
Jack hesitated. "I can't apologize enough to you, Honour. If  you hadn't kicked it out of my hand---"
"Our child would never have been born."
"Tell me where she is."
"In Wales. With my sister Megan."
"She is healthy?"
"Megan? She's never had a sick day in her life."
"You know who I mean."
"Of course I do. The baby is fine. The baby is beautiful."
"How old is she?"
"A year old. Born during the most violent thunderstorm Anglesey has ever seen."
Jack chuckled.
"Leave it to our child to be born when the gods are hurling their thunderbolts."
"It was not an easy time, Jack. But I was in Wales with my family."
"Why the name 'Zara'? Not that I am complaining."
"Did  you expect her name to be Margaret or Ann? The child of Jack Wolfe and Rhiannon Conaway deserved an exotic name. She's an exotic child."
"I found the lock of hair."
"My, my, Jack. You took snooping to a new level. Yes, she has your hair. My blue eyes. A creamy, almost almond complexion. And she is small and delicate."
"When did you find out you were with child?"
"The day I threw up on the ship when I sailed off. I knew then that I would never be able to be rid of you, Jack. A part of you would always be with me. A part of me hated you for that. And another part was oddly comforted."
"And now?"
She looked down. "I don't know. I do know one thing."
"What's that?"
"That it is time you saw your daughter."
Post by: Hibernian on January 27, 2009, 10:56:57 PM
There was a ringing in his ears that he hadn’t notice before. Yet now that the cabin had emptied out and the walking wounded had carried the non-walking survivors to sick bay the monk began to notice things. The first of which was how quiet it was in the cabin. ‘Then again, compared to the recent battle in the small cabin a full broadside from a ship of line was a mere cat’s meow.’

Righting a stool he sat down, and ‘that’s another thing, look at all those daggers and stars stuck in the walls. Those must be Lil’s, I’ll have to return them, but she such a small girl where does she hid them all? No, no, no, get off that topic Timothy, you have enough problems to make that next confession one for ages no need to pile on more time kneeing in penance. I must be tired to wander in that direction.’

Anyone passing by the cabin door at that moment would have seen a monk sitting upon a stool, his head bowed slightly with his shoulders drooping forward and the hands massaging both knees.  ‘Lord that was a close one, I wonder if the others realize how close we came to actually losing this ship and everyone on it.’ Slowly standing up, a muscle throb in the lower back draws the quick attention of the right hand, ‘I wonder if the good doctor has any ointment in his stores,’ a glance toward the cabin dresser top covered with glass fragments, ‘it would appear the majority of my stock bottles are gone with the ages.’

Making his way toward the door, his eyes fall upon the small chest taken from St. Dimas. “Better take that with me, get the Captain, ack no I mean Captains, to put it away for safe keeping.’

‘Golden Chest of St. Dimas, Treasure of St. Dimas, Cross of St. Dimas, Battle of St. Dimas that almost kill us all, Vision of St. Dimas that saved us all, thank heaven that He who is above us all watches out for fools and Irish men! And I’m claiming the Irish title, the rest of the crew can fight over who’s the fool! Ha!”
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on February 05, 2009, 10:52:13 AM
Roberts had just finished wrapping the herb soaked linens around the bizarre brands on his arms. Stripped to his waist he sat down heavily on the edge of his cot and pondered the meaning of such an occurrence. Not one of the Lin Qui had ever led him to believe there was anything akin to real magic in their practices. As a matter of fact, all that he had learned from them in China deliberately led to the opposite conclusion. They were extremely clever warriors and spies, when necessary, but all their supposed supernatural abilities were as easily explained as a conjurer’s tricks. Once you knew the secret.

Franticly Blackjack searched his memory for some clue that there was more to them than they had let on. Realizing that such panic would be counter productive to his quest he closed his eyes and began one of the meditative breathing exercises they had taught him. Allowing a calm mind to bring back the images of his past.

Roberts had found himself trapped in an Indian prison for the past three months. He had sailed there looking for the secrets of a rumored cult of assassins who may have been able to aid him in his revenge on Terrance Blackwood. They in turn had betrayed him for the promise of the gold the vile English lord had placed on his head, and had him thrown into the dank dungeon while they awaited his cousin’s arrival.

One of only two foreign prisoners, he had been there less than a week when a rather large eunuch, being held for the attempted theft of some of a raja’s harem, had decided that he was due both his and the chinaman’s meager food allowance. Convincing several others to aid him in the attack they bided their time until they thought to catch the two off guard.

Jack pulled every dirty trick he had learned from countless drunken brawls in the taverns and pubs, but never had he seen a man fight like Jun Quon did that day. Had it not been for the results of his movements Blackjack would have sworn the smaller man was dancing? Between the two of them the assault was quickly stymied and the huge instigator lay dead from what looked like a slap to his neck from Jun Quon. The two men became fast friends after that.

To pass the time Jack told Jun Quon much of his story, the Chinese for his part seemed content to let his European friend babble on and volunteered little about himself. Until, two days before Malcolm was due to claim his prize an opportunity to escape presented itself to them.

Their jailer, a brutal and sadistic Punjabi, had come to check on them after obviously having spent way too much time in his cups. Jun Quon began to insult the volatile prison keeper until the bastard drew his scimitar and recklessly charged into the cell with murderous rage. Even weakened by lack of proper food and abuse Jun easily ducked the wild swing and a well-timed foot to the man’s skull sent all fourteen prisoners running for their lives.

Unfortunately, one of the prisoners, hoping to be pardoned ran straight to the guardhouse to sound the alarm and several archers quickly followed them. Just before they had gained the cover of the jungle a lucky arrow slammed into Jun Quon’s back. Despite the Chinaman’s protests to leave him Blackjack slung his friend’s body across his shoulders and ran as if Lucifer himself were on his heels.

“J-Jack. Jack.” Jun Quon coughed blood and it seemed that he had trouble seeing the man who knelt beside his dying body.

“I’m still here, Mate.” Roberts placed one hand on his friend’s shoulder. He had broken off the shaft of the arrow and bound the wound as best he could with the rags they wore.

Amazingly Quon struggled to a setting position against Jack’s protests that he lay still. With one shaking hand he pulled the amulet he had worn, and somehow kept, over his head. Pressing the leather-corded necklace into Jack’s palm.

“You have been a true friend to me in a unfriendly world.” Jun choked. “I have long ago surrendered any right to what this amulet is, and means. Take it back to China, Jack Roberts. Show it to any you meet there and say this.”

Jun Quon made Blackjack repeat the melodious words over and over, until he was certain the larger man knew them by heart. “This amulet will save your life, my friend. They will know, and they can help you in your quest if you prove worthy. Worthier than I, I am afraid. In my homeland you will find that which you seek.”

Jun Quon closed his eyes for the last time, and with the aid of a short, thick branch Blackjack buried his friend as best he could, unwilling to leave him to the beasts of the jungle. A few days later Malcolm almost caught him, and it was with the aid of a special potion an aged guru had taught him to make he escaped to make his way to China, and the Lin Qui.

At the time he had thought that Jun Quon had meant the amulet would keep the Lin Qui from killing him outright. The events of a few hours ago, and looking down at his bandaged arms, he wasn’t so sure.
Post by: lilaney on February 11, 2009, 12:26:44 PM
"Ye great dam fool! Git outa the high lines! ye'll mess'em up"
Lil was greatful for the stiff wind this high up the mast; if she thought hard enough
all her memories would be blown right out of her mind.
Everything would be fine.

Hearing the sounds of shouting and cursing from the Crow's Nest she turned slowly to see Gordy
struggling with some sort of contraption.
"Gordy! It is me! What the hell are you doing!?"
Lil began to monkey climb over to where the able bodied seaman seem to be attaching a tri-pod and strings to the side of his railing.
His struggles so engrossing he did not notice his quarry was two feet from him, idly looking over his shoulder by the time he was ready to fire.
"Demmit! He got away! Gordy grumbled as he began to dismantle what looked like a homemade slingshot.
"Gordy? Where you going to ping me with stones and shot?"
Gordy jumped at the nearness of Lil's voice. He turned a guilty face on her.
"Well, it keeps the others out of my line of sight. Ken't see nuthin when the line monekys are scrabbling around up here. How's I suppose to do me job, eh?"

Lil looked around the horizen, the rock of the boat was more pronounced up here.
Like the rocking of a smooth cradle, and, all at once Lil never felt more tired in her life than she did at that moment.
"May I come in and join you at your post?"
Her words were polite and succint, like she had been taught all those years ago.
Gordy gave her a shrewd eye, and nodded. Watching Lil climb over the rail and ease herself into a cross-legged position, not a yard away from him.
"How's our cookie doin? Did e enjoy meh gift? The birds sed it'da be a nice mention from us"
Lil nodded a slight smile at him.
"Yes, it was a wonderfully thoughtful gift. I bet Martin will have a reward for such friendship, once he is up and about again."
Gordy's eyes were back on the sea, hungrily searching the horizen for a threat.

Lil had a feeling he had forgotten she was even there, and after a while, she believed it herself.
Her mind began to wonder.
That villianous cloud had broken all her mental blocks against past deeds and all the nefarious attacks in her life. She knew if she was going to keep sane, she must either think them through, put a reason on them, or, simply block them back up again to be dealt with at a more convinient time.

"Neh, nuthin out there. I'll ask the birds what they think. They's know a lot, birds. To bad them's ain't proper english birds. These twitters got too much flip in their caws and squeaks can't recognize halfa what they say. Now, a nice english jackdaw, they's good listening, gots great counterpointe."
Gordy stood up suddenly and putting his hands to his mouth began squawking and screaming in what he must have thought was a really good imitation of a sea bird's cry.

Lil was ammused at the preformance.
It reminded her of a parlor party she once hosted and the horridly snobbish baron's daughter's rendition of 'Gone a hunting' she had sung {screached} and played {banged out} on the pianoforte.
The memory gave her heart a tug as it thought of the warm Medditeranian waters of her youth.
'has it been that long ago?' her thoughts reviewed over the past twenty five years of her life.

Gordy was still occasionally screaming, and listening as some birds did seem to reply to his calls.
Lil watched him, unlooking, and thought hard.
"I have lived so many lives in all my short time on this planet."
Her thinking aloud made Gordy flap a hand at her.
"SHHHH!!! This is the best gossip in weeks!! he called again, and the nearest sea bird cryed back.

Gordy laughed aloud and flopped back down on the narrow platform on the lookout post.
His shining eyes and contented look just begged to be asked about what he had learned.
Lil raised an eyebrow at him. Gordy gave a small bounce of glee, like a child with a new toy.
"Oh! You sassy Jack-lass! This'is the best news! Them birds claim we's going home! And they says not to worry a bit, you'll get yer feathers back."
Lil tilted her head.
Gordy shrugged "now, I can't be always translating. You ask'em yerself if'n you want clearer answers." and then, suddenly blinking, he realized that there was a stranger in his space.
He flapped his arms at Lil in a really good imitation of a bird defending its nest.
"Go on! Git! Yeh ain't got no right to be sundry upping me place of work! Go on with ye, yeh addle-pated harpy!"

Lil, realizing that the lucidity of the moment was gone, humbly left the Crow's Nest. All the while Gordy tried to sling pebbles at her with his slingshot.
She kept her head down as the rocks gently bounced off her shoulders.
"En, stay out!"
Lil jumped back down onto the main deck and spied Briggs watching her warily. She felt more herself now, and knowing it would simply get his back up. She winked and blew him a kiss.
He crossed his arms and huffed angrily at her "Do not interupt my men while they work!"
Lil gave a mocking debutante bow that had her almost prostrate to the deck.
"As ye wishet, me lord!" her laughing tone seemed to upset him more.
She wandered to the back taff rails of the ship, viewing the wake as the ship cut through the ocean's waters. Lil knew eventually this part of her life would come to an end, she would deeply miss it, for she had never had such a high time of fun than when she was on the lamb with friends.

"Friends" she mumbled and smiled slightly. It did not occur to her until just that moment that in all her life's adventures this was the only time that she had had true friends to call her own.
A brisk wind blew up and brought with it a spray of salt water, and suddenly Lil felt naked; her heart jumped as she panicked and her mind raced around trying to remember something important.
"Where are all my blades and knives?"
Post by: Hibernian on February 15, 2009, 05:36:03 PM
“It could have been worse, at least nothing irreplaceable was broken.” Brother Timothy surveyed the cabin one last time, the clean up was over, the debris and trash taken care of and he would dare even a novice with his master breathing down his back to do better.

Yet there was still the matter of hardware to be taken care of, hardware in the way of not hinges and beam buckles but a wide collection of blades and throwing stars. It was a miracle, or perhaps the skill of the thrower, that no one had ended up a blade or star embedded in an inappropriate spot. The same could not be said of the cabin walls. Three of the four walls all had chunks of wooden beams and wall boards missing. Brother Timothy had decided to leave them as found, badges of honor in memory of the battle fought and won this day. After all how many crews take on a spirit of hell and live to tell the tale. Then again, “consider the crew.”

Gathering up the various throwing and stabbing implements as well as his own bag, the monk went in search of their owner.
“Best bet will be the sick bay, Elinor didn’t look good and most likely Lil is not far.”
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on February 16, 2009, 01:42:48 PM
Blackjack waited in the shadows of the hallway until he saw Dr. Gander leave. The burning in his forearms had subsided, thanks to the herb soaked bandages, but he was indisposed to have the doctor insist on examine them should they be discovered. He wasn’t sure if Drake had heard Martin’s comment on the ‘burns’ or not, and the last thing he wanted was more questions that he did not have the answer to. For now his shirt hid them well and he hoped none would notice his lack of the usual bracers.

As soon as the ship’s surgeon had turned the corner he slid silently from the concealing shadows. Jack could always say he was coming to check up on Elinor if the captain was still present, and Malcolm could always be warned by covert means if needs be.

Barely cracking the door to the surgery he breathed a sigh of relief. Apparently captain Wench had removed her husband to more private surroundings, and he trusted Elinor and the cook completely. Swinging the door wide he strolled in, Elinor was sleeping peacefully. He favored Martin with a wink as he laid one ringed finger to his lips. His huge friend nodded as Blackjack made his way over to his cousin and pulled Duckie’s stool up close to the cot.

“How ye feelin’, Mate?” Jack placed one hand gently on Malcolm’s shoulder.

“About the same as I did that day we walloped each other with them branches for the better part of the day playing Knights of the Round table.” The raven-haired man grinned. “It’s good to see you again, Cousin.”

“Aye.” Blackjack grinned, pulling his hat off to lay across his lap. “Aye, ta both accounts.” He was pleased that Malcolm seemed much stronger than he had. The sawbones certainly knew his trade.

“Cousin?!!” Martin exclaimed from his own cot. “The two of you are cousins?!!”

“Aye, Mate.” Blackjack grinned. “But ye don’t know the half ‘a it, yet.”

Turning back to his stricken kin Jack sighed heavily. It was time to tell his cousin what he had withheld earlier for the sake of the man’s health. Now he was certain that both their necks could depend on the information Malcolm needed to know.

“Listen, cousin.” Roberts began. “There’s something ye need ta know about the situation ye’ve waltzed in to.”

“More like dragged into, but I understand your meaning.” Malcolm chuckled, then winced with the pain it brought.

“I’ll give ya that one, Mate.” Jack shook his head. Some of Malcolm’s old humor was returning. “But this concerns our other cousin.”

“Cade?” Malcolm wondered. “What could Cade possibly have to do with all of this?”

“Cade!” Martin burst out. “Cade Jennings?!! Are you two related to Cade Jennings?!!”

“Afraid so, Mate.” Roberts cocked his head to one side as he turned in the cook’s direction. “If’n ya please, I’ll be thankin’ ya ta keep that bit ‘a knowledge under yer hat.”

Malcolm sighed. “So what has he done to get mixed up in all of this?”

Roberts turned back to his cousin. “Fer one he’s gone and pilfered the ship half ‘a this crew were sailin’. Fer another he’s gone an done on purpose what ye did by accident.”

Malcolm’s eyes widened. “You mean he…”

“Aye.” Jack’s blue green eyes dropped to the stained floor. “As far as I can tell he were the protégé ‘a one Mad Jack Wolfe, and he betrayed the man with his new wife. Cade did this with something neither you, nor I with Jenny Blackwood, had the benefit of. Full knowledge that he were cuckolding another man. I then believe he stole the lass‘ ship in an attempt ta lure her back ta him.”

“Dear God!” Dagget exclaimed.

“Now if’n ye wish ta keep yer somewhat soiled reputation in Jack Wolfe’s eyes, ye can never let on that Cade be our cousin.” Jack’s eyes locked with Malcolm’s. “We both know that Troy herself were burnt ta the ground fer such indiscretion, and I’ve little doubt Jack Wolfe can be as vindictive as Menelaus where his wife be concerned.”

“I would agree, Jack.” Malcolm looked shamed by the knowledge of what he had inadvertently done.

Blackjack smiled and placed his hand on his cousin’s shoulder again. “It’s settled then. As far as Mad Jack will ever know neither you, nor I are in any way related to…”

The one time highwayman’s words broke off as the door to the surgery unexpectedly opened, and he cursed himself for letting his guard down.
Post by: Hibernian on February 23, 2009, 09:14:33 PM

Most people don’t realize it, but seven out of ten monks agree that the most serious problem they encounter on a daily basis is the lack of pockets in a habit. Walking mid deck on his way toward the doctor’s quarters Brother Timothy was demonstrating why he was one of those seven monks. A scroll under one arm, the remains of a sword under the other, all the while trying to mange a double handful of daggers of assorted size and what appeared to be throwing stars from the Far East.

“I swear on all that’s holy, sometimes, it’s like traveling with children who never pick up after themselves. You’d think that Lil would have missed these by now and come looking. Perhaps there should be a finder’s fee, hah I could charge her three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys for the lot.” Pleased with himself and his little joke the monk stated to laugh and as he did so he lost his grip on the stash of pointed objects just as he reached the door to the surgery. Hearing a voice on the other side he could just barely understand every other word.

Quickly he used his elbow to open the door….
Post by: lilaney on February 24, 2009, 09:54:06 AM
Lil crossed her arms across her chest; she suddenly felt cold.
Without her steal to keep her warm, she felt horribly exposed.

Turning from her beloved Sea, she headed back down into the bowels of the ship.
'cannot believe I left my things behind!' cursing herself silently
she headed for the monk's chamber.

Seeing the door closed, she rapted softly on the old wood.
Shuffling from one foor to another in a very good imitation
of a small child needing to use the privy, she hopped in place as she
waited anxiously for the footsteps inside to reveal itself as her ships
only saviour at sea.
As the door opened, Lil was looking down at her bare feet.
'Now, where did I leave my shoes?' she thought as the light
from the opened door crossed over her toes.
"Oh! Brother! Thank God, pardon but, I left some of my things behind.
Might I have my equipement back, please? Just some simple dirks, some
small throwing blades, a couple of sharps and three stilletos."

The chuckle that came from the booted feet in front of her was definitely not
that of the brown-robed brother of the cloth.
Lil's head whipped up, as she was then staring into a set of smiling eyes.
Duckie quirked an eyebrow.
"So, I finally caught you un-armed then?"

Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on February 25, 2009, 09:22:57 PM
Jack took a pewter cup off a shelf by the bed and filled it with wine.  He handed it to Honour, then filled a cup for himself.
“It would seem meant to be,” he smiled.  “I mean, the odds of our paths crossing once more---”
“Were considerably improved by your searching every nook and cranny in the Caribbean for  me during the past year and a half,” Honour interrupted.  She took a sip of wine and sighed.  “You're such a hopeless romantic.”  She had meant it as a slight, but something happened to her voice that made it sound more like a compliment.
“A hopeful romantic where you're concerned, love,” he countered.  He held his cup out to her.  “To our daughter, Zara Wolfe.”
Honour clinked her cup against his.  “To our daughter.”  She smiled at the memory of their baby girl.  But her smile faded as she thought about how long she had been apart from her precious child.  Too long.  Too many delays.  But that would all change now.
“We have to go right away,” she blurted.
Jack paused and gave her a slight smile.  “I haven't even said yes to going to Wales yet.”
“Don't screw with me, Jack.  I know you want to see her.  You need to see her.  So don't act like this is some sort of negotiation.”
“But, what about your ship?”
“You're aboard her.  Half of it's mine, remember?  You weren't hit on the head that hard.”
“I meant the other ship.  The stolen one.”
Honour drank some wine and shook her head.  “What of it?  It's gone.  We could spend months chasing after that bastard Cade.  Faced with the choice of running him down or seeing Zara again, I choose Wales.  I've been away from Zara too long.”

Jack leaned back on the bed and regarded her.  “What will your crew say?”
“They'll understand.  At least I hope they will.  What about yours?”
“That's the sticky bit,” he said grimly.  “To change course for Wales, that means we go off the Account.  And that won't sit well with some of the men.  Many of them are wanted back in the Commonwealth.  It would be a death sentence for them to go back.”
“I see,” Honour said quietly.
After a long pause, Jack said, “I'd like to say I'll miss them...”
Honour blinked.  “What?”
“We can pick up more crew on Castille del Fuego.  Or St. Kitts or Nevis, on our way through the Windward Islands.  I still have friends there.”
“You... you're saying yes.  Aren't you?”
Jack finished his wine and grinned at her.  “Yes.”
Honour practically leapt out of her chair and landed on top of Jack, peppering him with kisses.  “Thank God!  I knew you'd say yes!”
“Oh, Jack, you are going to love Zara!”
“Um, Honour?”
“And she will love you, too.”
She paused and looked down at him.  “What?”  He was wincing.
“My head, remember?  Not that I mind having you in this delightful position again...”
“Oh!  I'm sorry!” she said, sitting up quickly.
“No, no, it's fine.  Maybe if we took it a little slower?”
“I was just so happy,” she said.  “I got carried away.”
“Far be it from me to dissuade you from showing your appreciation, love...”
“No, you're injured.  You need to rest.”
“Now that you mention it, I'm feeling much better as we speak.  Your kisses have healing powers!”
“Why, yes!  Please, continue with your treatments, doctor.  You patient awaits!”
“All right.  But there's one thing I meant to do.”
“What's that?”
Honour smiled sweetly, and slapped Jack upside the head.

“OWW!!” he yelled.  “What was that for?!”
“For snooping through my things!  Thought I forgot, huh?”  She rolled off of him and returned to her chair, and casually poured another cup of wine.  She tossed her blond mane and gave Jack a smirking glare.
The clanging in his head subsided slowly.  “I hope that made you feel better.”
“Oh, don't be such a baby.  I didn't hit you that hard.”
“I thought we had decided my snooping was for the best?”
“No, I decided I was glad to no longer be burdened with keeping that particular secret from you.  That doesn't excuse you from going through my belongings.”
“What do you mean, 'that particular secret'?  You mean there's more?”

Damn, Honour thought.  Jack had always been able to get her to say too much by making her angry.  And he could make her angry without really trying.  Any other man she could dismiss with a laugh and never reveal the truth.  Not Jack Wolfe.  If he wasn't getting into her bed, he was getting under her skin.  His talent for aggravating her was still impressive, and she caught herself wondering for a fleeting moment if his other talents were still as finely honed.  Honour reluctantly shoved aside the thought and downed the rest of her cup of wine.  Double damn.  Between the day's events and the tainted brownies, the merlot was going straight to her head.
“Stop trying to change the subject!” she argued.
“All too frequently, your secrets are the subject, darling.”
Honour rolled her eyes.  She had fallen into the classic trap.  Never get into and argument with Jack when he was the more sober party.
“You are impossible!” she deflected.
“Not impossible,” he smiled enigmatically.  “Just highly improbable.”
“Don't start with the riddles, Jack, please?  It's been a strange enough day as it stands.”
“All right.  That's fair.  Things have taken a bizarre turn.  I'm not sure I even want to know what was really going on with that... thing.  Or why it was threatening you.”
“I'm not sure I believe it myself.  Can we find something else to talk about?  Something pleasant for a change?”
Jack smiled.  “I know just the thing...”
“Now just wait a minute.  I know that smile.”
“No, not this time,” he laughed.  He leaned forward and took Honour's hand in his.  “Tell me about Zara.  All about her.”
Honour smiled proudly as she looked into her husband's eyes.  “Jack, she's the most beautiful little girl the world has seen.   She has luminous blue eyes and delicate features, with skin almost the colour of almond butter.  Her brown hair is thick and curling, almost long enough to braid when she was born.”
“She sounds perfect.  I suppose she's got your defiant chin, too?”
“And your temper.”
“God help us all!” Jack chuckled.  “And you're certain Zara is a girl?  I mean, they dress babies up so that you can't tell what the devil they are.  Boy, girl, ferret-- it's tough to say some times.”
“Yes, Jack.  I checked, more than once.  No stem on the apple,” she said with a wink.
“There's a cruel twist of fate, don't you think?” he asked as he refilled their cups.
“How so?”
“Jack Wolfe, the father of a little girl?  Think about it.  What irony.”
“There was an Eastern philosophy you told me about one time, where things happen in order to keep the Universe in balance.  What was it you called it?”
“You mean 'karma'?”
“That's the one!”  Honour patted Jack's hand.  “Consider the scales level again, dear.”

“I'd prefer to look upon our daughter as blessing, not a device to make me the butt of a cosmic joke!” he laughed.  He took a swallow of wine and sighed heavily.  “Where do we go from here, Honour?”
“Wales, silly.  Have you been looking down my bodice instead of listening to me again?”
“No, love.  I mean you and me.  What's next for us?”
“What makes you believe I've thought that far ahead?”
“Haven't you?”
Honour reluctantly met Jack's eyes.  “Ever since things went wrong between us, I quit making plans.  Whenever I've dared try, something happens to ruin it all.  So I don't bother any more.  Less disappointment.”
“Surely you had a reason for coming back to the Caribbean.  I can't see you leaving Zara on a whim.  And it can't be because of a forgotten hairbrush.”
“I... I wanted to secure Zara's future.  I felt she would have a better life here in the New World.  That's why I went to Barbados and purchased a plantation,” Honour explained nervously, “so she would never have to want for anything, and she could grow up where she was... where it all started.”
“So you got your plantation after all.  I'm glad.  Does it compare to the one you originally wanted?”
“Almost,” she fibbed.   He didn't need to know just yet how she had bought the plantation before she originally left Barbados for Wales, and covered up the transaction.  “But then I tried to get passage back to Wales, and it's been one misadventure after another.”
“Maybe you were waiting for me to find you?”
She gave him a pained look.  “That blow to the head really addled you, didn't it?”
“What's the matter, love?  Afraid of a little Divine Providence?”
“Jack, I never expected to see you again.  Zara is the embodiment of the best of us, and through her, I knew I'd always have a connection to you.  Whether I wanted it or not.”  Honour paused, and met Jack's eyes once more.  “Yes, Fate has brought us back together again.  And I do want you to see your daughter.  Our daughter.  But the rest of it...  can we for once take it slow?”
Jack smiled.  “A gentle merging, instead of a full-on collision?”
“Do you have a double entendre for everything I say?”
“I try.  I like the way you blush.”
Honour swirled the wine around in her cup.  “And I like the way wine drips off your hair, unless you settle down,” she quipped with a smirk.  “Oh, look who's awake!”

The ship's cat, Lil' Puddin', had come out of one of his favourite napping spots and was rubbing against Honour's legs, purring loudly.
“Someone else is happy to have you back,” laughed Jack.
She giggled and picked the sleek grey cat up in her arms like a baby.  He in turn stretched his neck so he could touch his nose to her cheek briefly.
“He kissed me!” she exclaimed.  “You put him up to this, didn't you?”
“Not at all.  He's only ever that affectionate with you.  The lucky beggar slept with you the other night whilst I was being all noble on the floor.”
“Puddin' gets special privileges.  I like the way he purrs.”
“You could get me to purr...”
“And put an end to torturing you? “  She paused and licked her lips seductively.  “I'll think about it.”
Jack laughed loudly. “Then I shall continue to hope!”
“Good,” Honour smiled, and turned her attention back to giving Puddin' a long overdue belly rub.
Post by: lilaney on February 25, 2009, 09:30:53 PM
Lil gaped for a moment, finding her voice was tougher than she thought.
She finally strangled out
"What are you doing here?"

Duckie stepped aside and motioned for Lil to enter with a gentle bow,
"Looking for answers"
Lil noticed, as she eased by him hugging as close to the opposite wall as she could, he
was still smirking slightly.
'God! I hate being unarmed!' She thought hard as she scanned the now scraped and battered room.
"Where are my things?"

Duckie leaned against the opened doorjamb; arms crossed, he glanced around the room in a cursory way.
With a slight shrug he watched Lil who began inspecting the room a bit more thoroughly.
"Did not see anyone, or anything in here when I came in. Think that the Brother might have picked them up?"

Lil stopped searching at Duckie's words, she did feel like she was invading the private space of a holy person, seeing all his
things laid out and open for anyone's prying eyes.
"I wonder where he took my blades?"
"What I am more concerned with, is what happened here? I have not seen that many holes in a wall, in oh, about six months."

Lil shook her head, keeping the awful memories at bay.
That dam dark shadow was truly a wicked being.
"If you pardon, I do not wish to speak of it. Truly, I believe Brother Timothy will be able to tell you a truer tale. Or, maybe the Captains?"
Lil having given up the search as a bad job, headed for the door.
As she began to cross the lintel, an arm eased across the space, blocking her way.
Her insides twisted, she felt her adrenaline kick in.
Either she was going to kill him, or kiss him.
'But, acording to Queensbury Rule, it is now his move' she thought logically,
so she waited on the doorstep to see what the good doctor was up too.

"It must have been bad to shake up a Valkyrie like you."
His whispered concern was almost her undoing;
Lil felt she had been fair in waiting for him to make the first move, but, she felt that was a low blow.
She moved to shove his arm out of the way, only to be encircled, enveloped and pulled towards his chest into a deep, warm hug.
Lil tried to resist, her efforts were useless.
Duckie held fast until he felt the woman in his arms relax and begin to lean into him, accepting the hug he gave.
Accepting the concern and friendship he held out to her.

She felt so small in his arms; Drake had always thought she was bigger than this.
'Odd, how things are not always what they seem' he thought as he felt Lil lean further into him.
He could feel her fatigue in the way she put her arms around his waist and began to hug him back.
"I believe you need a drink; a nice long nap and when you are ready, a willingly ear. What do you say?"
Lil had had her head burrowed deep into this man's chest, soaking in the warmth and comfort that he offered;
upon hearing his voice, she felt as if a bubble had popped and reality came flooding back in.

She stepped back from him, he allowed her to go, though, she sensed it was not his choice to do so.
Lil looked up into his face, his eyes held so much promise for her, she could see all the answers there.
What she could not do, was unlock her heart to ask the questions; instead, she felt her defenses come back.
Quirking an eyebrow, she crossed her arm back over her chest.
"Dr.'s orders?"
She was not dim, nor witless, she could see the sadness cross his face for a moment, and then his defenses came back.
He shook his head sadly, and turned and walked silently out, and away from Lil.

With the wind knocked out of her sails and feeling quite at a loss for words, Lil fidgeted for a moment; deciding upon a course of action, she took the Dr. at his words and headed for her cabin.
"He is right, I need sleep. I am certainly not thinking clearly at all. What is happening to me?"
She continued to mutter to herself and she got undressed, crawled into bed and spent the next four hours tossing and turning, before falling into an exhausted sleep as she heard the blessed words of "Land ho!" being cried out from one rather daffy lookout from the Crow's nest.

'Good; land..' she sighed as a dark, dreamless sleep finally overtook her.

Post by: Hibernian on March 03, 2009, 09:01:53 PM
The door swung hard and slammed loudly against the wall followed quickly by the crashed of the armory falling from the monk’s hands.

“Certainly Brother you know how to make an entrance.”
“Truly sir, the better not to stumble into situations or conversations where one is not expected. With but the clash of steel upon the deck all will know of my approach and guard well against a penance for acts that should not my knowledge become. As a monk amongst pirates I am perhaps and for the better  the last to know when the tide has shifted and the game is afoot.”

Their eyes briefly met as the thoughts raced in their minds to consider the friar’s words and exactly how much of their conversation had he overheard. Blackjack gently shooked his head as if to silently indicate to his cousin that in this case silence was indeed golden.

“Brother, even the gentiles had their apostle, do not we pirates deserve equal?”

“You sir are a character, of which type one day I will determine, but for now do not even think me in the same league of the apostle. I am but a simple friar with a vision to see through, and amongst you I will remain until such a time in the future when I am taken elsewhere. But now to the matters at hand, or at least those that were once in the hand.”

Looking at the various sharp objects at his feet, “I believe good sir several of these belong to you. The metal stars are interesting, I’ve never seen them used before, something you picked up on your journeys?”

But before Blackjack could answer, the monk had spied Elinore on the far cot and was moving toward her, the daggers and throwing stars now completely forgotten.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on March 04, 2009, 11:34:42 AM
Blackjack walked over to the pile of throwing weapons and quickly stowed the throwing stars into their usual hiding place. Luckily, he had decided in the heat of the unearthly battle not to unleash any of the poisoned darts. For one, he was certain that the addition of the poison would have had no more effect than the stars. For another, he didn’t want to inadvertently kill any of the mortal combatants.

The rest he gathered up, assuming them to belong to Lil, and made his way over to Elinore’s cot. Lilaney had pulled out all the stops while she had been protecting the young scribe. Jack recognized six of the daggers as the ones that were hidden in the bracers he had given to her before they had set out on LaVille du Traitre.

The monk was mumbling something beneath his breath, which Roberts took to be a prayer. From somewhere within the wide sleeves of his robe Brother Timothy produced a small vial that Jack recognized from the times his mother had taken him to church, a vial of Holy Water.

“Something amiss, Friar?” Blackjack remembered many of his Catholic mother’s teachings, and knew something of exorcisms. For a moment he feared that the vile spirit had taken refuge in the young girl.

Brother Tim placed a few drops of the blessed liquid on his right thumb and traced the sign of the cross three times across Elinore’s brow.

“Perhaps nothing, Blackjack.” The holy man replied. “But of all of us, Elinore was touched most deeply by the evil. Better safe than sorry, I always say.”

Replacing the water back into his sleeve pocket Brother Timothy looked at Jack and grinned. “Dr. Gander is an excellent healer of the body, but it is left to those of us who have been called to heal the soul.”

“Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.“ Blackjack whispered the opening of the prayer to the Archangel Michael.

The monk’s eyes widened in surprise. “Jack! You never told me you were Catholic.”

“My mother was Irish Catholic.” Blackjack mused thoughtfully.

“Your father?” The monk queried.

Blackjack grinned ruefully. “English Protestant.”

“Well, nobody’s perfect, you know.” Brother Timothy chuckled.

Elinore’s eyes fluttered open, feeling as if the weight of the ages had been lifted from her. The dark images and thoughts that had haunted her dreams evaporated like a morning mist before the warm rays of the sun. The monk and the pirate smiled, somehow knowing that now the threat of the vile spirit was truly defeated.
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on March 04, 2009, 01:27:35 PM
Spying upon the two gentlemen standing near her cot, her eyes moved from Brother Timothy to Blackjack. "One question," She immediately muttered upon waking, "Who was it that knocked me out like that?" She felt around the back of her head to the bruise that still lay there, as tender as earlier.

"Me, lass," Blackjack responded, bending down so he was at eye level with the scribe. "Couldn't be helped," He murmured, avoiding her gaze. "You'd be lured in by the...thing that had taken up residence in the cabin. The only way I could help it not invade further was to knock you out." He looked pained as he spoke these words, as if this confession took a great deal to divulge. "How's your head?" He asked softly, returning his gaze to her own.

"It hurts, but it's just a bump. It'll fade," She said confidently. She hoisted herself up on one elbow, swinging her legs around to the side of the cot, as if to rise to her feet. The motion was so swift that a shocked Blackjack had to hastily scoot backwards in order to miss getting hit. "Don't worry about it, Blackjack," She murmured, getting to her feet. "I do have one thing to say to you, though," She continued, moving closer to him. "Don't throw your pistol at me again, please. That was far from pleasant," She finished. "But," And at this she turned to both highwayman and monk, "Thank you. I wouldn't have wanted to be the reason this spirit gained form on the ship."

With that, she left the infirmary in search of Lil, Julian, and food, leaving Brother Timothy and Blackjack slightly stunned in her wake.

"Guess our fair Captain's giving her lessons again..."
Post by: Martin Montgomery on March 04, 2009, 11:18:25 PM
 Martin sat up on the edge of the uncomfortable cot that he'd been on for the past few .....had it only been hours since his wound had opened? He was shocked and surprised at the two men's revaluation of family ties,but he himself had a past that even his closest friends on board new nothing about. "Your secret is safe with me my friends!" He made sure that his leg wasn't bleeding and decided to give the cousins a bit more privacy. "Well you two, I think I feel well enough to head down to the galley and supervise the Taylor boys while they do all the prep work for supper! Standing up and weaving slightly the big man made his way from his cot to the doorway,holding to the doorframe he turned to say a jaunty farewell,to the cousins.As he turned his gaze fell on Elinor sprawled across a cot futher away,his eyes closed in silent prayer,martin left the surgery and pulled the door almost closed. "Dear Lord Above" He whispered "Let that girl recover from the horrors of this voyage! She does not deserve the Hell that she has reaped by associating with the likes of the rest of us!"
Post by: Martin Montgomery on March 05, 2009, 11:41:23 PM
Slowly Martin made his way from the surgery forward towards the galley mulling over everything he had found out just by being in the right place at the right time. Roberts, Malcom, and Jennings COUSINS! Welsh Wench and Captain Wolfe,PARENTS! Evil spirits loosed from the treasure chest of Saint Dimas! Welsh Wench possesing incredible magical powers! Roberts owning either Magical or Blessed objects! WW and Captain Wolfe seeming to agree that the ship needed to return to England! And yet most intriguing by far, Lil's iron reserve seeming to visibly crumble under the calm,cool and rather sedate assault of the good Doctor Gander!! With his head feeling light and the dark passageway beginning to spin,Martin placed one large hand upon the worn wooden wall. Suddenly the big man became lost in his own past....... It was a beautiful spring day. Cool crisp air, bright shinning sun, and two young people out on a carefree ride through the countryside. In an instant the big cook realized he was seeing his past. The young man he was watching was himself years earlier. He remember the day vividly,it was burned into his brain. The day was.......painful,but he could not look away. He remembered preparing the picnic basket and riding out to the secluded copse of trees,very early that morning. He had set up a small but comfortable area,blankets and a prepared firepit to ward off any possible chill. The basket,blankets and other special items he had stored in a chest to keep them free of pests. The riders stopped on a small knoll overlooking the prepared site,Martin had then asked the young woman if she wanted to turn back or press on. He knew that he'd asked the question with a lump in his throat the size of his massive fist,but he had held his voice steady. Though the colors of his vision were clear,Martin couldn't hear ANY sound.He knew the answer yet he wished to once again hear the sweet voice that had agreed to go forward. He also knew the sounds that were present when the day had been new,happy birds singing,a pleasant breeze rustling the high branches of the trees,the contented munching of their mounts as they grazed,taking advantage of the short stop. The two rode slowly to the copse and Martin,after first taking care of the horses,led her to the little glen. He could hear in his mind the small exclamation of joy as she surveyed the prepared area. Lighting a fire as she had spread the blankets,the big cook again felt the lump of fear in his throat,was his being here once more going to change the day? He could not bear the thought of loosing the precious memory,so with a quickly beating heart he watched raptly.  The meal went as he remembered,including the part where he spilt hot tea on to her leg!  After finishing the otherwise enjoyable meal the two lounged together closely and time passed,as it does between the young. A smile creased the elder Martin's face as he remembered his own feelings from fifteen years back. Had it been so long?!?! The two had regained control of themselves and were now were resting together,contentment seeming to shield them from the brisk air,each pointing out the shapes they could imagine,out of the fluffy clouds as they passed,with stately progress,the few branches that tried to enclose the clearing's open roof. It had been a thoroughly enjoyable time for the young people and she had turned to him,asking him how long he had planned this. He felt a pang that he could not hear her voice just once more,even as he watched his younger self reach towards the basket again and emerge grasping a small box,quickly tucking it into his beret,a brief flash of bright sunlight reflecting off of a Golden Horsehead Pin. It was her first token to him,given during a sleigh ride a year earlier at Yuletime. She was laying there,nestled in the crook of his left arm. He knew that he had spoken then,but for the life of him he couldn't remember WHAT! The past Martin had crushed the soft headgear in his right hand until she had laughingly made him release the poor distressed thing to her. She had begun to smooth it out and checked to see that her pin was still firmly attached. Her mouth had formed a small "O" as the box had tumbled free,to land in her lap! She picked the small box up with trembling fingers and her eyes..........Her Dark Beautiful Eyes.....the eyes that had captured him Heart and Soul.....were bright with unwept tears. She opened the box and........."OY There Martin!! Ye shouldn't be out of your sick bed! Do'ya want to be on Duckie's bad side!?!?" The dark haired,dark eyed woman disappeared in a bright flash of blinding PAIN!!  The big cook had walked into the solid oak doorframe that led into the Galley! Ye Gods .....His head hurt!!!! "Help me to my own Blasted bunk boys and if ye tell anyone about this .....You might be on the next meals Menu!!!"   
Post by: Welsh Wench on March 10, 2009, 09:47:21 PM
"Honour, where are you going?"
Jack had looked up from upending the bottle of merlot, watching the last drop hang on the lip of the bottle. Shaking it didn't seem to produce any more.
Honour had gently put Puddin' down on the bed and had headed towards the door.
"I have half a ship to run, you know."
"MY ship. My running. Your half is just along for the ride, Honour."
She stuck her tongue out at him.
"Just because you managed to reproduce with me doesn't give you a license to run rough shod over me, Captain Wolfe."
He chuckled. "Would I do that?"
"You wouldn't because I wouldn't let you. I have an errand to run. And then we need to gather our principle crews together and discuss that puff of smoke that tried to take my Elinor and had plans to take our child. Shall we say....eight bells and a few lobsters with drawn butter?"
Jack tipped an imaginary hat to his wife. "You want the ship moved a bit to the left, too, Madame?"
"If you can manage that, yes."

She closed the door and walked down the companionway. And what she saw stopped her dead in her tracks.
It was Duckie.
And Lilaney.
And they weren't exactly talking about septicemia.
Wench drew back into the shadows of the companionway, holding her breath and not moving a muscle.
'Damn, I hate this! I feel like a voyeur.'
She heard their muffled talk and then Lil's voice sharply uttering, 'Doctor's orders?' and take a defensive posture.
Wench's heart sank. Two of her dearest friends were falling head over heels and then Lil had to break the spell.
Duckie walked one way and Lilaney the other.
Wench stood there for a minute, letting them each walk to their respective rooms.
Lil to her bunk, Duckie to the infirmary.
Wench went into the room that she had comandeered from Briggs and went over to his armoire. Which was now hers.
Carefully she took it out of a small chest that held her jewelry and what-nots. She gently lifted out a small valuable, blew on it and polished it on her chemise, then laid it in a velvet bag and drew the strings.
Carefully she made her way down to the bunk where her dear friend, the one who had given her the bracers, was resting. She knocked softly on the door frame.

"Martin? Are you up for a quick visit? If you are too tired, I could come back."
He looked over and smiled. "Not at all, Captain!"
She grinned broadly. "We shall have none of that 'captain' nonsense, especially when we are alone here. Martin, have I ever told you that most of my best times were with you?"
He laughed. "I thought for sure they were with Captain Wolfe."
She felt the colour rise in her cheeks. "Well, a different kind of fun, I guess. But I remember how you paid off my debt to the merchants of Glen Livet when I ran up Captain Daniels' accounts---"
"---which you promptly paid back--"
"--and you dumped the fifty-five gallon barrel of water on me---"
"--only to calm you down--"
"--and then you smacked me--"
"--because you were hysterical---"
She stopped. "Martin, we could go on and on like this all night long. But the thing is, when my life was chaotic, this crew was the only sense of normalcy in my life. And I love each and every one of you and I am afraid that I don't show it as much as I should."
He patted her hand. "You do just fine, Wench. We all have our baggage. And our secrets. But we make it through the hurdles of what we call 'life'."

Wench looked down and said softly, "We know only what we want others to know, Martin. I have my secrets and heartaches. You have yours. Lil has some, Jack has quite a few. Elinor is just starting to experience it. Black Jack is loaded with secrets that he guards in his heart. And I have a feeling that Brother Timothy may not have always been a monk."
She handed Martin a small velvet bag.
He looked at her questioningly. She explained, "One of the crewmen was fishing. He caught a large grouper and when he fileted it, he got more than he bargained for."
Martin opened the bag. Inside was a golden horsehead pin.
She watched as the big man turned the pin over and over in his hand, touching it tenderly.
Wench could feel her eyes filling up with tears as Martin didn't look at her but continued to stare at the pin.
She reached out, tenderly touched his hand and said, "I don't know who gave it to you, Martin, but I know it means the world to you. And whether it was a stroke of fortune or some divine intervention, it has now come back to you."

Martin looked up at her, a tear trailing down his cheek.
"Thank you," he whispered.
Not bearing to see the glimpse into his past that he so carefully guarded, she felt her voice catch as she said softly, "You are so welcome, my dearest friend."

Just then, the call from above was heard.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on March 12, 2009, 12:55:29 PM
Blackjack reached into his shirt and produced a spare black silk head scarf  where he deposited the remainder of the throwing blades. Tying the bundle up he looked up long enough to assure himself that Malcolm was resting peacefully, then picked up the weapons.

“Well, Friar, I do believe it be high time the mistress ‘a these be reunited with them.” He grinned. “Though at the moment I believe our scribe would benefit from a collection of her own.”

Brother Timothy chuckled. “Gave you a bit of a pause there did she?”

“Aye, to a point.” Blackjack grinned. “Yet: O' my word, an she knew him as well as I do, she would think scolding would do little good upon him. She may perhaps call him half a score knaves or so: why, that's nothing.”

The monk’s eyes widened and Malcolm chuckled as the pirate produced a thin black tobacco cigar and lit it before continuing. “Still, I’ve a feeling our demure little scribe has taken away some good from her encounter, and I’ll not be the one to tempt that fate a second time. Though I have become rather jaded to mere words, I’ve little doubt young Elinor is no longer a lass of them alone. And, though I’ve little use for it at the moment, I have come to value my hide.”

The cry of  “Land Ho!” wafted through the open porthole. Blackjack smiled at the effect his quote from Shakespeare had on the holy man. All monks were well educated from times of old, and he knew the meaning would not be lost.

“Now, with’n yer pardon, Friar. I’ll be takin’ Lil’s property ta it‘s rightful owner.” Roberts again fell into the role he had played for the past six years.

Just before he reached the door it opened and Duckie entered. “What on earth are you doing back here, Roberts?” The surprised physician asked, slightly perturbed from recent events.

Blackjack grinned. “Came ta check on me mates, Sawbones. An’ at see if’n I could get me a chance ta even the scales with that scurvy dog ye seem set on keepn’ whole.”

Dr. Gander’s ire broke. “I’m telling you for the last time, Blackjack Roberts, as long as Malcolm is under my care you’ll not touch him! Is that understood?!”

“An’ I’m telling’ ye that as long as that back stabbin’ vermin is aboard his health be a moot point.” Jack shot back chillingly. “If’n yer so conserned with his well bein’, ye’ll do well ta get his bloody arse off’n this ship.”

The doctor and the buccaneer glowered at each other  for a few tense moments, then Blackjack shoved the bundle of knives into Duckie’s hands.

“Any ways the blighter isn’t alone long enough fer me ta do anything ta him. So at least ye can save me the trouble a’ returnin’ Lil’s weapons ta her afore we makes land fall. See’n as how we tends ta stir things up no matter where we land, I’ve little doubt she be need’n ‘em far more’n I. What I need be a full bottle with a loose cork.”

Drake watched Blackjack storm out the door and vanish. “What in Hades could Jenny have seen in that insufferable bastard?” He half whispered to himself.

Malcolm laughed uproariously until he began to cough. “Ducks,” he finally wheezed still chuckling, “If you believe that little act, ‘Ol Squints here has a bridge in London I’ve a mind to sell you.”
Post by: lilaney on March 23, 2009, 11:58:50 AM
Ol' Ed and young Jim stood by the rail as the newest coastline came into view.
"O'l Ed? which port is this'un?"
Ed scratched the spot on his head that was slowly going bare and shrugged.
"Them's all look aloik to'me Jim."
He wheezed a moment and then chuckled.
"Eh, ye get to usta the movin' of the Ol' Girl and ye aint gonna wanna ever leave either."
Jim reluctantly looked away from the inviting coastline and frowned slightly at Ed.
"Leave what?"
Ed limped slowly away, back to tarring the stay lines, he turned and stared in wonder at the young pup.
"Why, ol Poseidin's realm, Amphitrite's pride."
Jim continued to look puzzled. Ed sighed 'I ein't dying 'till they make young ones as smart as I once was.""
The sea you daffy Jack! now back to yer lining, ya rope monkey!"
Jim scurried up the man lines and was gone from sight.
Ed looked and the ever-advancing coast of land.
"Eh.. land always brings trouble."
Muttering he nodded solemnly to Briggs and slowly shambled back to his tasks.

Briggs watched the old tar from his vantage point on the Quarterdeck for a moment and pondered inwardly if he would still be at Sea at Ed's advanced age or, would he even make it to Ed's old age?
Josiah shook his head, and refocused on the tasks before him.
"Oy! You! Get that line laid right!? Want to get someone else killed?"
Briggs loved bellowing, it made the day go by faster.

Drake could hear Briggs all the way in his state room.
He tried to block out the sound of activity that occured everytime the ship prepared to pull into port.
He continued to stare at the weapons before him.
Ducky liked things in order, precise and to the point. Which was why Lil's blades had been cleaned, sharpened and put in order of size, weight and lethal potential, laid out neatly on his personal desk.

He leaned forward in his desk chair, fingers laced in front of his face and stared at the blades.
' What would one say when giving back weapons?'
He ran over several ways in his head.
Seriously handing them over with a poker face at her door.
He cringed as in his mind, Lil glared at him and slammed the door in his face.
Drake ran his hands through his hair and stood up suddenly, he rounded his chair which now stood between him and desk.
He stared at the innocent blades and thought again.

Almost an hour passed and now he was sitting on his bunk staring at the blades from across the room.

Drake could feel it was time to make rounds on his paitents.
The draw of his proffesional mind battled inwardly with his personal mind.
Sighing heavily, his oath won out and he headed out the door, glancing only a moment back at the blades.

The thumping, banging and swearing was what drew Lil slowly out of her black, dreamless sleep. Lil opened her eyes and stared at the overhead above her, which would be the main deck of the ship.
Which in her mind meant they were much closer to land than she thought.
After a healthy bout of swearing quite colorfully at the ceiling, Lil rolled over and sat up. 
She was tired, much more so than before she went to sleep.
Her mind was running faster than she could catch up with.
"Ah, Drake, you are making me crazy."
Lil enjoyed the dark of the cabin; it felt to her like the space would keep her secrets as long as the lights were out.
"I am such a dork, why would I screw up such a nice moment?" She asked herself; getting dressed in the dark was old hat to her. She always kept her clothes neatly at the end of the bunk. Lil liked chaos as much as the next sailor, but, when it came to her personals, she had a rhythm that had to be met or she did not feel right about the day.
"Sailor superstitions, gotta love'em."
Her mind continued to whirl around the last time she was near the good doctor.
"For heaven's sake! It was just a hug! God! Lilianna, what the hell are you going to do if he ever held your hand? faint?"
She picked up one of her many scarves and wrapped it around her waist, without her blades on, she needed to improvise her protection. Scarves were wonderful for their multi-purpose usages.
Feeling it was time to go, she opened the door to let in the light.
The cast of dim light from the hall threw the cabin into contrast and Lil sighed as she focused her mind to come back on task, and to not think of Dr. Gander.

Would have been easier said than done if Lil had not taken three steps out of the door and crashed right into someone.
"dangnubbit, Duckie!"
Blackjack sat up from the pile that he and Lil had become on the floor.
Quirking an eyebrow he smirked knowingly at the now scarlet-faced nurse.
"Really? That bad, love?"
Lil refused to look him in the face, even after she scrambled back to her feet and they were both standing.
Blackjack patted her roughly on the shoulder.
"Well, thanks for the tumble, love. Maybe next time you can reherse with the right gentleman?"
Lil looked up, anger flashing in her eyes.
"Back to normal, now eh? Have a good one. I'm off."
Blackjack swaggered away, if Lil was not having a bad time of it, she would have complimented him about his figure.
"Maybe next time."
Her head now set squarely on her shoulders she made her way back to the Brother's stateroom.
A soft tap on the open frame and the brother looked up from his papers.
"Pardon, Brother Timothy. But, have you seen my weapons? Last place I left them was here."
The Brother smiled and shook his head.
"No, that was hours ago. You missed supper, by the way. I gave them over to Blackjack, who I believe left them in the care of Dr. Gander. Have you seen Elinor yet? She told us you were asleep in your cabin."
Lil felt a thrill race down her back.
Her beloved blades were in Drake's hands?
"Uh, no, thank you, Brother. I have not seen Elinore. I will find her as soon as I retrieve my blades. What time is it?"
Brother Timothy told her it was two hours before sunset and she'd best hurry or there would be no food left at all.
Lil was furthest from hunger than she had ever been in her life.
Even brownies did not sound apealing at the moment.
Leaving his doorstep she walked straight down the hall towards the Surgery.
'I have to get my blades back. Who knows what he'd do with them.'

Thoughts fled from her mind as the Surgery door opened and Dr. Gander stepped into the passageway.

Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on March 23, 2009, 07:00:30 PM
Carefully removing her bodice dagger, Elinor slashed at the open air, breathing deep as she did so. Narrowly missing a passing crew member, she slashed at the air once more, imagining it to be an enemy, whether corporeal or non-corporeal. "You're training yourself, now, are you?" She heard a voice ask behind her. It seemed to cut through the hustle and bustle of the crew making ready for port. She swung around, holding the dagger in front of her warily, and found herself staring at Julian. He raised his hands in surrender, and she relaxed her grip on her weapon, putting it cautiously back into her bodice for safekeeping. "Sorry," She finally managed, giving her fellow scribe a small smile. "After waking up from...from something, I decided that I would no longer be defenseless. I would do my best to train, become better at combat, so I wouldn't have to be rescued all the time," She explained, moving forward to stand almost toe to toe with him.

"I wouldn't mind rescuing you," Julian murmured, glancing into her eyes steadily.

"And you'll be there to rescue me, like you were when I got shot, will you?" Elinor asked bitingly, returning Julian's gaze with raised eyebrows and eyes that were as cold as ice. He stepped away then, giving her a wide berth. "I thought you'd forgiven me for that," He muttered quietly.

"I don't think I ever will," Elinor replied, equally as quietly. Keeping her chin up, she watched Julian leave her sight, and it wasn't until she could no longer see him that she let her confidence deflate like a sack with no air inside it. "Brownies," She muttered. "Martin's brownies will cure this, I'm sure of it." Setting on the course she'd delayed by her impromptu air-fight, she made her way towards the galley, hoping to see Lil and Martin's friendly faces as she did so.
Post by: lilaney on March 27, 2009, 11:41:11 AM
"Ah! Bugger! 'nother splinter! I's swear, I be getting a new pair a boots in the next port!"
" Oh, aye, ol' man, and I'll be winning them of you as well in the next round of cards!"

The banter about the crew was high as the excitement of the approaching port grew closer and closer.
They could make out the towns taller structures and the small ships moored in the bay.

"Thankfully we caught the afternoon tide, or we'd be stuck on that bloody sandbar created by Neptune hisself"
The Sandbar in question was a wonderful defense against invaders and a pain in the arse for their commerce.

 This island had one thing that was the greatest jewel for the knighthammer crew aboard the El lobo Mar and there, sitting right out in there Westerly view was ship that to anyone who did not know her would not have looked twice over.
The ship looked worse for wear, a bit moldy overall, and the sails needed fixing badly.
But, to the tars, she was their love; for the Knighthammer as she was called, beckoned them to come and save her from the tryanny that had overcame her.

Josiah Briggs saw the ship and frowned.
Night was coming in a few short hours and the Captain(s) would need to be told of this discovery.
Without those who would wish them ill being roused to the defense.
"I hope they have a plan." he muttered as he made his way belowdecks.

Post by: Hibernian on March 27, 2009, 12:38:25 PM
“I would say it’s still a couple of hours before sunset. More importantly young lady. if you haven’t eaten yet, you had best be off to the galley before everything is gone and you find yourself fasting till morn.”

“Thank you Brother, but I still have some things to find first.”

The friar stared at the empty space left by the departing girl, the papers in his hands forgotten for the moment. Things to find, funny she wasn’t the only one aboard looking and dam that idiot of a want-to-be pirate who stole my dog. If I ever get my hands on him I’ll be on my knees doing penance for a month.

A loud exhale followed by the crash of papers upon the desk, standing up and moving to the porthole shaking his head and disgusted with himself,  "Easy now Timmy me boy, keep that temper under control, don't need to have repeats of past history. Stay focused on the task at hand and the search, the rest will come in time."

Feeling the need to regain his composure; knowing that meditation and prayer would help, the monk grabbed his breviary off the bed and headed for the quarterdeck.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on March 27, 2009, 05:17:19 PM
Blackjack had returned to his bunk after the collision with Lil. The burning in his forearms had lessened enough for him to risk putting his bracers back on. Strange that, he would have sworn the burn would take at least three days to reach the level of healing he perceived. Still, no sense looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Reaching beneath the bunk he pulled out a bottle from the bag Rubin had secreted there for him. Thanking the huge Kushite for his optimism Jack pulled the cork free with his teeth and spat it across the floor.

Taking a huge gulp he welcomed the familiar burn of the rum and began to take stock of his current situation.

From the scuttlebutt on the Lobo del Mar he gathered their next course would be merry old England, herself. That could prove to be a bit sticky. True Malcolm no longer dogged his every step, but that didn’t mean the rest of the old homeland wasn’t looking to cash in on the price he still carried on his head. Within a few moments half the bottle had been drained, and Roberts was no closer to an answer than when he started.

“To Hell with this!” He cursed, tossing his hat onto the bunk. No sense in sitting in the dark, getting drunk, and worrying about things he had no control over. Better to go topside and make himself useful.

As he stepped out onto the polished deck Blackjack tossed the empty bottle overboard and swung up into the rigging to help with the sails. Besides, he hardly looked the gentleman bandit he had been over six years gone now. It was quite likely none would be able to identify him now.

“Love me fer a land Lubber, Roberts!” One of the Lobo’s crew exclaimed. “Climbin’ about up here wit’ yer boots on? Are ye daft, man? Ye’ll fall ta yer death sure!”

“Perhaps, Mate.” Roberts grinned. “Could be just as easily shot, ‘er hung from a yardarm. Either way, I’d prefer ta meet me maker wit’ me boots on, thank ye kindly.”

“Whew! And drunk ta boot, if’n I’m any judge.” The old salt laughed. “Well at least try’n hit th’ drink, if’n ye please. Them decks just been swabbed!”

“We have an accord, Mate!” Blackjack laughed as he worked away.

Blackjack wasn’t worried about losing his grip on the ropes. Compared to lifting and carrying large jars that were continually weighted with ever increasing amounts of sand, holding onto the rigging was just short of child’s play. That thought proved to be a mistake. Memories of Mi Lin rushed unbidden to his mind.

“I can go with you, Jack. Grandfather gives us his blessing if you wish to take me with you.” He could see tears beginning to form in her almond eyes.

“Were it not for the enemy who pursues me I would take you with me, Little Flower.” He said lowly. “I have lost one love to the fate my choices have made for me. I’ll not lose you that way as well.”

“Life is no more certain here, Jack Roberts!” Mi Lin reasoned back. Jack smiled. She only used his full name when she was upset with him.

“You are safer here with your clan to protect you.” He softly lifted her chin. “At least I’ll know you have not died because of me. I sail tomorrow, alone.”

“Our clan.” She corrected him. “You are a part of our family, no matter your birth. As long as the Lin Qui exist, you have a family here with us.”

The word Knighthammer broke into his thoughts and Blackjack’s ears immediately picked up. Looking out at the port from his vantage poin the saw the sad shape of an ill kept ship. One that despite neglect showed the line of a once fine vessel.

Blackjack’s eyes rolled heavenward. “Damn it all to bloody Hell, Cade.” He whispered to himself. “At the least I hope you've had the good sense to get as far from that ship as possible. For if you haven’t, all Hades is about to break lose.”

As he climbed down from the rigging Jack had a feeling that his last thought was the most likely to prove prophetic.
Post by: lilaney on March 30, 2009, 02:14:14 PM
From the feel of the deck below her booted feet, Lil knew they had just hit harbor water.
The sway became choppy and less smooth, like water being shaken in a jar.

Lil had apparently seen the good Dr. in the hall before he spied her.
Her greatest wish at this moment was to blend into the shadows around her, but there were none to be found.
Drake stared at the floor as he continued to walk towards her;
 Lil knew that meant he was thinking about something quite hard.
Walking on a moving ship while staring at the floor was a bad combination all around.

Hoping and wishing for luck she tried to move to the sides to allow him to pass blissfully unaware of her presence. Sadly, her feet would not budge from their position. Her pulse began to race as he drew nearer and nearer.

Dr. Gander sidstepped her frozen position in the middle of the hall, and continued right on walking.

Lil; momentarily shocked at this, was outraged.
'How dare he not see me!'
Then her embarrisment came flooding back as she checked to ensure she was properly dressed like a girl and Drake had not simply thought her a sailor and wished not to be interuppted.
Nope, she had the skirt, the boots, the top. She was a girl at this moment.
"Oh! How rude!" She shouted to the empty hallway.

Stomping towards the surgery, Lil stuck her head in to see a man on one of the cots asleep.
Not wishing to wake him. She gave the room a cursory glance and saw none of her things.
Thinking a moment, she felt a shiver run down her spine.
'He wouldn't' she turned and eyeballed his private stateroom door, 'he couldn't'.
Lil felt her mind screaming "BAD IDEA! BAD IDEA!!" as she slowly walked towards the door and, with a slight tug on the latch, sailed right on through.

"Aha!" she exclaimed as she saw her glorious weapons in plain view before her.
greedily, she hurried to the desk and began replacing them upon herself.
One by one, she felt the metal greet her like a long lost friend.
Their warmth and companionship made her become more and more at ease.

Turning a quick head to the open door, Lil felt a stir of mischief overcome her.
She was truly in the Lion's Den and no one was here to see her spy a bit.
"I wonder what the good Dr. thinks about." she muttered as she saw his personal log tucked
neatly away in an insert in the desk. Lil thought the desk looked quite neat and tidy, she made a mental pause to applaud this man's want for order as her hands took the book and flipped it open.

"Hmmm.. goes back almost five years, Lord! And every page full. Lots of things on this man's mind."
Lil tried to read the handwriting. Drake's writing was that of a true doctor, chicken scratch.
"Light's not good enough in here."
As she made to light the oil lamp on the desk she heard a cough from the lintel.

Thankfully, to Lil's mind, the hand holding the book was tucked in close to her chest.
She whipped her right arm around as she spun, and now the journal was behind her back,
she took a deep breath as she spied the man before her.
"Briggs! You scared the life out of me!"

Josiah stood at the Dr.'s door glowering at the woman before him. It was not that he did not like her, but, he did not like people who caused trouble. Especially on his ship.
"What are you doing in here?"
Every word bit into Lil as she slowly slipped the journal between her shirt and her bodice. Feeling it become secured, she smiled brilliantly at Briggs.
"Simple enough, I came for my property."
The face before her was stony, he was not smiling.
"And.. what could Dr. Gander possibly have of yours in here?"
Lil lifted her chin and glared at Briggs down her nose.
"None of your business, now if you'll excuse me."

Lil meant to sail right by the man, only to have an elbow gripped firmly in his grasp.
"I don't think so. We'll see what Drake has to say about this before you run away this time."
Post by: Hibernian on April 07, 2009, 09:01:04 PM
The bustle of the crew assaulted his ears as he step onto the main deck. What might appear as chaos to the uneducated eye was actually a well trained crew going about the business of bringing a sailing ship into port. Men sprinted to the rat lines and made their way to control the billowing clouds of sail, while others secured the ship that was now being punished by the choppy water of the harbor. Each knew that a moments lapsed of attention could lead to placing the ship in jeopardy and even worse would call down the master’s line upon their back.

The monk walked toward the stern making his way through the crew without incident, which was quite amazing as his head was bowed over the breviary in his hands. The crew; now use to having a cleric on board; didn’t give him a second glance. Those close enough and paying attention as he moved by heard the “church language” and just assume he was praying, after all isn’t that what he was suppose to be doing? More than one of the pirates hoped the old monk was praying for them, just because pirates didn’t have time or an inkling to attend to the various gods of the world, it didn’t mean they would turn down any advantage someone else’s praying for them would offer.

Clancy had been left in charge when Mr. Briggs went below to consult the Captain. His orders were to keep the crew peaceful and busy and maintain this heading to bring the ship in, Briggs or the Captain would be back before the needing the next heading. Easy enough, keep to the heading and keep the crew busy.

Looking out across the main deck checking the crew’s progress, Clancy’s eye was drawn to the brown robe moving toward him. Of course he knew the monk, had even spoken with the brother once or twice in the past over whether there would be rum in heaven. The crew had been enthused when the monk assured them that any loving father such as God who could change water into wine could also change water into rum, all one needed to do was make peace with the Almighty and join the family so to speak. While none of the crew took him up on it right then, that wasn’t to say some them didn’t think long and hard about it.

“Well met Brother.”
“Blessings of the day Clancy, if you don’t mind I’ll be just be praying by the back railing.”
“Just keep it peaceful Brother.”
“Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio…” The monk was already in prayer as he moved to the stern.

Clancy was pleased, things were going well, even if he said so himself, keep the crew busy and peaceful and keep the heading. Being an officer isn’t that hard,  perhaps Briggs and the Captain would move him up in line, that would be nice, less manual labor more time on the quarterdeck. More time on the quarterdeck with the pretty ladies.

“Ahoy forward, whats going on, why aren’t you working up there?” Clancy saw several crewmen looking and pointing toward the harbor. A growing sound of the buzz told him more men were now talking than working. Moving toward the forward rail he strained to hear what was going on, what were the men pointing toward?

“What is it, what are you saying? Dam it man, don’t yell it from up there, come to me!”

“Clancy you idiot, look at the lines of that ship ahead, the one at anchor just two points off the bow.”
“Fine I see a ship, it’s a harbor what were you expecting?”
“It’s their ship”
“Ok it’s their ship, I’m sure that crew is happy you gave it to them.”
“No, not their as in that crew but theirs as in that crews!” pointing his hand. Clancy suddenly realizes the sailor is pointing at the monk.
“Oh bloody hell, you mean that’s the Knight Hammer out there?”

“Knight Hammer?” The two words broke through the prayful concentration and immediately moved the monk to action.
Walking over to the pair, the monk’s right hand quickly snapped grabbing  the pirate by the ear and twisting.
“Where away?”
In a pained voice “there” and points forward just aside of the bow.

Dropping the one pirate, Brother Timothy extended his other hand palm up toward Clancy, “give me your glass.”

Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on April 13, 2009, 09:33:33 PM
"I don't think so. We'll see what Drake has to say about this before you run away this time."

As Elinor approached the surgery in hopes of finding Lil -- And hopefully she won't be engaged with Dr. Gander when I find her, she thought -- She heard voices inside the inner room of the surgery. Curious, she stepped inside the surgery, and crept quietly towards the door to Dr. Gander's private stateroom. As soon as she saw Briggs holding Lil by the elbow, Elinor assumed her customary hands-on-hips, eyebrows-furrowed gesture of disapproval at Lil's supposed conduct. Because, clearly, she wouldn't be in such a position if she wasn't making a little mischief...And she wouldn't be Lil if she wasn't! Elinor thought. Try as she might, she couldn't hold the stern expression for long. Before long, her lips curled upwards into a grin, and a twinkle came into her eyes. She shook her head. "Lil! What mischief have you gotten yourself into now?" She asked playfully, entering the room.
Post by: lilaney on April 14, 2009, 01:10:49 PM
Lil's face broke into a brilliant smile.
"Why Elinor! It is wonderful to see you up and about!! How are you feeling, thank you Briggs, I have it from here." She went to tug out of his grip.
Her voice was higher and louder than normal, but, the sense of relief of finding a perfect 'out' caused her to be overly joyful.
Briggs did not believe it for a second and when Lil went to tug out of his grip a second time, he held fast. Giving a courteous nod to Elinor he spoke as politely as he could in presense of what he thought was a proper person.
"Begging your pardon, Elinor, but, this one needs to speak to the good Dr. first before seeing to you. If you wish to accompany us, I do not think either of us would mind."

"Josiah? May I ask what you are doing in my quarters with two unaccompanied young women?"
Dr. Gander stepped over the threshold and was almost nose to nose with Briggs before Lil could blink.
It could have simply been her heightened sense of her own trouble, but, Lil felt that Drake was looming over Briggs. Which was a bit odd, seeing as they were not that much different in height.

Elinor had come to Lil's right side, and planted herself in a stance of defense, Lil sensed she had a weapon out and felt a bit shame-faced for being caught so easily. How had it all gone so wrong so quickly?
There was a tense moment of silence as the two men seemed to silently communicate; Lil felt the pressure come off her arm as Josiah dropped her elbow and stepped back. Dr. Gander paitently watching him move away.
"Not my place to spread rumors, but, Drake you need to be careful around that one."
Briggs sent a glance that spoke volumes about what he thought of Lil as he gave a quick bow and left the room.
Elinor placed a hand square between Lil's shoulders. Lil tensed as she felt Drake's personal log being shoved into her spine.
"I wanted to thank you Dr. Gander, for all the hard work and effort you have done to help me."
Elinor was physically pushing Lil out the door as she prattled her thanks to the lone figure of the Dr. behind her.
As soon as she crossed the lintel, she slammed the door, practically in Drake's face.
Grabbing Lil's hand she pulled her along until they reached their shared stateroom.

Lil opened the door and the two piled into the safety that was their room.
"Phew! That was a close one! Thank you, Elinor, for a second I thought I was a gonner."
Elinor was frowning at Lil, she crossed her arms as she watched Lil remove all her weapons and slide, what she suspected when she first felt it as she was shoving Lil from the room, a book from her bodice.
"You are welcome, but, can I ask? What is that?"

Post by: Welsh Wench on April 19, 2009, 04:42:23 PM
Captain Wench turned to Martin and said, "Land ho! LAND HO!"
She rushed to the porthole and looked out.
"Oh, Martin! It must be San Graael!"
She left to run up to the top of the deck. Martin kissed his horsehead pin and attached it to his beret.
"It was meant to be. She will always be a part of me."
Wench and Jack almost collided in their haste to reach the deck.  She smiled broadly, "San Graael---how is your credit there, Jack?"
He scowled. "My credit is fine. But you overspent in La Ville de Traitre and I am now cutting you off.  We are here supplies only and.....oh, bollocks!"
The two glanced over to the harbor. Like a wounded soldier raising his arm in a last valiant effort to victory, there she stood.
The Knight Hammer.
The entire crew of the Knight Hammer rushed to the deck.
"OH, MY LORD!" breathed Martin.
Lilaney, Elinor and Brother Timothy stood open-mouthed at the ship gently bobbing in the harbor like a cork trying to stay afloat.
Its sails were tattered, the main mast was broken, and the rigging was whipping in the breeze, wrapping and unwrapping itself from the mast, depending on which way the wind was blowing.
Mason stared at the ship. "Looks like she's been in a battle."
"Where is the crow's nest?" Black Jack Roberts asked.
"Guaranteed she has been in the harbor for a while and she has fallen victim to scavengers," Jack said.
Wench felt the tears well up in her eyes as she stared at the ship she had once commanded.
"Bastards," she whispered.
Jack moved to put his arm around her. She shrugged him off, then turned on her heel and went below.
Jack stood there bewildered. Brother Timothy said in a low voice, "Let her be, Jack. She's in shock."
He nodded slowly as everyone stared at the relic of what used to be a proud ship.
Elinor murmured, "I wonder if it still has the marble tub..."
Honour sat on the edge of the bed, a thousand and one emotions flooding through her. A part of her longed for the ship but another part of her wasn't ready to go back to the command of the Knight Hammer.
She also longed for Jack's touch and the promise of what may develop. But the Knight Hammer also represented to her.....freedom. The second thing she craved. But to get the foremost thing in her life that she wanted--love--she would have to forfeit the other.
Was she ready to do that?
This was one time Wench couldn't do what she wanted. And what she wanted to do was run. But there was no place to run to anymore.  She felt the tears come unbidden to her eyes and she laid her head on the pillow and sobbed.
Post by: Welsh Wench on April 19, 2009, 04:44:55 PM
The door opened quietly and a voice said softly, "Captain?"
She looked up and the owner of the voice said bravely, "I loved her too."
Mason stood there with his hat in his hand.
"You may be the captain but I need to say my piece."
She hastily wiped her face lest Mason see her tears. Not very captain-like.
"No sense wiping your face, Captain. I know you are affected. Mind if I sit down a moment?"
She shook her head wordlessly. Mason pulled up a chair, facing his captain.
"Captain Wench, I may not be the brightest crew member--although I am a damn fine fisherman--but it doesn't take a brain to realize the ship is just that.  A ship. It's a shell,  just like the skin that covers what is inside. The heart. Captain, the heart of the Knight Hammer IS the crew. All of us. Yeah, we melded into the crew of El Lobo del Mar."
"Hear me out, Captain. What do you think El Lobo would be without Mad Jack Wolfe? Briggs? Gordie even?" Each one contributes. One may be the heart, one may be the breath of air. Hell, Gordie is probably the eyes of the ship!"
She smiled slightly as Mason continued, "From what Davis told me, El Lobo del Mar used to be a Spanish ship. Used to be known as the Mercedes, the ship of some colonel turned Count. Do you think of her as Spanish? No. She be English through and through. And what makes her that way? The people, Captain, the PEOPLE! The blending of our crews has been for the good. Miss Elinor be gettin' mighty feisty while Miss Lilaney has been gettin' softer around the edges. I credit Dr. Gander for that. The El Lobo crew looks better now that Martin is feeding them. Black Jack Roberts has brought a knowledge of ways we never even heard of. And Brother Timothy---well, the men don't cuss and spit quite as much as they used to."
"That's true but--"
"And you--look at you!--ye don't even notice it but there be a smile on your face for no reason and ye have a spring in your step. Jack Wolfe put that there."

He jingled his purse and grinned, "And ye be putting coins in my pouch, too!"
"And how do you figure that, Jason?"
"What-EVER!  How do you figure?"
Mason laughed, "Me and the El Lobo crew bet almost daily that ye can best Mad Jack Wolfe in a battle of wits. I say to them, 'Ye watch! She side-steps him and then lightly taps him on the arse with that rapier wit before she scampers off!' Although I almost lost it over the brownie-thing."
Wench gave a genuine laugh.
"What I am trying to say, Captain, is what will be, will be. Things happen for a reason and that reason is the way the Good Lord intended it to be."

He stood up and put his hat on.
"Thank you, Mason."
"That's Jason---wait! You got it right!"
Wench laughed, "I knew it all the time!"
Jack stood on the deck looking at the Knight Hammer and wondered if he were to lose Wench forever to a pile of canvas, a hull and a deck. She came up behind him and laid her hand on his shoulder.
"I need to look for a few things. First and foremost are Amber and Muir. I know Cade well enough to know he would never turn them loose to fend for themselves."
And Gwydion's book, she thought. If it is in the last place I hid it.
Just then a flash of blue landed on Wench's shoulder. Jack glared. Blue looked at Jack with baleful eyes and peered over Wench's shoulder into her cleaveage. She laughed and pet the parrot.
"I'm sorry, Blue. No rum in there today!"
Jack ran his hands through his hair and muttered, "Can this day get any better? First a scavenged ship---and now a rum soaked bird!"
Post by: Hibernian on April 19, 2009, 08:55:07 PM
Taking the glass from the sailor and putting it immediately to his eye kept those around him from seeing the pool of tears gathering and waiting to overflow down his cheeks. As the monk fought to regain his composure, a hundred thoughts all raced through his mind at once. Dam it Timothy, think before you act, you’re not some young whelp of a pup, remember in haste one misses the mark and the signs left behind. Madre Dios, what could have happen?

The Lobo continued its slow entrance into the harbor, the sails holding just enough wind to counter the tide. That same tide was now swinging the Knight Hammer about her anchor point presenting a panoramic view of the ship as like a lady twirling in her dress for her lover before a night on the town. But this lady had clearly seen better days.

The damage to the masts and rigging was no better when viewed from any view of the ship. The cause of the damage was hotly debated amongst the Lobo’s crew, many thought she had been stripped by a massive gale while others suggested a more man made violence.

But as the Knight Hammer’s starboard side came into full view, the red stains upon what remained of the railing and the gaping hole just above the waterline and behind cannon number 4 settled the question.

“I need to board her, where is the Captain? Get me Jack, I need to get over there.”

“Brother don’t even bother, let those spirits rest, besides she stripped empty by now.”

The monk looked at the sailor, “I do not fear spirits, my faith protects me, what I do fear is not knowing the answer to questions, and those answers may be over there in that hulk. We will not find anything if we remain here, thus I must go there. I will say this only once more, get the Captain now."
Post by: lilaney on April 22, 2009, 02:02:25 PM
Lil stared gape-faced at what was once her beloved piece of the future.
The Kight Hammer the once proud ship, now was alone and broken.
She felt helpless, she knew the scavengers would have stolen all onboard of worth already; no point going and looking.
Her mind whirled around what had been left on the ship that would have been of some worth, and where she might be able to find them in a sea-side marketplace.
'Lucky thing thieves are fools, and will sell your own jewlery three feet from where they stole it from you.' Her eyes roved over what had to be the Market area in the towne and spied Elinor's eyes tracking the same place. Elinor deliberately moved away from Lil. To the untrained eye, it might have looked like Elinor was getting a better view. But, Lil knew better.

Elinor was still not talking to her. Lil could understand why, if she had half the morals of Elinor she wouldn't have even stolen Drake's personal log in the first place. But, dangit! She needed information.
And what better place to retrieve it than from the source himself?
Just before they had all been summoned above boards; Lil handed the personal log book over to Elinor who read the first page and frowned.
"This isn't yours, Lil. You have to take it back."
Lil felt slightly wrong footed at that. She was going to take it back! After she had had a good look at it. "I will!"
Elinor placed the book back in Lil's hands and gave her a stern look.
"You have to take it back now, that's personal! How'd you feel if he stole something of yours and read it."
'I'd cut his eyes out of his face.' Lil thought, but, didn't bother answering.
This was different than her life. This was his life they were talking about.

"Well?" Elinor prompted. Lil shrugged her shoulders and sighed, giving in would be easier than fighting.
She didn't want to completely alienate her friend, she had so few already.
"Fine, I'll take it back."
"Right now?"
"Yes, right now. But, Elinor! Just think! Drake has known Jack well before our Captain knew him, imagine what he might have written about?"
Lil knew she was playing unfair, Elinor loved a good story as much as she did, but, when your back's against the wall, you pull out all the stops.
Elinor's eyes lit for a moment, then she frowned even harder.
"No! Now, Lil take it back to him now! Maybe he might even not be mad at you."
'Drake, be mad?' the thought never occured to Lil, why would Drake be mad at her?
Then it all dawned on her and a sick feeling came into her stomach.
Maybe his past was just as bad as her's and maybe reading about it might make it sound worse than if he just told her about it.
Heaving a huge sigh, Lil put the book into one her numerous hidden pockets on her skirt and gestured for Elinor to precede her out the door.
"Fine, I see your point. I'll take it back to him right now. You can even watch me. Fair?"
Elinor was still eyeing her, but, nodded. She would forgive Lil in the end, but, someone had to keep her on the straight and narrow.

A thrill went up Lil's spine; she wouldn't have to return the book afterall!
"Saved by the bell" she muttered and unfortunately Elinor heard her.
They both scurried to the rail and now Lil had the evidence on her and at any moment that Elinor felt like it, she could spill the beans to Drake.

Lil weighed the outcomes heavily and decided to only catch a glimpse of Drake's past before handing the book back to him, or even better, slipping it back in his stateroom without being noticed.
Seeing as Elinor was already mad at her, what more devil could she call upon herself?

Moving slowly along the rail until she found a tall coil of line, Lil dropped into the center of coil, cutting off anyone from sneaking up on her from the rear, or the sides. Safely, in her darkened space of privacy, and with a quick glance around, she pulled the book out and let the pages fall open where they willed.

Lil eagerly stared at the page, and the longer she stared at it, the more confused she became.

Cinchona Rubiaceae for Malaria, Phosphorescent et Vieques for Maldemar, Agathosma Buchu for Merriment. 32% for potency.

She puzzled and puzzled, just then, the sun overhead darkened and she was blighted into shadows.
"What the...?"

"Honestly, I prefer Palinka, over Kirchwasser. But, when one is in dire straights, one must come up with something to sooth the nerves."

The bottom dropped out of Lil's world.
She did not need to look up from her hiding space to know who was calmly talking over her.
His voice was pleasant, Lil blamed the ocean breeze for assisting with that.
Slowly, she closed the book and raised her arm high up for him to take back what was rightfully his.
She felt him take the weight of the tome, brushing his fingers slightly against hers as he took full possession of his own personal log.

It was shame she felt just then.
Never had she felt so bad in her life. If the world swallowed her up now, she would gladly go without a fair-thee-well to anyone.

"Oh, Lilaney? Would you meet me in the Surgery this evening? We have some matters of importance to discuss."

Lil did not move, she felt the baseboards move as he walked casually away.
She did not want to see Elinor, who might either smirk or feel bad for her.
She did not want to see Gordie, or the Captain, or Martin.
If she could be buried in that coil of line for all eternity, so be it.

"Looks like ye'll finally be getting your just desserts for all the trouble you caused our good Dr. this evening."
Briggs felt smug as he leaned over the line and peered into the darkened exterior.
Lilaney was not sure if Briggs had ever received a black eye from a woman before.
But, she felt herself proud to think she might have been the first.

As he hopped and swore, she jumped out of the coil and hightailed it for safer ground.

Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on April 22, 2009, 09:03:42 PM
Off in the distance, Elinor saw Dr. Gander walk in the opposite direction from where Lil had retreated to, his log book in his hands. Hmmm, Elinor thought. Guess Lil gave him back his book straightaway after all! She smiled at the thought of her friend doing the right thing.

"Looks like ye'll finally be getting your just desserts for all the trouble you caused our good Dr. this evening."

As Elinor walked towards where Dr. Gander had come from - intending to make peace with Lil - she heard Briggs' chastisement of her friend, and saw Lil escape once more out of sight. She frowned. "You just had to stick the knife in further, didn't you, Briggs?" She asked quietly so only she could hear her words, and, with one last look at the remains of the Knight Hammer, Elinor ran off to find Lil.
Post by: Martin Montgomery on April 24, 2009, 04:47:13 AM
   "OH, MY LORD!" Standing upon the Main Deck of the "El Lobo Del Mar" Martin gripped the smoothly sanded rail with both hands,so tightly that the aged and well treated wood creaked,almost as if it were feeling the agony that the big cook wasn't showing on his face. He stood there and took in the sorry state of the first ship that he had signed on with,the "Knight Hammer". She sat forlornly adrift,and low in the water listing badly to port,several of her cannonports were wide open or missing and nothing showed in the yawning darkness. Looking up to where the crow's nest should have sat,crowning the highest point of the Mainmast,the thick wood appeared to have been raggedly sheared off at it's midpoint "Probably by cannonfire." He thought aloud to himself. Her sheets hung in frayed ribbons from the remaining two masts and much of her rigging drooped in a tangled mess,still attached in one or two places. "That would have been chainshot,from up close and personal".He noted,surprised at the knowledge that he'd picked up just in the few months the fledgling crew had shipped out with the experienced "Lobo's" crew The ratlines whipped in the steady breeze from offshore and the dark stains running down her side,bespoke volumes, more than one man had paid with his life,whether it was attacking or defending the once proud ship he could not tell. Martin turned away from the ruined carcass of the "Knight Hammer" unwept tears shining in his eyes. Reaching up he rubbed the golden pin on his newly aquired wide brimmed hat, the pin WW had just returned to him. Coming back to him after being lost overboard, it too,was a momento from yet another past time,one where he thought his future was brightly lit and set in stone. "The "Knight Hammer" will have been stripped down to her bones,he knew,nothing would still be onboard if it could fetch a few coppers in the busy port town. With a final,sad look at the pathetic remains,the big cook whispered horsely "My Lady,I was not there to protect you from the harm that befell you and now I have also failed this fine Lady. I can't bring her back,any more than I could restore to you the life that you should have had! You Both are now Lost to me and nothing that I can do now will change that!" The tears now rolled freely down his stubbled cheeks and the crew that remained on deck averted their eyes,each man among them as tough and strong as any alive but none showed contempt for Martin as he suffered,alone while surrounded by friends. 
Post by: Martin Montgomery on May 06, 2009, 10:08:52 PM
 Martin turned away from the wreckage of the first ship he'd stepped on,shipped out on and become the cook on. His cheeks were streaked with the tears of loss,both for the ruined ship sitting forlornly at anchor in the harbor and for a lost love in his past. He walked across the "Lobo's" deck as if his legs were made of wood. The big cook stopped at the main hatch that led below and as many of the men from both the "El Lobo Del Mar" and the "Knight Hammer" watched. After first carefully wiping his eyes,he swept them across the deck gathering the eyes of every man that watched,from both crews,then he faced the ragged hull that was once a proud sailing ship.......and saluted. Having never been a member of any recognized armed forces,his gesture was still so crisp and proper that no Sergeant-Major could have found a reason to complain. Martin held the salute for a full minute and he was aware that every man within his sight,from Gordy high in his Crow's Nest to several men that had been crouched on deck playing Liars Dice. Each one offered their own salute,knuckled brow,crossed chest or in the case of the lone Muslem,a low bow with his right hand to his forhead and a whispered " " (Goodbye) "Thank you all,I started to serve one crew and now,I plainly can see,I still  serve one crew. You men have taught and learned from one another,fought with and for one another,celebrated victories together and consoled each other in losses. This is a Major Loss for my original crewmates,and would be on suffered for many years,if it weren't for this ship and her original crew. I believe that nothing bad happens without something good coming from it. As I look around at you all,I can see the good. A mixed crew,roughly half from the "Lobo" and half from the "Knight Hammer" that work as one,seamlessly,making this ship and it's crew,a force to be feared and respected!" Every man stood silently each listening intently to the words that he spoke,his voice seemed to reach every man on deck,even though he hadn't raised it above his normal speaking tone. "I will continue on with the Captains' Wolfe and WWolfe" a low chuckle rolled over the deck at the understated extra "W" "and I wish to extend an invitation to a dinner this evening in honor of our lost ship the "Knight Hammer"!  I have neglected my duties for too long and nothing will keep me from making this evenings meal........memorable!" Martin turned and entered the hatch and smiled to himself as a chorus of "huzzahs" and "Remember the "Knight Hammer" followed him below. "Now I have to check with WW on her preferences for the meal. I will most likely have to make a trip ashore for supplies!" The big cook's mind was focused and settled."Closure is what we all needed,we have found the "Knight Hammer" maybe our resident Monk could help the rest of the crew handle her loss. We will one day find the black hearted fool that took her from us and then,they will suffer for our loss. One in particular,WW would like a few choice words with. Of THAT I am SURE!!" With that Martin headed towards the Co-Captain's cabin,already running through a list of needed stores.
Post by: lilaney on May 08, 2009, 04:05:12 PM
The El Lobo stretched and yawned as she pulled in close to the docks.
"Oy! You wantin' to be docking at a pier!?"
Briggs glared at the Harbor Master that had swaggered on board and was now guiding them slowly in.
"Of course, where else would we dock?!"
Briggs had done this for years, he knew what these Harbor-types were after. More money.
He fingered his dagger and then thought against it, best leave this Port as unnoticed as possible.
He internally smirked at that idea, 'not with this crew aboard'.

Briggs deliberately ignored the Harbor Master's loaded question and instead asked one of his own.
"Oy, How long's that wreck been in your bay?"
Briggs threw a hand carelessly over at the bedraggled Knight Hammer."
The Harbor Master watched as the ship docked smoothly against the pier before he replied.
"Don' rightly know if'n it is any of your business. But, to those who have the right means of getting information, I can easily be reached over at the end of this pier."

As the lines and such moored the ship up onto the Pier, the Harbor Master existed on the now placed gangplank.

"Welcome to Port."
Post by: Welsh Wench on May 17, 2009, 09:59:02 PM
"Welcome to Port."
Never had three words sounded so ominous. Almost as bad as the three words women hate to hear while making love--'Honey, I'm home.'
Wench stood there at the gunwale. Her hat's feathers, once perky, now reflected the depressed state the wearer of it felt. Her feathers drooped along with her spirit.
The entire crew of the Knight Hammer stood there in grave silence. Grave being the key word. They all looked like they were at a wake of a favorite uncle.
Wench took off her hat, and looked at the once proud ship she commanded for a short time. It was hard not to cry. Or put a bullet in the ship for a mercy killing.
Wench said, mostly to herself, "I think it can be fixed. I know it can. All it needs is new canvas and a new hull and a new main mast and a new---"
"It can't be fixed, Honour, " Jack stated matter-of-factly.
She turned on Jack. "Don't tell me it can't be fixed! I can do it! We all can do it. There is nothing that can't be fixed if you really want it bad enough."
Her words stung Jack.
"I see." He said quietly. "That is the way you feel then. You want your ship back."
She didn't even hear him. Her eyes never left the ship. An uncomfortable silence fell over the former crew as they watched the heartbreak that Wench was feeling and the rebuff she gave her husband.
Wench put on her hat again and squared her shoulders.
"I'm going over to the ship and assess the damage."
"I'll go with you, " Jack said.
The crew looked from Wench to Jack. She softened it a bit by saying, "My ship. I need to go over there by myself. Briggs? Put the gangplank over between the two ships."
"Don't do it, Briggs."

Briggs looked from Jack to Wench back to Jack again. He turned away from all of them and walked resolutely back to his cabin.
'I'm sorry, Jack, ' she whispered.
Briggs sighed. "Since the captain--one of 'em--is absentee from here, then I guess I obey the one that is left. But I don't like lettin' you over there by yourself. I insist someone go with you."
She shook her head. "I need a few minutes to assess the damage and take a quick inventory. Give me fifteen minutes, Josiah, and then send Brother Timothy over.
Brother? Is that alright with you?"
The monk nodded.
She put on her frock coat and sheathed her rapier. Without looking at any of them, she mounted the gangplank and walked towards the carcass of once was the grand lady known as the Knight Hammer.

She jumped off the gangplank and looked back at her crew. Martin stood there with a tear trickling down his cheek. That, of all things, broke Wench's heart more than anything. She gave them all a wave and disappeared into the ship.
The Knight Hammer had most of the copper and any other metals ripped off. The deck with her high heel indentations still marked the planks of teak.
'I'm glad Daemon isn't around to see this. He'd kill me.'
She made her way past the bloodstains on the side of the ship.
'Lord, Cade, I hope you are still alive. If only so I can kick your arse.'
A part of her was hoping the blood did not belong to Cade. A myriad of emotions overcame her. Was it that long ago that she lost her ship--and her heart--to Captain Cade Jennings? Not only did he take her ship, he took her dignity too. She felt so foolish.
'Jack was right. Cade was only after one--alright, make that two--things.'
She made her way to the captain's quarters. Amid all the things strewn around the floor, she spied a piece of lacy finery that was not hers.
"Bastard!" she yelled. Her voice echoed off the walls.  Bad enough he left her with no ship, it looked like he brought another woman on board the ship.
Her ship.
Her bed.
She picked up the lace with the point of her rapier and sliced through it.
'Oh, what a shame. Nice Venetian lace, too.'
She looked in her wine cellar. All the bottles of claret and merlot were gone.
'To be expected, I guess. This would be the second to go, besides any gold.'
She glanced over to the marble tub in the alcove. Dirt and leaves were piled in it.
'What the hell?'
And then she looked up. The skylight had been shattered and shards of glass lay in the tub.
She thought back to the marble tub and how she had teased Captain Daemon Vardus about it. How he came in one day when she was in the tub sipping champagne and eating strawberries dipped in chocolate....and how they both ended up wearing bubbles.
She tried not to cry as she looked at the desecration of her ship. She felt..violated.
And not just from what Cade had pulled. The fact that total strangers had dared step on her beloved ship and ravaged it.
But the tears started flowing down her face and she turned her face to the wall, her crooked arm catching her tears. Her body heaved with sobs.
When it was all spent, she wiped her face with her hands.  She had a mission and she needed to see if it was still there.
Wench lined up the second porthole with the boards in the floor. She put one foot in front of the other and counted off.
She dropped to her knees and took out her sgian dubh and inserted it into the upper right corner of the plank. She carefully pried it loose and put her hand into it.
Feeling around, she pulled up a sack of burlap tied with hemp.
She unfastened it and drew an object out.
There it was.
Gwydion's book of enchantments.
As she ran her fingers over the leather cover....
"What the HELL are you doing?"
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on May 17, 2009, 10:38:10 PM
There it was.
Gwydion's book of enchantments.

As she ran her fingers over the leather cover....
"What the HELL are you doing?"

Honour turned to find herself looking down the double barrels of a pistol.  On the other end of it was a fat, slovenly fellow.  Horrid teeth, eyes yellowed from the first signs of jaundice, and a balding pate with long stringy hair that looked like his scalp was sliding off the back of his head.  If that were true, in a few years he'd have the warmest seat in the head.  At least the furriest.
“Explain yourself,” he growled.
“I'm retrieving my diary,” said Honour, clutching the book to herself.
“This is my ship.  Anything aboard is my property,” said the fat man.
“YOUR ship?  Like hell!  I am the captain of the Knight Hammer!” Honour erupted.  She leaped to her feet, and the fat man's pistol slowly tracked back to her ample chest.
“This ship was abandoned.  A derelict.  Maritime law says I got salvage rights, and I mean to use them.”
Honour gritted her teeth.  “This ship was stolen from me.  Therefore, any rights you think you have are null and void.  Now, get off my ship!!”
An oily grin spread across the fat man's face.  “You're forgetting something, sweet cakes.  I'm the one holding the pistol.  Makes it my ship.  And I think I'll add you to my list of things to salvage...”

The fat man's eyes went wide when he felt the cold edge of a cutlass against his neck.
“That would be a very, very bad idea, mate.  I'm sure I'd have a thing or two to say about it.  After she scratches your eyes out and feeds them to you,” said Jack Wolfe.  “But to your credit, you breezed in and laid claim to this hulk sweet as you please.  A brilliant bit, that.  I might even call you a genius if I weren't in the room.”
“Who are you?” demanded the fat man.
“My husband,” said Honour.
“Her husband,” said Jack in chorus.
“My horoscope said this would be a bad day for me,” lamented the fat man.
“Horoscopes!  A poor man's divinator,” said Jack.  “Guaranteed to steer you wrong under the best of circumstances.”
“And what did mine say?” asked Honour.
Jack thought for a moment.  “Fabulous, with only a twenty percent chance of wretched.  Wouldn't want to ruin those boots, yeah?”
“I still have a sword against me neck,” the fat man complained.
“Oh, come on,” said Jack.  “With a body like that, you're used to being uncomfortable.  No sense whining about it now.  What's your name?”
“Simon.  Simon Temp--”
Jack smacked the side of Simon's head with his sword.  “That's enough!  Don't want to get too chummy, what with you about to leave and all.  Makes the goodbyes easier.  I hate tears.”
“Who says I'm leaving?”
“She did.  Remember?  Don't tell me you weren't paying attention.  That's very impolite.  Now be a dear and hand over the gun.  Butt first, nothing cheeky.  Pardon the pun.”
Simon carefully turned the gun over in his hand and held it up in the air.  Honour took it and regarded it admiringly.
“This is nice!” she said, looking at the ornate metal scroll work on its sides.  “I always wanted a double-wide.”
"Double barrelled.  Never mind..."
“That pistol is mine, and I'll have it back at the end of this!” Simon protested.  “It's bad enough you're taking my ship, but---”
Jack smacked him with the sword again.
“OW!!  Stop doing that!”
“Quit your complaining, then,” replied Jack.  He slapped Simon again.
“What was that for?!”
“Oh, I dunno.  Funsies?”

“Jack, no playing with the prisoner,” Honour admonished lightly.  Jack couldn't mistake the smile that teased the corners of her mouth.
“What, not even a little?  I never get any fun.”
“Excuse me!  That blade is sharp!” yelped Simon.
“That's it!” exclaimed Jack.  “I want a new prisoner.  This one snivels like a little girl.”
Honour cocked her hip and mockingly gave Jack a stern look.  “No!  You get one a day.  No exceptions.  You'll have to make do with this one, no matter how much he fusses.”
“All right.  Fine then,” said Jack, grabbing Simon by the collar of his waistcoat.  “I'm getting rid of him.  He's starting to bore me.”
“Getting rid of him?” asked Honour worriedly.
“Getting rid of me?  What do you mean?” demanded Simon.
“You'll find out,” said Jack.  “Get walking.  Don't worry, love.  I'll be back in a moment.  Simon and I are going to discuss his exercise regimen.”  He gave her a wink and a short nod to let her know he wasn't going to do anything rash.  She wasn't sure what he had in mind, but she trusted it was in their best interest.

Jack marched Simon up to the weather deck.  Once there, he gave the fat man a hard shove.  Simon spun around to find the cutlass inches from his face.
“Where is he?” demanded Jack coldly.
“Cade Jennings.  He's the one sailed this ship into port.  I want to know where he is, and smartly.”
“I don't know who you're talking about.”
“Oh, come on, fat boy!  A grand ship like this sails into port, and no one says anything about it?  Please!  This is a port town.  Gossip is king.  As information goes, places like this leak like a bad diaper.”

“What the hell is he doin'?” said Briggs.
“I'm going over,” said Brother Timothy.
Briggs put his hand on the monk's chest.  “Not yet, padre.  Let this play out.  Looks like Jack is interrogatin' this one.”
“I won't stand by and be witness to murder.”
Briggs turned to face Brother Timothy.  “That's not Jack's way.  Not any more, at least.  Honour saw to that.  Have a little faith, brother.”

“I swear, I never heard of no Cade Whatsis!”
“Jennings.  Do you have a hearing problem?” asked Jack.
“I hear just fine!”
“Not by what I've observed.”
“Are you going to insult me all night, or did you have something else in mind?”
“Cade.  Where is he?”
“I don't know!”
Jack stomped hard on the deck, his sword never moving.  Simon flinched hard, then backed away cowering.
“All right, all right!!  He came into port a couple weeks ago!  Spent money like water, claimed he'd found riches untold.  Had a couple of dogs with him.  Left them at one of the taverns with a serving wench.  Don't know which inn, but she's a gypsy.  Then he booked passage on another ship and left this one to be stripped.  Said he had no use for it any more.  But that's all I know!  I swear it!”
After a long pause, Jack exhaled.  “I believe you.”
“You'll let me live?”
“Yeah, I'll let you live.”
Simon broke into a grateful, greasy smile.  “Thank you!”
“But you can't stay.”
“I what?”
Jack sheathed his sword and drew his pistol.  “I'm sorry.  I'm so sorry.  Over you go.”
“What, you're going to make me swim for it?” asked Simon incredulously.
“Something like that.  It's only a couple hundred yards.  My Aunt Mildred's cat can do that.  Now, off you go.”
“Ah!  Shoo!  No debate.”

Simon rolled his eyes, then walked to the gunwale of the ship and stepped off.  He hit the cold water with a resounding splash.  And sank like a stone.
“Oh, bollocks,” moaned Jack.
Simon's head bobbed back up.  “Help!” he hollered.  “I can't swim!”
“What, you're just remembering that now?  You're a sailor, you stupid sod!  How can you not swim?!”
“Never learned!” Simon sputtered.  “Help me!”
“Oh, shut it, you baby!” Jack yelled.  He found an empty crate with cork floats attached and threw it over the side.  “Grab on!  Then paddle your lumpy arse to shore.”
Simon grabbed hold of the crate and gave Jack a rude gesture with his hand, then began flutter kicking his way to the docks.

“Fat lot of good you were,” Jack complained.
“Mercy is a virtue,” a solemn voice resonated behind him.  “You told me once you had no virtues left.  I'm glad you were wrong.”
Jack turned to find Brother Timothy behind him.
“For once, I'm glad to see you, monk,” smiled Jack.  “I trust you have business aboard this fine wreck of a ship?”
“I do indeed.  Where's Wench?  Still below?”
“I think so.  But you know how she wanders.”
“That I do.  Ooh, butterfly!”
The two men laughed as they went below decks.  In the moonlight, a fat man could be seen paddling and sputtering and cursing his way toward the shore.

Post by: lilaney on June 14, 2009, 10:18:21 PM
"Oh.. we are gonna be in so much trouble!"
Elinor whispered nervously from the shadowed alleyway.
Lilaney was on alert, they were not followed, but, that never seem to stop trouble from finding them.
"We'll be okay, just have to get back to the ship."
Elinor glanced out the alley and ducked back in.
"Why are we out here again?"
Lilaney searched the brightly lit street for any more potential trouble starters, the three at her feet were ominously quiet.
She nudged one just to be sure, yep, he was out for the count.
"Came to get our Captain's dog, remember? She needs to come home."
"Yeah, I remember that, and I remember the name of the person that has her, and the last known location. What I don't remember is how you planned on getting her, and then getting us back alive. Why we cannot ever port in a pleasant Sea Side Village with simple people and quiet living.."
"Because it would bore you to death?"
Elinor shrugged, but, nodded all the same.
Lilaney checked the street again, and seeing it as clear as possible, signaled Elinor, who casually stepped over the unconsious bodies and followed her back out onto the City streets.
"Now, back to what we were after.."
Post by: Hibernian on June 15, 2009, 10:25:53 AM
“Seriously Jack, do you think he’ll be ok floating around like that?”
“It’s none of my concern but at a guess as long as he doesn’t cut himself on any of the coral nothing should bother him, but add a wee bit of blood to the equation and in these waters all bets are off.”
“Nice of you to let him keep his shoes.”

Jack sidestepped over looking directly up into the monk’s face, “You’re dam straight it was nice of me, that man held a pistol against my wife, he threatened the mother of my child, the woman I love and it was dam nice of me and very lucky for him that I just didn’t slit his wrists and then throw him in the water just to make things interesting.”
“Very nice indeed. I wonder where that came from?”
“I not sure either, I can tell you it wouldn’t have happen a while back; someone must be rubbing off on me monk.”

“By the way Friar, that fish bait you seem all so concerned about was making mentioned that there were some dogs left on shore, your Captain, my love,  feels one of those dogs may be yours.”
“That’s welcome news since judging by the silence Amber isn’t on board anymore.”
“Let’s find Honour, coming?”

“I’ll join you later, I want to check some things elsewhere first.”

Leaving Jack behind Brother Timothy made his way down to the gun deck and toward midships. While viewing the Hammer from the bridge of the El Lobo something about that hole just behind old number four didn’t feel right. A wise man once commented that “if in doubt look about,” well in a few more feet Brother Timothy would be able to do exactly that.

The gun deck appeared to have been abandoned mid fight, the floor covered with the usual battle debris of broken swords, empty pistols and darkened sand. Sand most likely darkened by blood and powder, damage to the ship’s wooden structure all started the story of what might have happen to the Knight Hammer, but then there was no conclusion, no final spinning of the tale, something was still missing.

It had nagged at the monk since he first step foot upon the Hammer, there was evidence of a fight, a battle, blood spilled, but no bodies. No sign of remains from the battle upon this deserted hulk. What had happen?

Midway through the gun deck, he reached his destination. The hole just by gun number four appeared on the surface to be just another blow taken by a ship amidst a battle. Yet, look at  the placement of the damage, look at the guns and their rigging, this hole was created by a cannonball shot not from the outside but from the inside of the ship. Was the ship boarded and the fight taken to the crew who used whatever was available, or was the fight lost before it started by betrayal within? Whichever, there were no answers on the gun deck, only more questions.

Before leaving the Knight Hammer he needed to check his berth. True he expected nothing to be left, but one never knew, perhaps the belongings of monk held no value to a pirate.

Then again, looking at the remains of his living quarters, perhaps even a monk held something of value. Anything he had left behind in the room was either gone or lay broken in one of the numerous piles across the floor. Carefully he turned the piles over with his foot, occasionally recognizing a piece of something or a torn remnant that remains like a lost memory. Finding nothing and walking out the doorspace his eyes caught a faint outline on the jam. Something new?

Someone has etched a figure into the wood, like a dog leaving his mark someone made their presence known, his eyes squinted to see the full details. What was that, his hand traced the figure to make sure, the figure had been seen before, and it was not the mark of a friend.

“Oh saints in heaven protect us, this is strange, time to get out of here.”

Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on June 15, 2009, 01:52:21 PM
"I'm beginning to think boredom would be nice..." Elinor muttered, following in Lil's stead as they roamed the port town in search of the dogs. They hadn't had much luck so far in finding their quarry, despite Lil's dogged (pardon the pun) determination. It had nearly reached noontime, the sun stretching high above them, when they heard barking off in the distance. Elinor and Lilaney glanced at each other. "Is that..." Elinor began, getting excited in spite of her fatigue.

"But where is it coming from?" Lil asked, squinting into the shops before her. "Some Sun-blocking clouds would be welcome right about now," She muttered.

"I think it's coming from over...there!" Elinor exclaimed, pointing.

"And what would you two lasses be about this morning?" Elinor and Lil heard from behind them. They whirled around in the opposite direction from where the barking was heard, and just in time to see a man who had sneaked up behind them unnoticed.
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on June 21, 2009, 10:32:48 AM
"And what would you two lasses be about this morning?" Elinor and Lil heard from behind them. They whirled around in the opposite direction from where the barking was heard, and just in time to see a man who had sneaked up behind them unnoticed.

“Damn your eyes, Roberts!” Lil laughed half nervously as she slid the throwing dagger in her hand back into it’s sheath. “You keep mucking about like that and your sure to get yourself shot one fine day.”

Blackjack grinned and tapped the mouth of the half empty rum bottle to his left temple. “Have been, Luv. Several times as a matter of fact. Still and all, old habits die hard and with the number of malcontents about I’ve found a light step to come in quite handy from time to time. True this be no Isle of Traitors, but all ports harbor pirates of one sort or another. Take us for example.”

“Light stagger would be more like it.” Elinor sniggered. “And at the rate your going it’s soon to be a light crawl.”

“Point taken, Luv.” Blackjack downed the remainder of the amber liquid and tossed the empty bottle into a near by rubbish heap. “I’ll not have another drop until we find a suitable tavern. Since the object of our little hunt be in no condition for salvage, save for what the captains and the monk went looking for, I thought it would be far more interesting to join the two ‘a ye. With yer kind permission, of course.”

Roberts had looked off for a moment in the direction of the harbor before turning back to his two shipmates. “I’ve actually little desire ta be sitt’n about  on me bum and drinkin’ meself half blind. So, if’n ye don’t mind my asking again. Just what are ye two about this morn?”
Post by: lilaney on June 22, 2009, 10:15:07 AM
Elinor was glad to see a friendly, if not tipsy, face.
"We are going to go get Amber and Muir! Our Captain said that if they weren't on the ship, they'd be on the land."
Lilaney jumped in "And seeing as the Captains are still absent, me and Elinor assumed that they hadn't found the dogs on.. " she paused for a second as her old ship flashed through her mind, "on the other ship, cause if we know our Captain, she'd a brought'em back immediatley."
"So!" Elinor scanned the street quickly and finished up "We are here, in town, headed towards a place where we think the dogs might be."
Blackjack raised an eyebrow. "Think?"
Elinor nodded "Captain has friends everywhere" Blackjack remained blessedly silent at that remark.
"And according to what she has told me in the past and what my record books says. There is a person on this Island name Athena and she would be the most trusted to talk with about the dogs.
And! Cause she is a woman, she will probably have the dogs."
"I trust Elinor's judgement on things involving previous conversations, her mind is a steel trap with names and locations. If you'd like to join our mission, then by all means, we could and probably need to use the help!"
The trio made there way inward on the main road, with the docks at their backs, the smells around them went from being fish and salt-tinged to beer soaked with each passing step.
"Elinor? Where did you hear the dog barking coming from?"
Elinor scanned the area, and pointed towards a road off in the distance.
"From other there somewhere, I think"
"Aye, with the wind blowing towards us, that would be the best summation."
Lilaney nodded at Blackjack's words and scanned the area. It was a Tavern.
"Well, your books said Athena worked at a Tavern. Let's go."

They made short work on their trek and were soon seated in the great room of the establishment with the sign of a scruffy dog.
"Place seems appropriate for this mission" Black Jack said Mildly.
"Psst! Elinor! Hear that?"
Elinor listened as she watched a serving boy fill their mugs. Her eye's lit up.
"'Scuse. But, be there dogs here?"
Lilaney watched the serving boy carefully filling each mug, trying not to spill. He couldn't be much older than 8 or so.
"Oh, Aye, plenty o' dogs. Two great big ones what help me cart stuff. Need ye sumthin' carted?"
Lilaney thought fast.
"Oh aye, we do lad and ye look ta be grand fit for the task. May I see the dogs?"
No man or boy was averse to flattery, and this young one looked slightly starved for attention.
He sat the pitcher down on the table with a thump and motioned for Lil to follow.
"Best set a dogs we ever had! Glad the Madame brought'em here. Good workers both!"
Lil and the young boy trailed off out the back door of the great room.
Elinor sat straight and watched the door, eagerly hoping that returning with Lil would be the Captain's dog.
BlackJack scanned the room and eased the pitcher of beer closer to his own mug.
It wasn't ten minutes and Lil hurriedly returned to the table looking pleased and somewhat befuddled.
"So! Is it them!?"
Elinor was excited to think that it was this easy to retrieve Amber and Muir. Her luck felt like it was changing for the good.
"Oh Aye, it is Amber and Muir and a whole herd of dogs that look just like them! This place breeds dogs!"
Lil drained her mug with one long pull.
"Yes, and the two 'Big Dogs' Edmund was talking about were not Amber and Muir. I told him I'd have to get things organized before I could promise him the work. Gave'em a penny for the tour anyways."
Elinor frowned and she thought.
"Think we could buy them back?"
Lil shrugged "I didn't ask, seemed a bit eager to do something like that. I did, though, ask to talk to his boss. He said no names and I didn't ask for one. Said he'd send her along when he found her."
"So now ladies we wait and watch. Who's up for more?"
Black Jack cheerfully refilled Lil's mug and the three sat waiting for the next move.

Post by: Welsh Wench on June 29, 2009, 09:55:26 PM
She turned to see Jack standing in the doorway, leaning on the doorjamb.
She sighed. "This is going to take alot of scrubbing to clean it up."
"You're considering it?"
She shook her head. "Do you believe in karma, Jack?"
He shrugged. "I've seen alot of things in my life. But one thing I am certain of. What was it you always said to me? Oh, yes---'paybacks are deadly.' Family motto as I recall. In the end, we reap what we sow. And Cade will get his."

Wench tried to fight off the tears. It wouldn't do to show any weakness in front of Jack. She picked up a merlot bottle and upended it. A small drop landed on the marble.
"I really should clean it up. You know how red wine can stain...."
Jack caught her hand by the wrist.
"Honour?" he said softly. "Let it go. Let the Knight Hammer go."
She looked at him and suddenly the enormity of his words flooded over her. She collapsed in his arms, the sobs coming from deep within from the pent-up emotions.
All Jack could do is let her cry until her tears were spent. He held her gently, smoothing her hair and making comforting sounds, slightly rocking her back and forth as he would a young child.
"I--I think I am being punished for alot of things. Daemon....Cade....what happened to Captain Ramzy in Tortuga.....the Spleen brothers...Or is it the Daniels twins?"
Jack tried not to laugh as he remembered the two ships that this one petite woman laid in Davy Jones locker.
He held her by the arms and looked into her eyes. "You aren't being punished so get that right out of your head.  If you were, this would have happened while you were the acting captain. Think of it as closure."
"But, Jack, it represents freedom to me."
"It surely does."
She raised her eyebrow. "I didn't expect you to agree with me."
He gave her a smile. "What happened here gives you the freedom to choose to be with me. With El Lobo's crew. You can choose to continue on with us or you can book passage back to Wales. But I warn you, I shall be right behind. I have my flesh and blood to meet. So, Honour, the choice is yours. The devil you know or the devil you don't."
She nodded. "I see your point."
"There's one other."
"What's that?"
"The Spleen twins--or is the Daniels brothers?--just may book passage on the same ship. And then you have some 'splainin' to do, Lucy!"
They walked up to the quarterdeck. Jack pulled out a bottle from his justacorp.
"Here. It helps. Immensely."
She took a swig and coughed. "What IS that?"
"Something I picked up at Le Ville du Traitre. Some Spanish liqueur."
"Well, it's awful!"
He put it away and she held her hand out.
"Not so fast, Jack!"
He laughed and handed it back as she took another deep swallow.
"So..what is next? And please don't tell me you want that marble tub installed in our---"
She shot him a look.
"--MY cabin."
She stood up and looked over to the port.
"Over there is my friend Athena. She owns a tavern called Le Cur."
Jack laughed. "You mean 'Liqueur'."
"No, I mean 'le cur' as in a mongrel. She loves dogs. And taverns. Her sign boasts a grizzled dog in a ruffled collar. And a doublet."
Honour shrugged. "Don't ask me to explain. It's a private joke."
"And why are you telling me all this?"
"Because Cade knows that Athena is my best friend in this port. And I never fail to visit her. She has a tavern, yes. But in the back she has herbal home remedies and can give you charms and potions. Even read your fortune."
"Too bad she couldn't tell you this before Cade left your ship for desecration."
"Athena will only read palms if a coin crosses hers."
"So how does she fit into the equation?"
"She love dogs. And Cade knows she is my friend. Who else better to leave my Muir and Amber with than her? She has watched Muir in the past. And she spoils him to death. So...I head to Le Cur and I will find my Muir."
Jack took the bottle out of her hand. "Then I guess we go to see your gypsy friend to find the dog. Wonder if she will tell my fortune?"
Wench stood up.
"Jack, you don't need a fortune teller to find out if you will get lucky tonight."
"I don't?"
"No. I can tell you THAT fortune."
"Let's go find my puppy!"
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on July 11, 2009, 09:15:16 PM
“Well, that matches what our waterlogged friend had to say.  Muir is with a gypsy girl at one of the taverns.  Has to be Athena,” said Jack.
“Waterlogged?  Jack, what exactly did you do with Simon?” asked Honour.  “And I mean EXACTLY.”
“I took him up on deck...”
“Yes?  I saw that part.”
“And I asked him a few questions.  That's when he told me about the doggies and Athena.”
“And I came back down here.  Shall we go?  Muir has to be missing his mummy!”
“Jack, where's Simon?”
“Um, gone.”
Honour's patience was beginning to wane.  “Gone, as you put him in a boat and sent him on his way, gone?”
“He was on the water last I saw.  All except for the boat part.”
“Jack, what did you do with him?!”
“I made him walk the plank.  Except there was no plank, so he went off like a sack of potatoes.  Only bigger.”
“You threw him overboard??”
“What kind of animal do you take me for?  There was no throwing.  Not with his girth.  He walked off.”

Honour crossed her arms and cocked a hip.  “I suppose you expect me to think he did this voluntarily?”
Jack gave her a sly smile.  “You know how persuasive I can be, love...”
Honour stomped her foot testily, and Jack's smile vanished.  “You forced him overboard?  To swim for it?”
“He didn't exactly swim at first.  More of a sinking. thrashing thing...”
He put his hands up as Honour's eyes went wide.
“I threw him a crate to hang on to!”
“So he's all right?  As in not dead?”
“Of course!”
“Jack, why the hell didn't you just say so?!”
“I thought you'd be upset if I told you straight out.”
Honour took a deep breath and brandished a finger at him.  Jack piped up before she could speak.
“Honour, the man threatened you.  I let him off easy, if you want to know the truth.  If he had laid one hand on you, one finger, it would have been a very different, very immediate ending for him.”
Honour blinked, and a smile teased her lips.  “Why, Jack.  You feel that protective of me?  That's almost sweet!”
“There's a lot more where that came from, lover,” Jack began.
Honour quickly held her hand up to his face.  “Oi!  Cool off, pirate boy!  We're going to fetch my pup, remember?”
Jack gave a resigned sigh.  “Oh, that's right.  Muir, who's with... what's her name again?”
“Right.  Athena.  So, lead the way, darling!  Alons-y!
Honour stopped dead and turned back to him.  “'Alons-y'?  Really?”
“Yeah!  It's French.  Means 'let's go'.  Why?”
“I know what it means,” she laughed.  “Since when did you deign to say or do anything French?”
“Me?  I like the French just fine.  Love them in fact.  And God!  Do they know how to party!”
“I think you hit your head harder than anyone thought,” said Honour warily.
“Why?  I feel perfectly fine.”
“You're bonkers!  Even more than usual.”
“Honour, I assure you, I'm perfectly all right.  Duckie said so.  To tell the truth, I haven't felt this good in a long time,” assured Jack.  “He said it was a mild concussion. Certainly no worse than others I've had.”  His face suddenly clouded.  “Hold on a moment...”
“What's wrong?” asked Honour worriedly.
“There's a banana in my pocket.”
Jack pulled a healthy specimen of the yellow fruit from his trousers.  “Look at that!  How did it get there, I wonder?  And what did you think I was talking about?”
Honour shook her head.  “I rest my case...”
“Ooh!  We've got rum back on the Lobo!  Fancy a daiquiri, darling?  Though we're short on ice.”
“Put the banana away and shift, would you?” Honour said, tapping her boot on the deck.  “But we need to make one stop before we get to the tavern.”
“What for?” asked Jack.
“I need a butterfly net.  For you.”
"And here I thought we were going to stop at the apothecary's for..."
"Shut up, Jack!"
Post by: Hibernian on July 16, 2009, 08:45:30 PM
“Briggs throw me my staff please.”
“Do I look like a personal valet, or even a cruise director?” Yet while shouting at the monk the first mate of the Lobo did grab the tall wooden staff that was leaning against the railing in the corner of the bridge. Tossing it underhanded the staff spiraled down to Brother Timothy who caught it in mid-air with one hand.
In his mind Briggs thought those were pretty good hands for a holy man, there's more than meets the eye to this one.

“Bless you my friend, has the Captain gone ashore?”
“Aye, that they have, both Captain Jack and your lady left but a few minutes back.”
Adjusting the bag hanging on his shoulder the monk made his way off the ship, a wave of his staff to the crew, “I’ll try not to be too late my friends, but don’t wait up.”

When Brother Timothy took his first step on land Briggs asked “who has the watch tonight?”
A crew man standing by the wheel answered “Murphy.”
“That’s good, pass the word I want a team of four men on deck tonight, armed, and ready to head ashore at a moments notice.”
“You expecting trouble Mr. Briggs?”
“Ha, I wouldn’t wonder, look who ashore…it’s not us who needs a blessing. Just have those men ready.”
Post by: lilaney on July 23, 2009, 02:53:53 PM
Lil was seeing two Blackjacks.
And she wasn't even staring at her cards anymore, they just wouldn't come into focus no matter how hard she tried to make them out.

Elinor giggled and shifted in her seat.
"Luv, you have possibly thee worst poker face I have ever seen."
Elinor looked blankly at Blackjack
"What do you mean? I can't be happy about getting two red Queens and three red Jerks?"
BlackJack flung his cards on the tables and sighed heavily.
"Jerks is right. I fold, and Elinor, they're called Jacks."

Elinor nodded and stared at her cards again.
"Oh, right; Jacks. Now, they're worth more than One cards right?"
Blackjack stared at Elinor and puzzled about her meaning.
"One cards?"
Elinor pulled an Ace from her hand and waved it around.
"Yes! One cards."
Lilaney sighed and tried to catch one of Elinor's left hands as the Ace flew merrily around.
"Elinor, thas' an Ace! Them's the ones you want. Not Jerks."
Elinor reminded her friend; who seemed to be sinking lower and lower to the table.

BlackJack was staring hard at Lilaney as Elinor laid down her plum hand and took the loot from the center of the table.
"I will let this hand slide this time, even though I did notice that Elinor, you had one card more than you are suppose to for a five-card game, but, Lil if you slide anymore you'll be on the deck. Need some help luv?"

Elinor was confused how did she end up with six cards?
"Prolly got it from my cards, I only had four cards last time I picked up me hand."
Lil waved her hand around in front of her face.
Everything looked watery. Like staring through leaded glass; everything bended and shifted as it got nearer or farther away.
"Lil? You alright? You look a little, um, tipsy" Elinor whispered the last word.
"Nope! I am a lot Tipsy!" Lil tried to whisper back, but, to Blackjack's ears the whole room heard her.

Lil pushed abruptly away from the table. Her mind made up.
"Well, I um back for the ship. You two should be al' righ' without me to sit. When you get th' doggies back, let Ca'pin' know."
Elinor stood to help steady her friend. If anything she was going to help her back to the boat.
Blackjack remained calmly seated as he spied someone entering the door of the establishment.
Seeing as the lady's backs were to the gentleman coming up to the table.
If Blackjack had a bet on right now, Lil would sober up quicker than you could say 'Jack catch'.

"Elinor, if you wish to wait here I will take charge of Lilaney and you have my promise that she'll make it safely back to the ship."
The calm baritone voice broke through the fuzzy haze that had encircled Lil's brain. In fact, she was starting to not feel so good as warm arms wrapped firmly around her shoulders.
Lil saw Elinor's grin, it looked all too knowing as she nodded and sat back down again.

Lil was sure who it was, but, she wasn't going to look up at his face and confirm her awful suspicions as she was guided out the front door of the tavern. She was certain she was going to be sick, and at about that time, in her small world the whole place went dark.

Elinor sat back down as Dr. Gander guided Lil out the front door; from their vantage point, Blackjack and Elinor saw Lil pass out and the good Dr. easily pick her up and carry her further down the path.

Blackjack began to gather the cards, when Elinor stopped him.
"Now, which one is it that is worth more? A full house, or three pairs?"
Blackjack, shook his head and began dealing again.

If one good thing could come out of this, it was that Elinor would learn the difference between a Jerk and a One Card.

Post by: Hibernian on July 29, 2009, 08:13:07 PM
It was a matter of willpower but in the end he resisted the urge to kneel down and kiss the solid ground. His travels as a brother combined with those from his life before entering the Order of Saint Brendan made him no stranger to ships and seas, yet he would never feel as safe on the moving deck as he did on terra firma. He supposed it was a matter of control, he didn’t care to lose it either in himself or his world. Some would suggest that explained his profession as a monk, then again he spent so little time amongst his brothers in the Abbey it would be an unreliable argument.

But now here was a familiar sight, a port village with everything that goes with it. A familiar smell was in the air, aromas of food, drink, and whatever else money could buy. As he slowly walked along he used his smile and the occasional blessing or movement of the hand to reinforce the image of the gentle friar. Yet in reality that movement of the hands, the turning about to offer a blessing to a child or an older woman were coordinated and planned so that whatever came into his field of vision, and everything did, was seen and noted.

The monk was looking for information and soon found what he knew to be a very reliable source. Every town had them, every town ignored them and so these fonts of knowledge were able to travel amongst the rich and the poor across caste lines where normal towns people could not.

Pulling a coin from his satchel and concealing it within his palm the monk crossed over to a man sitting within a door frame, a cup sitting upon the ground where his legs should have been.

“Blessings Leghorn and here’s a coin for when the blessings don’t ease the ache or fill the stomach.”
Post by: Blackjack Roberts on August 08, 2009, 12:13:58 PM
“Now, Luv,” Blackjack grinned roguishly as he held up an Ace, “in poker this be the highest rank ‘a card.”

“How can that be?” Elinor swayed slightly and squinted at the card. “The jerk has a sword, and everyone knows a one is less than two.”

Jack sighed. How he had lost nearly every hand was as much a mystery to him as card ranking was to the tipsy scribe. He had seen beginner’s luck in play before, but never to such an extent. Still, there was little reason to worry. Rubin’s placing of one of the several caches he had stashed in several ports made the amount of gold he had lost to his friends negligible.

While being hunted by Malcolm he had the foresight to hide percentages of his plunder shares in various haunts across the globe. One never knew when one’s life could depend on how full your pockets were at the time.

“I believe it has something to do with the French game of Tarot, Luv.” He explained. “The original game had 22 trump cards and 56 regular cards divided into four suits. In that game since the Ace, or one, was the first card of the suit it was treated as special.”

“Like a firstborn child!” Elinor squealed with inebriated understanding.

“Exactly!” Roberts snapped his fingers. “Now later they removed the trump cards, and combined the knight and page cards to make a jack. That way the deck was easier to handle, and games other than Tarot could be played.”

“Do they still play Tay-row?” Elinor interrupted. “It sounds easier to remember than poker.”

“ ‘Fraid not, Luv. ‘Bout all those cards are used for now is fortune telling.”

“Oooooooo! Can you tell fortunes with these cards, Jack?! Can you tell my fortune?!!”

Blackjack cocked one eyebrow. “I don’t need cards fer that, ‘Lil sister. Any more rum and it will be the same as Lilaney.”

“Oh, no! I’ll not be carried back to the ship!” Elinor frowned in defiance. “I can walk on my own! Besides we have to wait here for Athena, so we can bring back Wench’s puppy.”

“Aye.” Jack sighed. “That we do, Luv.” Secretly he hoped that Athena wouldn’t be much longer. For one he had no idea what the woman looked like, for another Elinor was now at the stage of feeling ten foot tall and cannon proof.

Thankfully the tavern door opened and the two captains of the Lobo strode in.
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on August 13, 2009, 10:10:33 PM
"Ooooh, look, it's the Captains!" Elinor squealed, her cheeks flushed as she clapped in happiness at the sight of Captains Wolfe and Wench. "Look, Blackjack, it's the Captains!" She whispered loudly to her companion, attempting but failing miserably at keeping her conversation secret.

"I can see that, luv," Blackjack answered, taking his eyes off the two figures that just entered and glancing back towards her, a smile on his face. They must be looking for Athena and the dog as well, Blackjack surmised. Good, they can take care of that business and I can get this lass back to the ship. "Captains!" He called, gesturing over to Captain Wolfe and Wench. "Let me guess, you're on the trail of the same dog we are, am I right?"

"What're you looking--" Wench began, then saw the state of her young scribe.

"Wenchie!" Elinor cried, brimming with alcohol-infused happiness. "We're on the case, the case is what we're on...we're waiting for Athena, to get your dog back!" She announced proudly.

"So you're looking for--"Wench began again, only to be interrupted by Elinor once more.

"Dogs are so nice. I especially like Wenchie's dog, don't you, Blackjack?" Elinor asked, rapidly turning back to Blackjack, looking expectantly at him for an answer.

"That I do, luv, that I do," Blackjack muttered, the grin never leaving his face. "Since you've gone ashore too, Captains, I'll be leavin' you to your business, as I think this lass needs leadin' back to the ship," He replied, giving Wench and Captain Wolfe a knowing look.

"I do NOT!" Elinor exclaimed. "I a proper...lady..." She stood up, and made to leave the table where she and Blackjack had been seated, when she spun around to face Blackjack and the two Captains once more. "Which way is the ship again?"
Post by: Welsh Wench on August 19, 2009, 08:36:47 PM
Wench carefully turned her scribe around. "It's over that way, sweetie. You know, on the water."
"Oh! That's right." Elinor let out a giggle. "Where we left it, right?"
Jack reached out to steady Elinor as she started to sway his way. "I think you had better get this lass back to the ship."
Wench said, "Blackjack, will you please take her there and I am sure Lilaney will...where is she? Where is Lil?"
Elinor tried to focus her eyes on the door and pointed in the general direction.
"She's been swept off her feet."
"WHAT?" Both captains said in unison.
Elinor nodded vigorously and then stopped. "I think I sprung my neck."
"Sprained," BlackJack Roberts replied.
Feeling that Ellinor had enough to cope with, Wench asked BlackJack, "Where is LIlaney that she has been spirited away? And by whom? Do we know him? And where is he from? Who are his parents? What do they do for a living?"
Mad Jack took her by the arm and sat her down. "Good grief, Wench! You aren't her mother."
She jerked her arm away. "I am responsible for these women. So don't tell ME---"

Both Jack and Wench looked at BlackJack.
"Duckie?" Mad Jack asked.
BlackJack nodded, "He came here to Le Cur and offered to escort her back."
Elinor giggled again, "Only he picked her up and carried her on account of Lil had a hard time staying verigris--verily---vertable! That's the word!"
Wench whispered in a low voice to Jack, "I TOLD you that Duckie has the hots for Lilaney!"
Jack waved her observations away. "They are two grown people, Honour. Let them figure it out for themselves. Jack, will you take Elinor back to the ship? It seems Mrs Captain and I are on pooch patrol."
BlackJack put two fingers to his forehead in a salute. "Will do. Come on, princess. Let's get you tucked back into the ship."
As the door closed, Wench and Jack heard Elinor say, "If I bark, do you think Muir will come? Woof, woof!"
'Woof, woof' was heard fading down the lanes.

Mad Jack roared with laughter and Wench scowled at him.
"It's not funny!"
"Honour, I swear, your crew is a hoot!" He doubled over with laughter.
She pushed him down in a chair and stood there with her hands on her hips.
"You! SIT! I'll be right back."
"Woof, woof!"
"One more wise-crack, Jack Wolfe, and I will give you a choice."
"What is that?"
"You can sit there and beg or you can play dead."
She held her finger up as he opened his mouth and then he thought better of it.
"I'll be back in a minute."

"Tamas, is Athena here?"
The Romani behind the bar clapped his hand and exclaimed, "It is Rhiannon! You have come back to us!"
He leaped over the bar and kissed her on both cheeks. "Athena she will be so happy to see  you!"
Wench laughed. "And it is wonderful to see you, too. And where is my gypsy friend?"
Tamas wiped his hands on the towel around his waist. "Athena she will be back soon. She had to run a few errands and---"
"It's about time you came to visit me!"

Post by: Welsh Wench on August 19, 2009, 08:37:44 PM
Tamas and Wench turned around as Jack's head snapped around to see who spoke.
Wench ran up to her and gave her a big hug. "ATHENA!"
Athena laughed and returned her embrace. "It's been too long!"

Jack watched the two women laughing and talking a mile a minute.
Athena was dressed in very colourful clothing. Her skirt was made of silk and tiered in bright colours. She wore a shirt of bright fuscia and her hair was tied back with a yelllow scarf. Bangles and bracelets jingled up and down her arms. Large hoop earrings dangled from her ears. But what caught Jack's attention were her eyes.
They were the colour of warm, melted chocolate and danced with merriment as if she didn't have a care in the world. Her smile showed dimpled cheeks.
"I take it you are here to pick up Muir and his companion."
Wench clasped her hand to her chest. "OH, Thank God!"
Athena nodded, "Cade Jennings left the dogs with me. Said you would be here for them and he gave me coins to take care of them both. And he said to tell you he was sorry."
"Sorry. SORRY? And did he say for what he was sorry for?"
She shook her head no. "He said he'd be in touch with you when you got over whatever it was you were supposed to get over."
"That sorry sack of---"
Athena nodded at the table where Jack was sitting.
"And I take it that is the little one's father."
She walked over to Jack and extended her hand to him. "You just have to be the rotten no-good scoundrel."
Wench could feel her face blush. Jack took Athena's hand and said, "I guess I just have to be."
Athena threw her head back and laughed, "No one else wants to be! Oh, the names she called you!"
Jack raised his eyebrow. "Really!"
Wench could feel her face getting red.  She tried to change the subject.
"How has business been?"
Athena drew up three tankards of ale and sat them in front of Jack and took a seat across from him.  She pointed to a chair and Wench sat down. It was the first time Jack ever saw Wench take an order from anyone.
"It's been busy. Very busy! Being in the Spanish Main isn't too shabby. And I am an equal opportunity establishment. I don't care who they are as long as they have the coin of the realm in their hands."
She folded her arms across her chest and looked at Jack triumphantly.
"And I finally meet the great and infamous Captain Mad Jack Wolfe!"
Jack paused his tankard in mid-air.
"You heard of me? I mean, besides from--"
He waved his hand in Wench's direction. He could see she was beginning to pout. And he was loving every minute of it.
"Athena, please, if I can just get Muir---"
Athena smiled. "Everyone has heard of the antics of Mad Jack Wolfe! About the time you were visiting a friend here in port--was it Mr. Domingo?--and you both got drunk. He decided to show you the new cannon on his roof and when he lit it, you stumbled against it and it swung around and aimed right at the church and burned it to the ground!"
"My finest hour!" Jack grinned.
"And how is the baby?" Athena asked.
"You know about her?" Jack asked.
"Of course I do!"
"Athena, I really hate to break up this tea party but Muir has been gone---"
"I not only know of her, I saw her too!"
Jack looked from one to the other. "But how---"
Athena continued. "Rhiannon and I go way back. I grew up in Beaumaris, Wales. And we have been friends since we were seven. I remember when she first met Rh---"
Just then two bundles of fur hurled themselves through the door and Wench found herself on the floor looking up, her face wet with doggie kisses.
She could hardly hold her tears back.

Muir and Amber had come home.
Post by: Hibernian on August 20, 2009, 07:35:44 PM
The coin went from mid air to a bite of the mouth in a motion that belayed the old and ragged impression a quick glance would give the onlooker. The monk noted that while a bit pale and dirty, the beggar’s torn shirt did not completely hide the fact that his arms were arms were muscular and without sores. This was not just an old sailor left at port or even a common street beggar, this was man who knew his business, and the monk hoped everyone else’s as well.

“I know you brother.” The man looked directly at the monk.

“I fear you are mistaken, but while my memory is not what it was, I do not believe my journeys have ever taken me down this path before. Perhaps you have mistaken me for another, after all, its the robes, we all look alike.”

“No, it is you brother, I have heard your tale and know you well enough; you are the monk of the pirates, the brown robe who travels with the wolves and blows islands asunder. You preach of redemption to be found and never ending rum in heaven.  You are the navigator sent by Brendan seeking the ancient logs to the western lands and holy isles. You seek to save the blonde...”

“Cease and silentio! There are people about and at the rate you are going I would rather they not know the color of my undergarments.” Smoothing his habit out of the way with his hand, Brother Timothy sat upon the ground beside the man.

In a softer voice he continued, “Now if you know of my search, and appear to know everything else short of my mother’s maiden name that concerns me, perhaps you could just tell me where I may find Blessed Brendan’s log. I’ll collect it and head for home and be done with it.”

“Ah brother, a learned monk such as yourself should know that things are never that easy. Your father’s words you must seek on your own, I can not help you with that quest. But ignore my warning at your own peril, know that you are not alone on this island.
 No, wipe the smile from your rolling eyes monk , I do not mean the people you see about you, I speak of a feeling, a voice on the wind, perhaps a shadow that is too dark in midday. Something has been here since your ship arrived in port.”

“You think we brought something with us on the Lobo?”
“No, not the Wolf ship, the other one, the Knight Hammer. There is something amiss since that dammed ship dropped anchor. Collect what you need brother, gather your crew and get out. Do not stay in this port.”

Standing to slap the dust from his habit, the old monk took up his staff and looked about trying to decide on a direction when he spotted a flash of blonde hair and boots turning into a tavern two blocks up the street.

Tossing another coin to the legless man, “Blessings on you this day my new friend, may our Father above keep you safe, I will consider your warning but now I believe I have some dogs to find.”

Timothy had taken no more than three steps toward the tavern when he heard the man, “Safe travels son of nee McGuckin of Clan McCrack.”

Shocked to hear his mother’s name, wondering how this had been known, he turned to question, only to find the legless man vanished. “Curious, I wonder if…no, don’t say it boyo, let’s just get to the tavern and then get safely back to the ship.”

Post by: lilaney on August 20, 2009, 09:59:39 PM
The day was slowly moving West, soon it would be dark and those of the night would be about their deeds.
Ol'Jim watched as the fancy man carried the sleeping lady down towards the docks. He spat on the woods and tried to keep an eye on them. He could tell from their shoes they were sea types; and they had money.

He moved at an ambling pace, he knew they wouldn't move too fast. By the time they made dockside, it be dark enough, and that's how Ol'Jim liked it.
He fingered the knife's blade in his hand and grinned at his victim, it would be a smooth deal.
The gent's hands were full of gal, he wouldn't want it to get messy.
 Lil was in a dream, she was warm and comfortable, there were no threats to her or her family, she didn't have to leave or face shame.
For once, she felt like it was all just a bad dream. And then there was coughing.
Lil stirred at the sound, and a small part of heart fell flat again, it was yet again a dream. This was real.
And reality was spinning, she was certain she was going to be sick.
"I don' feel so good.."
Duckie had watched Lil's face in the waning light. It had gone from a warm, sleepy content, to just the right shade of green.
"Well, then, I guess you should be still and soon you will be able to take care of that."
"Can you make the boat stop rockin' Duckie? It ain't helping."

Ol' Jim struck at that moment, knife flashing he came at them from the side.
"S'cuse me sir, can I have a moment of your time?"
The sick blade caught the orange light of dusk, Duckie raised an eyebrow, while Lil peaked out from the shoulder she had been hiding in.
"Na a good idea."  She whispered, she knew what was coming.
Ol' Jim glanced at Lil for a second and in that second, Duckie struck.

He smartly stood Lil up and balanced her with his right arm, and with the left slapped the blade away, kicked the tar square in the torso and frogged him. Ol' Jim toppled to the ground in stunned, gasping silence.
Duckie peered interestedly at the prone man on the ground, and then turned and smiled at Lil.
"Can it wait?"
Lil shook her head fiercely as she darted off down the nearest dark alley and was awfully sick.

Duckie waited paitently occasionally toeing the silent figure of Jim as he lay there.
His thoughts were light on the whole, as silence finally came from the alley.
After counting to sixty, he went in after her.

He found Lil passed out again, shaking his head sagely, he picked up her passed-out body.
"Poor Contessa" he murmured in her hair as he started heading back towards the ship.
Lil stirred as she began to smell tar and blearily spotted the boat, she moaned and shifted in his arms.
"No, no boats tonight. Somewhere, where it is still, please?"
Duckie nodded agreement, and changing course headed off along a different road, leaving the El Lobo to the coming night.

Post by: Blackjack Roberts on August 21, 2009, 11:12:35 AM
Blackjack pointed the French pistol to the sky and gently lowered the hammer before shoving the deadly instrument home in his wide belt. Not being encumbered with carrying an extra weight, and simply having to deal with the young scribe’s listing to port, or starboard at unexpected times, they had soon come within sight of the Lobo’s surgeon and his charge. As well as the dark figure set on following them.

As the former Highwayman expected the unknown figure proved to have ill intentions towards his two shipmates. He breathed a sigh of relief as Duckie handled the situation with practiced ease. Then waited to see if their assailant had any compatriots who had not yet revealed themselves.

“Hey! Ishn’t that Lil ‘n Ducksy down dere?” The inebriated Elinor said a tad loudly.

Roberts allowed himself a good natured scowl as he held one finger to his lips, then whispered. “Shhhhh! Aye, that it is little sister. But we don’t want to be lettin’ any what may be hidin’ about know that. Now, do we?”

“Others?!!” Elinor drunkenly pulled her dagger, waving it about in lazy patterns in the air. “You jusht let ‘em try ‘n hurt my Lilly! I’ll have thier gushts fer gartersh!”

Blackjack grinned and cocked one eyebrow. He didn’t envy the headache the scribe would have in the morning, but he admired the stamina she had shown thus far. By all rights he should be having to carry her as well, yet the feisty scribe held to her unsteady feet with no sign of having to pray to the porcelain god, yet. Perhaps her recent encounter with the darker elements had an unexpected benefit.

“No need, Luv.” Roberts nodded. “Looks like the sawbones has things well in hand. Lets go see what we can make of their new friend, shall we?”

“But…but. Their going the wrong way!” Elinor squinted at the backs of the rapidly vanishing duo.

“No worries there, Little sister.” Jack offered his arm. “I’m sure Lil's in good hands.”

“Or soon will be!” Elinor guffawed at her own joke.

Depositing Elinor on a near by barrel with instructions to keep a weather eye out he knelt down next to the prone figure and began to search the robber. One fairly well kept knife, a fairly fat leather purse with twelve gold pieces of eight, seven silver pieces, and a fair amount of copper. At least the man was somewhat successful at the trade, Jack gave him that. No style though. One second grade pistol that Roberts wouldn’t trust on a bet. He tossed it into a rubbish heap after blowing the charge out of the pan.

Fairly certain he had stripped the unfortunate ‘Ol Jim of anything of value, Roberts slipped the purse into his shirt. At least it would cover most of his losses this evening. He began to stand up when he noticed the leather cord about the man’s neck. Perhaps a silver St. Christopher’s medal, or a gold cross? Well, every little bit helped. Jack tore open the rest of the filthy garment and froze. Grabbing the cord he ripped the trinket free with enough force that it jerked the unconscious man upward, smacking his head on the ground with just enough force to pull him back to the world of the living.

“Ohhhhh! Me poor head!” 'Ol Jim grimaced holding one hand to the back of his aching skull. Suddenly he found himself jerked roughly skyward and slowly opened his eyes to find his face scant inches from the scowling countenance of an enraged pirate.

“Where did you come by this?!” The buccaneer hissed holding his cord with the red coral rose dangling at the end in front of his bleary eyes. Jim instinctively fumbled for his weapons, only to be slammed back into the unyielding earth with enough force to drive the air from his lungs. In a flash he found himself pinned beneath the pirate’s knee on his chest, and his own knife pressed solidly to his throat.

“I’ll not ask you a second time, Man!” Jack growled in fury, all traces of pirate speech driven from his voice. “How came you by this?!”

‘Ol Jim stammered as his aching mind struggled to find a plausible lie. Blackjack nodded to Elinor who sat watching the spectacle unfold with growing interest, her forgotten blade dangling from the hand resting across her knee.

“See that lass over there?!” Jack grinned with the purest evil he could conjure forth. “You tried to rob her friends. Answer me, or I’ll allow her to exact her vengeance on you. She is deep into her cups, so I’ve no doubt she will surely bugger the job.” Roberts leaned closer. “I’ve also no doubt she will enjoy every drunken moment. Now, for the last time. Where did you get this?!”

Picking up on Blackjack’s lead Elinor tried to smile as wickedly as she could, and fingered the edge of her remembered dagger. Her slight swaying on the barrel perch was all the encouragement the failed thief needed.

“I-I stole it, Mate!” He quickly stammered. “Were a group what came through here ‘bout two months gone now! Lookin’ fer someone they was! Had a woman with ‘em. She dropped that bit ‘o shine at a tavern an’ I made off wit’ it a’fore any spotted me! I swear it be th’ truth!”

“If I find you’ve been telling me porkies, Mate!” Blackjack threatened.

‘Ol Jim’s hands flew up in supplication. “Tis God’s own truth, Mate!! I don’t even think she noticed that it had fell! She seemed right upset about somthin’ else at the time.”

Blackjack drew his fist back and struck the hapless robber in the temple before standing. “Come on, Luv. Lets get you back aboard.”

“What was all that about, Jack?” Elinor whispered as she hooked one arm through his offered one.

Blackjack looked at his young charge as he added the trinket to the swag currently occupying his shirt. “Nothing of consequence, Little sister. Perhaps I’m mistaken. Anyway, we need to get you back aboard ship. Captain’s orders.”

“Aye.” Elinor smiled. “At least Wenchie will have her puppies back. Hmmmmm? Maybe one last try? Woof! Woof!”
Post by: Martin Montgomery on August 23, 2009, 07:41:12 AM
 After setting the Taylor Brothers on the task of putting together a decent meal from the remaining provisions in the Lobo's larder. Martin had put on a huge cauldron of water telling the younger men that they were about to start a batch of stew. Tim Taylor sorted the pitiful few vegetables that were on hand and trimmed the hard rinds off of the last of the salted beef,putting them in the pot to soften them up. His brother Tom was put to work mixing dough for loves of fresh bread,since the last of the ship's biscuit had gone so stale that a single piece would last a man all day! The big cook had hailed a passing poultry hawker who had shouted to him the availability of fresh roasting hens. Martin had tossed the man a small sack filled with silver pennies,after haggling for several minutes,paying more than the hens were worth but securing the promise of quick delivery as soon as they could be killed,plucked and cleaned. The fresh meat would be a welcome change from the rations of salt beef,pork and ship's biscuit and would help to fill the bellies of the "Lobo's" crewmen. After that he returned to his bunk area,off the galley proper,the big man once more readied himself for a trip ashore. His mind whirling with the memories of the LAST trip ashore with members of his current crew,to a Pirate held port away from the "safety" of the "Lobo's" decks! Buckling his heavy belt around his waist he drew his long knife checked the blades edge with a calloused thumb then returned it to it's sheath. Opening a seachest from , Martin drew forth the padded box containing his cherished French dueling pistols,checking to make sure that they were properly loaded took a matter of seconds and then they too were added to the belt around his portly form. Deciding that his leg felt good enough to walk without extra support,he left his long walking staff standing in the corner. Making his way down the narrow passageway to the main stairs leading to the deck,Martin took the stairs two at a time. Crossing the main hatch's threshold he felt the warmth of the sun,which was already high in the clear sky,on his face. Raising a ham-sized hand to shield his eyes,Martin noticed the ant-like pace of large men,stevedores,working to unload the hold of a true merchantman. The ship's mast's seemed to reach for the sky above and dozens of crews labored to get the many exotic,strange and Costly items into the presumed safety of a merchant's warehouse! Ingenius implements like a windlass and block and tackles were being used to facilite unloading the weighty prizes from the huge ship's holds. Striding down the "Lobo's gangplank he noticed that thanks to the efforts of the good Doctors Ducky and Lilaney,he felt little pain from his healing wound.Wondering aloud "I do hope that the crew stays on their BEST behavior while here,I don't know if I can take another wild escape!" Even as he uttered the words a single dark cloud passed between the Sun and Earth....Muttering darkly to himself,Martin vowed to get the needed supplies on board BEFORE the inevitable happened!!
Post by: Hibernian on September 01, 2009, 09:58:54 PM
Walking slowly up the street the monk casually looked about taking in the details of the people and the shops. This close to the docks there were the usual stores and shops. A few were in the business of restocking the ships with fresh supplies. But it couldn’t escape notice that the majority were in the business of taking everything of value from the visiting seaman. The earnings from six months before the mast would soon be traded for a smile from a pretty face, a bottle of rum and a dirty bed shared with, well let’s just say not the owner of that pretty smile.

As he moved further from the docks the quality of the establishments improved as did the patrons. The crowd upon the street leaned toward more experienced hands, officers and even the occasional ship’s Captain. These were taverns where information as well as drinks could be had, deals made and for the right price just about anything or anyone could be found. The Captains Wolf had gone into the tavern just ahead.

His step to follow them was brought up short by a nagging in the back of his head that something just wasn’t right. What? Something was different, something he must have noticed without realizing, something he couldn’t put his finger upon.

There was a empty lot just across and up from the tavern now containing the Captains. Moving for a closer look, Timothy gathered that the lot’s former occupant was now the pile of charred timbers decomposing upon the ground.

“If you are going to rebuild it, you’ll need more than God’s grace.” Following the sound of the voice the Brother watched a man step out of the shadows and approach.
“Rebuild it, I’m not even sure what it was?”
“It’s a church of course, at least it was until it burned down, besides what would a priest rebuild other than a church?”

“Well actually we build many things in addition to churches; there are schools, convents, monasteries, places of healing, all manner of…”
“But this was a church, and here you are new to town; you probably have a money purse full of silver from Rome, here’s a great location for a church, you need to rebuild it.”

“Forgive my ignorance, my name is Brother Timothy and I am new here, does the town need a new church? Didn’t you build another after the fire?  Or perhaps you are a wealthy patron willing to support such a project?”

“A patron, hell, you could say I’m a patron of my own ways and means. My name is Senor Domingo and I own that lot; when the building accidently burned down I helped the old priest by buying the lot. But the fair market value of an empty lot didn’t leave enough to rebuild so he left for another island.”

“You would be willing to sell me the lot at this same fair market value?”
“Well of course, but keep in mind there would have to be a small additional amount to cover my expenses. You wouldn’t fault a man for making a living?”

“No, I wouldn’t fault you, but I’m not the one you should be concerned about. For now I’ll just say ‘Bless you my son, may you reap the full profit you so justly deserve.’ ” Leaving Senor Domingo searching for a response, turning about the brown robe monk retraced his steps toward the tavern and the Captains.

Stepping through the tavern’s doorway he stopped and loudly dropped the end of his staff upon the floor.
“Where’s my wee black doggy?”

Post by: Welsh Wench on September 16, 2009, 08:32:24 PM
"Stop! Stop, you two!"
Wench was torn between laughing and crying.  The dogs were alternating between Jack and Wench, then running to Athena and back again.
Wench sat up and hugged Amber. Muir tried to climb on Jack's lap.
"Let me get them something to occupy their time and their mouths," Athena said.
She filled pewter bowls with lamb stew. The dogs immediately abandoned their objects of affection and shoved their muzzles into the bowls.
Wench dipped a towel in Jack's tankard of ale and wiped her hands.
"Hey! I was drinking that!"
"No one said you couldn't, Jack. I've seen you eat oysters."
"Bu it had dog spit in it!"
"OK OK...."
Wench got up and went behind the bar, bringing Jack a fresh tankard.
"So, Athena, how long have Muir and Amber been with you?"
"About a month. Cade dropped them off. He said you would be by in about a month for them. And he was right. He said he had inside information as to when you would be along."
"Now how....?" Jack started. But Athena and Wench were already catching up on all the latest gossip about their friends....and not so friends.
"Athena, how is Nicolette?"
"Oh, she found her soulmate and is into a happy ever after."
"Anyone I know?"
"Remember that sweet-souled cobbler over on Willow Lane?"
"The one who makes those boots with the heel I would kill for?"
"The very same!"
"She hit a goldmine there! Romance AND boots to die for!"
"I'm very happy for her. I'd like to see her when I am in town."
Jack yawned, "We won't be in town that long."
"Jack, a few days won't be the end of the world."
Athena leaned forward, "And remember that crazy lady that used to wander the lanes?"
"You mean the one with that awful flowered hat?"
"That's the one. They finally had to send her to Bedlam."
"I thought there was an air of serenity in port!"
"Oh, and Lady Renee? She and Sir Stephen are in Scotland, visiting his family. Should be back in September."
"What of that woman with the fancy clothes? The one who always drank her tea with her pinkie finger out?"
Wench made a mockery of her demonstration. Jack rolled his eyes and shook his head.
"The one with the airs? Heard she went back to claim her inheritance. All she ended up with was five shillings and a peat bog!"
Wench and Athena started laughing. Wench said mirthfully, "Not even enough to buy a new hat! Serves her right!"
The more they exchanged information about the townsfolk, the more they dissolved into laughter. And the more Jack wished he could exchange his ale for whiskey.  He was feeling the onset of a headache.
"So, Athena--why Le Cur?"
She laughed heartily. "Really nothing sinister. It just came to me one day. A play on words! Li-quor...Le Cur!"

Wench asked about a few people.
"And what of that French lapdog who hung around that couple who put on airs?"
"The one that claimed his estate was the best even though he was a Frenchman on English soil? He disappeared into oblivion. Think he went back to France."
"GAWD, he was SO simpering!"

The more they talked, the more they laughed as they caught up on all the news. Jack's only consolation was the fine Irish whiskey that Athena kept pouring for him.
Suddenly the door swung open and a voice boomed, “Where's my wee black doggy?”
The dogs leaped over Jack's whiskey, barely clearing the table as Amber just about jumped out of her doggy-hair, her tongue just about dragging on the floor. With a leap, she jumped into the monk's arms.

Wench looked up at the unmitigated joy on Brother Timothy's face, coupled with the tear that threatened to spill over down his cheek. She almost burst out crying herself.

The pups had come home, Wench had Jack idling in neutral ready to do anything she asked..well, just about since everything came with a price.

Ah, life was good in Wench's world!
Post by: lilaney on October 23, 2009, 09:40:31 AM
The morning stretched across the hills and valleys of the small tropical Island.
the light, bright and new, cast itself wherever shadows fled.

A Crisp, brisk and ready sea breeze woke the slumbering port to the
new day.
The Crew of the El Lobo stretched and yawned.
for once, the night had been peaceful.
"Eh, think'll be leaving today?"
"Ah, no, nun them back, and Capt' gone too. Canna leave with out'em."
The sailor nodded balefully, and looked across the turquoise waters.
"It be a beautiful day fer sailin', wish'un they'd be rattlin' their dags. Wanna get 'ome and see me gal."
The other sailer cast a keen eye at his mate.
"And where'un be this gal?"
The sailer looked at his friend a bright smile flashed.

Over on a quieter side of the Island, there was no sounds of the Sea.
A bird trilled and called merrily outside a small cottage window.
Lil cracked one eye and stared ominously at the little fellow.
"If you knew the pain you were causing right now, I'd kill you where you stand. But, seeing as you are simply greeting the day. You shall live to see tomorrow."

A soft, deep chuckle vibrated the bedding under Lil, who's eyes flew open at the sound.
Sitting straight up in bed, she looked to her right and a flash of pain hit her square in the head.
Falling back against the pillows, she let the hangover consume her embarrassment.
Eyes squeezed shut, Lil felt the weight next to her shift as he rolled over, propped his head on one arm and surveyed her.
She could feel his eyes on her.
And for once in her life, she was not as mortified as she could have been.
"Feeling better?"
The pitiful moan in reply illicited  another deep chuckle as he slid out of bed.

Lil felt his weight disappear and when there was no sound for what she felt was too long a time, she dared crack an eye to view an empty room.
Pleasant, clean and small, the cottage room had a few windows and one door that was open to a small garden.
Lil dared not sit up again, so she laid in the silence and waited.

Soon, she felt someone sit on the edge of the bed.
A small cool hand came onto her forehead.
"Och now, shhh.. be still lass, I'll nay hurt yee. A troubled mind mixed with vile spirits will make even the strongest lad wail like a bairn. I have a possive for ye to take, when ye've a mind. Best be still till the pain goes. Or, ye'll make it worse."
The cool voice of the woman was soothing to Lil's rattled brain. She allowed the woman to assist her in sitting up and then drinking something that smelled like death, with a minty aftertaste.
"Now, if'n ye'll promise me ta never be drinkin' like a whale agin, I'll fix ye a fine meal in a few hours time."
Lil nodded at the small red headed woman.
She could have been 12, she could have been 50.
Lil had never met a lady that looked like this one, she was ageless.

Drake leaned casually on the doorjamb and observed the scene with a mild expression.
He knew this cottage and he knew the owner, it was fortune's hand that she was in port this season.
The red head helped Lil lay back down, after covering her with a light blanket, she closed the curtain over the window and came towards Drake, with a quick look at him that spoke volumes, Drake followed her out into the garden.

The small woman took a seat at a wicker table that was laid with a charming breakfast.
Drake sat down across from her, in his usual seat.
"Ah now, Duckie, where'd ye be findin' this one?"
The casual way the old gal made the comment made Drake laugh behind his teacup as she poured another cup for him.
"Amazingly enough, Maggie, she found me."
The little Irish woman cocked an eyebrow at him and resumed her meal.
Drake looked around at the set up, only she would ensure that all her possessions traveled with her.
"I see even the statues made the boat ride across."
Maggie sniffed and added some cream to a bowl and handed it to him, it would have fallen to the ground if he had not taken it.
"I like me comforts, young man, and soon it'll all be packed away again."
Drake sat the bowl down on the small table and looked curiously at her.
"You are headed home?"
Maggie looked at him, she had loved this man since he was a boy. Watching him grow in talent and looks warmed her heart, if she wasn't old enough to be his mother...
"Ach, aye, back to the Erie shores I be headed."
Drake sat back and was thinking, Maggie watched keenly as his faced went thoughtful, to stony, to thoughtful again. She was certain he was going to ask a favor.
She waved a petite hand at him.
"Think nothing of it, it makes perfect sense."
Drake looked at her hard, she knew this was something terribly important to him.
"You will take care of everything?"

Maggie stared back evenly.
"Have I ever let ye down before young Drake?"
Duckie smiled then, he knew all would be in good hands.
"Thanks Mags. You are a dear."
"Ye know I hate ta be called that! And if you were a bairn, I'd make ye mind!"
Duckie laughed then and stood up, kissing Maggie's hand he went to back to stand guard at the
door of the Cottage.
Maggie watched his back as he simply stood there.
"Ach, now, praised be and bless him for I think this time it would truly hurt is something was ta happen to that young woman."

Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on December 11, 2009, 05:36:35 PM
It was quite a long while before Elinor opened her eyes and greeted the following day, owing much to her alcoholic indulgence of the previous day. Surprisingly, she awoke without a headache (thankfully), but spent several minutes still groggy from sleep. Seeking solace in the manner she was most accustomed, she grabbed her quill, inkwell, and parchment, and started a recapitulation of the previous day's adventures. She had just gotten to the part where they'd visited Athena's tavern to fetch Captain Wench's dogs when she heard the sound of soft, booted footfalls outside her door. She heard them pause, and then an equally soft knock made the silent room echo with the sound. Thinking it was Blackjack, she smiled. She'd have to thank him for helping her find her way back to the ship... "Come in," She told the person on the other side of the door.

What happened next was far more surprising than the absence of a headache after a night of drinking. The door opened, and Blackjack wasn't on the other side of it.

"Oh, good, you're awake. I'd heard that you'd come back to the ship quite sauced last night, I didn't want to disturb you, but," The speaker paused, biting his lip in nervousness. "I made a mess of things, and need your help to get myself out of it."

Julian didn't wait for social niceties any longer and crossed the threshold of the door, entering into the cabin, closing the door quickly behind him.

Post by: Welsh Wench on December 13, 2009, 08:20:44 PM
"And has my wee doggie been a good girl?" Brother Timothy couldn't stop patting and hugging Amber.
Athena grinned broadly, "Of course she has!"
Brother Timothy smiled gratefully at Athena. "And, Miss Gypsy Queen, I can see that you have been feeding her from the fat of the land! She certainly has not been in want for food."
Athena shrugged, "She was well fed when she got here. Cade Jennings took good care of the pups. He knew he would have hell on earth if he didn't."
Athena nodded her head in Wench's direction.
Jack poured Hibernian an Irish whiskey. "It's about time I had a man to talk to. I've been listening to the fishwives here hanging over the fence dissecting everyone's life."
Wench stuck her tongue out at Jack.
"If you feel that way, I can go elsewhere."
"I didn't mean---"
She reached over and grabbed a pouch with gold coins.
"That is going to cost you."
"So anything you drink, put on my tab. I have money to pay Athena."
Wench jiggled the pouch to the satisfactory jingle of coins. "Besides, Athena and I need to shop."
"You have enough stuff."
"And I'll buy you a new pipe."
"You hate it when I smoke."
"Oh yeah..well, I'll go see Mistress Crocker. She probably has a new brownie recipe. She always does."
"Yeah, well, the last time you made brownies, we had to scrape you off the ceiling."
Athena raised her eyebrow and Wench blurted out. "Butter is all the same, isn't it?"
Jack looked askance at her. "Not when it is made from plants."
"Come on, Athena, I don't have to listen to my attempted culinary skills get insulted."
Athena gave her a questioning look. "You baked? I thought that was Martin Montgomery's job."
"He met with a bit of a mishap and I ended up....oh, who cares anyways when I need new boots!"
"I like the white ones, Wench. The heel is nice and pointed like you prefer. 'Good for the instep', you always said. Except it wasn't your instep. It was the instep of whoever you were stomping your boot heel on!"
Wench laughed. "Sharp, pointy things don't always go in a scabbard! But listen, I wanted to get you away from that mistake of a husband of mine."
"Mistake? Oh come now! Anyone can see that you are crazy about him."
"Let's just say crazy and let it go at that.  I have to tell  you what I found when I was looking--"
"--snooping is more like it."
"Do you want to hear this or not?"
"I don't know, do I?"
"Yes, you do! I was looking in Jack's quarters---"
"What do you mean, 'Jack's quarters'? Are you not sharing? He is your husband."
"Without conjugal rights."
"OK so it may have happened once but I don't really remember it."
"How can you not remember?"
"Athena, please! It's complicated enough. I was--alright so I was looking for a nail file and I came across some interesting papers."
"Jack was married before!"
"Jack has a few illegitimate children that Zara has to call siblings!"
"Your annulment papers were there!"
Wench tapped her foot.
Athena sighed. "You know us Greeks. Always expressing our opinions."
"Are you done?"
Athena thought for a minute.
"I think so. Yes, I know so."
Wench motioned her closer and said, "I found half a map."
"Athena, before he died, Rhys whispered to me there was a piece of paper in his frock coat. I was to take it. But I was too distracted with him dying until I was ready to run. I took his coat with me and it wasn't until a month later, I found what he was trying to tell me. He had half a map."
"OK so half a map is better than no map, right?"
"Well, let's just say for the sake of argument, 'sure'. "
Wench reached in her bodice and waved half a map in Athena's face.
"So, you have half the map Rhys left you."
"Oh no, no, no! What I have here is half a map alright! But this was found in Mad Jack Wolfe's book of---well, let's just say it's a book that can enhance your--you know."
"You mean--?"
"I have the map?"
"No, you mean Jack Wolfe needs a MANUAL?"
"Of course not!"
Wench laid it flat out. "I have Jack's half of the map."
"And the other?"
"It's in a chest of drawers under Zara's nappies!"
Post by: lilaney on December 14, 2009, 02:05:18 PM
Lil woke slowly to the soft sway of the waves rocking beneath her.
She sighed happily and stretched her arms wide as she laid flat and looked up at the overhead.
Blinking, she looked again.
"What the.."
Sitting up she looked around furiously, hoping to see something familiar.
The smells, and the sounds were the same; the deck, the room, the furniture, were not.
A stream of violent curses flew out of her, as a man came in who was not an El Lobo sailor, or a Knight Hammer sailor.
"I see you are awake" he said dryly.

Lil was afraid; she had no weapons on her.
Usually she had at least one dagger in her nighdress.
But, with a glance down she was certain she was not in her own clothes. She did not feel the comforting weight of a weapon near her hand and this man had her at a disadvantage.
Thankfully her head was clear, all too clear or she would have sworn this was a dream.

"Who are you and where the Hell am I?"
He raised an eye at her anger, apparently her consent was not given as the woman who had escorted her onboard had sworn to. But, the money was true, so he had taken a bet on her passage.
He had bet wrong.
"My name is of no concern, but, it seems that you may have been had."
Lil went from afraid to near panic now, a sick sensation was starting in her stomach.
"Not again" she whispered.

She was 12 and yesterday was her birthday. The warm Mediteranian breeze whipped her hair asunder much to her nurse's displeasure. She didn't care, Poppa like it messy.
The day was glorious, and she had bullied her Nurse into taking her along the piers and cliffs, to see the ships.
Guns flashing, lights popping and all went dark.
Next thing Illianya knew she was bound and gagged in the hull of a foul smelling boat.
Crying through the gag she screamed and prayed. No one heard her or if they did, no one came to save her. She fought the gag, but, with no reward.
She had to escape and tell Poppa, he would be so mad with her! She knew how protective he was, if she was not home by dark he would be furious with her and throw her out as he had always threatened to do. 'El Bastardo' he used to mock her with when he was angry.
She knew that was not the truth, but, reason never worked when Poppa was mad. She had gotten her temper from him, and she felt it begin to boil in her blood as she fought the bindings.
She would escape and she would show those who had dare harm her how much her swordsmaster, and Poppa had taught her about the Lady Blade.

"Where am I?"
Because this time, she was not bound she jumped up and in two steps stood toe to toe with the Sailor before her.
"You are on my master's vessel, and we are headed to England.."
Lil shoved him aside and bolted through the door, seeing as he had not expected it, she did topple him to the deck.
Lil flew to the Main deck and glanced around.
It was a beautiful day for sailing; franticly she looked around her, she saw no land.
Taking another look, she spotted a small patch of haze in the distance.
'LAND!' her mind yelled to her body and she reacted.
Without another thought in her head, she ran for the railing and did a perfect swan dive
into the ocean's waves.

The Captain was bellowing as the sailor made it to the railing just as Lil's feet hit water.
"I believe that we are minus one passenger." he remarked dryly.
Madge had been strolling casually on deck when she saw the flash of her best nightdress exit over the rail. Sighing and rollinging her eye's to the sky she sent a prayer to protect her Drake.
"Madame! We should turn and retrieve her!"
Madge watched the Captain coming toward her, there was no concern on his face. She knew
he was afraid of the loss of money that might happen due to this.
"Nay, Dear Captain. We go forward, she be well. I have a feeling, she could outswim all your men combined. I account that to two things.. Skill and pure, unadulterated Fury."

The Sailors of the El Lobo were loading stores and enjoying the day before they set sail. Laughing talking and being boisterous.
When a dead silence overcame them.
Briggs looked up from the stores sheet he was reviewing to see a wet hand slap onto the leeward side of the ship's main deck, curiously he watched as what could be the equivelant of a drowned rat heaved itself onto the deck. He would have been ammused if not for the face that she was wearing.
He thought her a nuisance, Lil could never take orders, but, even he was a bit concerned for himself as she stood up, and wetly headed for him.

Through her labored breathing he could hear the anger.
"Where..{breath}.. is..{breath} .. he {breath}?"
Briggs, uncertain of who she spoke of, simply pointed towards the sleeping quarters.
Lil, a sodden mess and bare feet slapping as she stormed towards the Surgery...

Post by: Welsh Wench on March 01, 2010, 08:39:29 PM
Athena took the map out of Wench's hand.
"This doesn't say much. Only half the words."
She looked at it closely. " 'Cora----' and 'dia---'? Who is this Cora anyways?"
Wench pointed, "The map Rhys had says, '---zon' and '---blo' Put them together and what do you get?"
"Cora Zon blows?"
Wench snatched the map back. "No! It's Spanish. I means 'Corazon del
She folded the map and put it in her bodice. "It means 'heart of the devil'."
"Athena, Corazon del Diablo is fabled to be the richest deposit of gold that the Muisca  Confederation has hidden away. People have been searching for it since the days of the Spanish Conquistadors. The Muisca towns and their treasures quickly fell to the conquistadors. Taking stock of their newly won territory, the Spaniards realized that — in spite of the quantity of gold in the hands of the Indians — there were no golden cities, nor even rich mines, since the Muiscas obtained all their gold in trade. But at the same time, the Spanish began to hear stories of El Dorado from captured Indians."
"So you have given me a history lesson."
"Athena, what if Jack and Rhys stumbled across the whereabouts of this ancient kingdom? And its treasures of gold?"
"Where did you learn all this?"
"I know it may seem hard to believe, but for all his--earthiness--Jack Wolfe is a very educated man. A voracious reader."
"You told me that wasn't all he was voracious about."
"Alright, let's put aside his proclivities. But here is the thing--he has been very cagey about El Dorado. And he knows that Cade is searching for it too. So...what better way to get even with Cade Jennings than to get to the prize first?"
"Do you think there really is treasure?"
"Athena, El Dorado is also sometimes used as a metaphor to represent an ultimate prize or 'Holy Grail' that one might spend one's life seeking. It could represent true love, heaven, happiness, or success. It is used sometimes as a figure of speech to represent something much sought after that may not even exist, or at least may not ever be found.
 But I think Jack found the real deal."
"What if he already found it?"
"What do you mean?"
"You. What if YOU are the El Dorado in Jack's world?"
She took the map back out and waved it in front of Athena's face.
"I think I am holding Jack's world right here. And if I can burn Cade Jennings in the meantime, I will! Remember Salty Sol?"
"The pirate with a hook on his left hand and the eyepatch with the diamond on it? He would get drunk and start running his mouth about going after the fabled gold."
"Yes, I remember him. Died when someone cracked a chair over his head."
"I was waiting tables at the Varlet and Vixen and he would start on his rant. He said the way to get to el Corazon del Diablo was to go through a series of traps."
"What kind of traps?"
"The kind that if you stepped on the wrong stone, the ground would open you up. I'm talking fire and brimstone kind of traps!"
"And you have the harebrained scheme to go after this treasure?"
"Of course not!"
Wench looked thoughtful and then said resolutely, ", not at all. I can't do that. I won't do that."
Athena raised her eyebrow.
"Alright, so it might be a bit...interesting. Just to read some more up on it."
"And where do you go to read up on it?"
"My esteemed co-captain and misplaced husband has books on the subject. As I told you, he is voracious."
"The man does everything to excess, doesn't he?"
"Well, not recently...Now how about those boots over there?"


Jack and Brother Timothy sat in the tavern sipping their whiskey. Jack pulled out the pipe and lit it.
"She hates this thing, you know."
"Then why do you do it?"
"Because it upsets her."
'And you like to upset her."
"You know what they say--bad attention is better than no attention at all."
"Why don't the two of you patch things up?"
"It's more complicated than that."
Brother Timothy pointed at him with his whiskey glass.
"You love each other."
"Not enough for her, I guess."
"There's the child."
Jack broke out in a grin. "Yeah, there's Zara. Brother, we will just have to wait and see. She can't be rushed."
"Do you want to patch things up with Rhiannon?"

Jack looked up sharply, "You know?"
"I've known who she was for quite some time. After all, I am a member of the clergy, in a matter of speaking."
"She confessed to you?"
"Well, it was not exactly, 'Father forgive me for I have sinned.' More like coming from the bottom of a bottle kind of confession. An unloading as it were."
Jack laughed. "Well, the only way I could find out about Zara was to snoop. And all I was looking for was a clue as to who I was married to. Zara is a card that I never thought I would hold."
"Looking forward to it?"
"To what?"
"To holding her."
Jack's face reflected pride. "Yes, I am. An ace that came from a queen and a jack. Yeah, she's a full house!"
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on March 03, 2010, 02:00:43 PM
"You mean to tell me that you lost your quill, THAT'S your big mess?" Elinor exclaimed. "I thought someone had died, or, or, something else that is terrible, but I can't think of it because I'm so annoyed at you!"

Julian grinned mischievously. "Thought I'd shake things up," He replied, wiggling his eyebrows. Elinor narrowed hers, glaring at the other scribe. "That look doesn't suit you," She responded frostily, putting aside her ink, quill and parchment and flouncing out of the room, leaving Julian standing there stunned at her reaction.

I wonder where Lil has gotten off to... Elinor thought...

Post by: lilaney on March 18, 2010, 11:41:29 AM
That was what Duckie saw. In his mind he was surprised to actually see Lil again.
But, then again, he wasn't. Her sodden self standing in his doorjamb, chest heaving with a
sense of anger he had rarely seen coming from a female and aimed at him, usualy they were aimed at the Captain. He also did not feel like laughing at her, usually she ammused him.
But, this time, it was different.

Lil was in the doorframe of his stateroom, searching him out in the dim light,
and like a preadator catching prey, she sighted him and attacked.
Duckie braced for the impact as Lil upturned the chair he was in.
He rolled gracefully to his feet, if anything Jack had taught him how to recover.

Lil was seeing red.
How dare this man pretend to know her? How dare he attempt to kidnap her?
Feelings, pulsing angrily through her veins made her grab for any all weapons she could find.
Bright red fury gave her strength she did not know she had as she attempted to catch this man.
'what are you to do with him when you catch him' A small voice in her head stated..
she ignored that, because her prey was tricky to catch.

Duckie was glad he was good at evading, because Lil was making it awful hard not to die.
His desk was a mess now, all contents being swept to the floor as she randomly began throwing things at him and trying to stab, strike, kick, punch or just land him off his feet.
He truly did fear what would happen to him, if she did get him off his feet.

And she did;

With a well placed slap of her bare foot, Lil took out Duckie's knee and sent him sprawling on his bunk. Face first he went and like a cat, Lil was on his back, attempting to smother him into his own bedding.
Duckie was not struggling and fiercely as Lil had hoped, which caused her brain to switch on and think. This caused her for one brief moment to release tension and that is when Duckie struck back.
With a quick flip and a twist, Duckie rolled Lil underneath him on the bunk and glared at her.

"Cease." He panted at her.
His breath slowly coming back to him after his sojourn from the smothering, as he stared into her eyes that were still racing with adrenalin. She growled but, remained still. He knew this trick, all he had to do was let up for a second and the fight would be back on.
So, he didn't let up.
"We will stay like this until you come to your senses and we can continue this conversation in a normal manner."

Post by: Lairde Guardn on November 12, 2010, 12:12:29 AM
It is always blackest just before the dawn and that is when the longboat touched upon the shore.  Three cloaked figures moved off in different directions while another two took up residence on the dock not far from where they had tied up, and within view to witness the comings and goings of those on the Lobo.  

Sun broke over the horizon as the three moved quickly into the town, each on a mission heading directly toward an objective.  With the morning haze slowly burning away and the sky getting brighter as the sun rose higher in the sky, it illuminated the three young lassies, whom had pushed back the cowls of their cloaks as they sought out their destinations.  Early morning meant the town was also waking and the three were soon talking in whispers to some of the shop keepers and others before they regrouped at the town center near the fountain to share their findings.

"The Church be burned ta the ground", "and there be nae a convent on the Isle"....two of them reported quickly to the other..."then he be at the ship or the pub, we just need to find which pub now, remember what we be told, no one but him til we find out the Isle be safe.  

The three scattered apart again, each taking up a position at a different pub, sitting at a table and waiting for those staying in the rooms to wake up and come out for their breakfast.   They knew he would be fairly easy to recognize, it was them that worried if he would know who they were, they were older now, and it had been some years since they had last seen the Monk.  Lexi had picked the right pub to be in, while sisters Britanny and Breana waited in others.  They knew of all of Guardn's daughters, they were the most likely to be recognied by the Monk,

Two ships sat a good distance off shore and were just a speck to the naked eye,  few would recognize the silouette of the one ship, but many would recognize the outline of the warship HMS Valiant as they sat upon the horizon.

Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on January 18, 2011, 09:27:23 PM
Only mildly annoyed at Julian, but still wanting a diversion from thinking about him, Elinor set out to find Lil.

After exhausting several places, she started to think that Lil didn't want to be found at the particular moment, when she came across the ship's surgery. "Lil!" She exclaimed, her hand flying up to her mouth in shock. "What is going on here?"

"Nothing that need concern you," Duckie said evenly, not taking his eyes off his quarry. Elinor opened her mouth to respond, but, not finding adequate words, promptly closed it. Throwing her hands up in an "I give up" gesture, she decided to find solace out on the ship's deck...

Either something bad was going on, that I shouldn't know about, or something very good that I shouldn't know about, Elinor thought, shrugging to herself. All this personal drama makes me itch for us to sail again. Nothing like going on an adventure that almost gets us killed to spice things up...
Post by: lilaney on February 15, 2011, 01:50:15 PM
Duckie released Lil and they squared off.
Lil still panting from the sheer anger of the entire situation.
Duckie seemed calm, but, ridgid attempting to anticipate this she-cat's next move.

Lil could see it in his eyes that he was waiting for her to strike, a switch flipped in her head.
'never' she thought, never did she want to make this man build a defense against her.
those thoughts sent her anger flowing out of her and she simply wilted, all the fight going out and she simply sat on the deck.

Duckie watched her sink to the floor; it looked as if all the air had been let out and she had deflated.
Not daring to step towards her, he simply waited.

"I am sorry."
She whispered up at him. Her head was bowed with the humiliation of the situation.
"Never did I think I would make so wary of me that you would have to defend yourself from me.
That is why you put me away from you ins't it? I am no longer to be trusted."

Duckie was caught up short. 'Is that what she thinks of me?'
Too stunned to reply, and in this quiet Lil felt she had her answer, she calmly got up from the ground and left the surgery.
Her heart a cold lump of iron in her chest.

Post by: lilaney on February 18, 2011, 08:24:02 PM
A new Dawn, A new Day.

The wind whipped through the sails of the wooden maiden which sat upon a colbalt cushion.
It had been too long? A day in port seemed an eternity to those whose souls bled salt water.

The masts creaked and swayed to the song of the sea, which in Lil's mind was the best place
to sit and think. She had been doing a lot of thinking since they had set sail again.
Two weeks out of port and she still hadn't spoken to Duckie.
Embarrisment being the prime reason, and pure luck the secondary.

Martin had been able to scrounge some choice bits and with the addition of the pups aboard he
was finding great joy in feeding them his 'projects', and seeing their delight and begging for more.

Elinor seemed in good spirits these days, if she was troubled, she could have played drafts and won
against the most stalwart of straight-faces.

And the Captains... Ah, always a good place to look for interaction.

Lil's barefoot swung idly from the cross-beam in the rigging. She was well out of the way of Jack-monkeys that were doing
their jobs around her. Right now, the sun was warming her and the salt-wind was keeping her mind clean and clear of
disturbing thoughts.

"Oy! Git yer arse outta tha' riggin' and git down har and tend to yer bus'niss!"
Lil was more than happy to continue to ignore the passing comments of her crew, they knew what was up as well as she did.
But, how does one tell another human that you had to unmitigated gall to drop defenses and fall in love with them?
That, is a tricky subject indeed.

Turning her head into the wind, she gulped the fresh air and let the sun warm her and allow her mind to float far beyond the ship's sails.
Post by: Elinor Hakebourne on February 23, 2011, 03:50:38 PM
Lil was brought out of her thoughts by a persistent poking on her right shoulder. Turning her head, her eyes met Elinor's expectant ones, and though she was startled, she had enough sense not to let the intrusion into her personal space to cause her to let go of the rigging she held onto. "Elinor! How'd you get up here?" She asked, surprised to see her friend so high up, knowing well of Elinor's fear of heights.

"I climbed," Elinor replied, shrugging. "I think some of the crew didn't appreciate me using their backs and shoulders to leverage me up here, though. I'm definitely not as deft at climbing as you are, Lil." At the shout of one of the crew members below, Elinor glanced down, which was a very bad mistake. She gripped the rigging tighter, her knuckles turning white at the exertion. Taking a deep, steadying breath, she continued. "But I figured this would be the best way to get you to talk to me. We haven't had a decent conversation since I found you in the surgery with Duckie, and that was a fortnight ago!"

Mildly annoyed as she was at having her peace be broken, she couldn't help but smile at her friend's earnest answer. "I've had lots to think about, El," She replied, shifting her weight and turning towards her friend so they could have a conversation properly.

One of the crew, who had already started to climb the rigging, intent on getting to his post, but scowling at the pair of ladies who prevented him from passing, finally had enough, and cleared his throat to get their attention. Lil and Elinor looked down, and, both of them realizing that they were in the way, carefully climbed down (with Lil being far more graceful than Elinor), giving the man the space to get on with his duties.

Elinor went over to the edge of the ship, as much to get out of the way of the other crew members as to be able to get a proper look at the horizon. "I am glad we're sailing again. Too many days in port takes the 'sail' out of the sailor, don't you think?" Lil nodded, taking a place beside her friend, sharing Elinor's gaze upon the horizon.

In the early morning mist, Elinor thought she saw something in the distance. It didn't look like much, but it was definitely something, she thought. Whether something bad, or something good, only time will tell... "Do you see that?" Elinor asked Lil.

"See what?" Lil asked in return, looking at her friend strangely.

"Perhaps it was nothing," Elinor replied, frowning. After all, she thought, no sense making everyone nervous over something that probably wasn't there in the first place. It is not as if I can see it now...
Post by: Welsh Wench on February 24, 2011, 08:09:29 PM
Wench looked up at Lil sitting in the rigging. While that in itself was not disturbing, Lil's face reflected something. Something indiscernible.
"Lilaney? Are you alright?" she called from below.
Absentmindedly, Lil replied, "Hmmm? Oh. Yes. I am fine."
She looked out towards the horizon. She knew that every morning Lil would climb the rigging to get some salt air. It was good therapy and helped her think, she always said.
Wench stood below and gazed at her friend, her comrade who had been beside her and fought with her. If you could call it fighting. Squaring off against an undead ship and watching her former lover Daemon get blown up and reincarnated and into a zombie and running him through....
Wench shook her head as if to clear it. It was so much easier when she was a tavern wench. Of all the things, taking up with Daemon when he proposed taking the Knight Hammer.....'I must have my head examined.'
She frowned, "If you are sure you are alright, Lil....'
Lil continued to look out to see with a faraway look and not answering.
Wench got a look of determination and marched towards the quartermaster's cabin where Jack had bunked down, to his disappointment.
She didn't bother to knock on the door but kicked it open with her foot.

Jack looked up from where he was perusing his navigational charts.
"A low moan for different reasons would be----"
"Shut it, Jack. We have problems."
"What, we under attack?"
"Martin salt the soup too much?"
"Amber is having puppies and Muir is the father?"
"Jack, if I have to slap you upside the head, I will."
He sighed and took out his bottle of rum.
"Something tells me I will need this."
"It's Lilaney."
He corked the bottle."Is she ill?"
"Not exactly..."
"What do you mean, not exactly?"

Wench put her hands on her hips. "I wish you would have better control over your crew."
"Honour, what the HELL are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about Duckie. You know I adore him but I won't stand for one of my crew...."
"Has he been snotty to her?"
"Has he denied her access to his elixirs and medicine?"
"Of course not."
"Short-sheeted the bandages?"
"Don't be snide..."
"Then what did he do?"

Wench's face flamed. "He made her fall in love with him."
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on March 06, 2011, 07:23:37 PM
Jack held up his hand.  “Stop.”
Wench's mouth fell open.  “I will not!”
“Yes, you will, until I sit down and pour myself a drink.  I have a feeling this is going to be a long, confusing conversation.”
“Fine,” huffed Wench.  “Pour me one while you're at it.”
“But of course!  I never drink alone.”
“You were drinking alone when I came in,” she countered.
Jack shook his head and pointed to the bed where the ship's cat lay snoring quietly.  “He's in the room, so technically I'm not alone.”
“You always seem to find a way to justify what you do.”
“Yep!  It's a gift.”  He settled into a chair and put his feet up on the table.  “Now, then, you were talking about something preposterous...”
Wench picked up her mug and shoved Jack's feet off the table before taking a seat for herself across from him.  “No, I was talking about your friend and crewman taking advantage of my crewman!  Crew-woman.”  She waved her hand dismissively as she took a sip of rum.  “Whatever.  It's your fault.  Ooh, this is good.”
“I'm still not tracking, I'm afraid.  Duckie took advantage of Lil?  OUR Duckie?”
“YOUR Duckie.  He's your crew.”
“So the blended crew thing is out the window suddenly?”
“In this case, yes.”
“One ship, one crew, love.  That's how it works.  You can't cherry-pick.”
“And two captains?” she retorted.
“Two for the price of one.  We're still married, remember?” he said with a smirk.
“Don't remind me.”

Jack swirled the rum in his mug.  “Fine.  We'll discuss that later.  Hopefully it will involve disturbing the cat.”
Wench gave him a sour look and shook her head in the negative.
“Can't blame a bloke for trying.  But we're talking about Duckie, for crying out loud!  You say he manipulated Lil for his own ends?  That doesn't sound like him at all.  Sounds more like, like...”
“You, perhaps?”
“I was going to say Cade Jennings, but I didn't want to come across all snotty.”
Wench could feel sudden warmth rush to her face, and she looked away from her husband.  “That wasn't fair.”
“You're right, it wasn't,” sighed Jack.  “I'm sorry, Honour.  I should never have said that.”
“You... you just apologised?”
“Why the surprise?  I said something impulsive and foolish, and I'm sorry for doing it.”
“It's just not like you to apologise for anything.”
“Things change.  People change.  Now quit making a fuss, or I'll take it back and start saying awful things about your taste in shoes.”
Wench looked self-consciously at her boots.  “And just what is wrong with my choice of footwear?”
“Not a thing,” said Jack.  “But I’ll admit to not paying much attention to your feet.  You have other charms far more interesting to me.”
“Back to Duckie and Lil,” said Wench, wishing to herself Jack couldn’t make her blush so easily.
Post by: lilaney on March 10, 2011, 09:05:12 AM
The sway of the ship was always good to pull thoughts from their inner-most spaces
and lull them to drift to the fore of the mind.
Duckie watched the amber liquid in the bottle sway idlely back and forth with the pitch and roll of the ship.
Fingers laced casually together, his nose resting gently on the table they made, he watched the liquid.
back and forth, back and forth.
Pondering not much, and thinking all too deeply.

It had been two weeks now and not one word, much lest a bare sighting.
For such a small location in the world, she had been able to hide herself well.
Crewmen talked, but, where she was once one of their favored subjects, she had been de-throwned
and it was now back to the usual bawdy chats about the Captains.
Back and forth, back and forth
Duckie was a sensible kind, never driven much farther than logic would allow and certainly
the calmest of tempers in the maelstrom that was his beloved friends and shipmates.
He was certain of his feelings and thoughts, but, was she?
Back and forth, back and forth.
If he could talk with her, he was certain, this was all a misunderstanding; a simple complication that
was spurred by a want to keep her safe and her distrust of anything that could be considered a restraint of her movements.
He could be mad at her, but, he saw now that it was a foolish idea to try and cage her like a common budgie. This one was a rare parrot and never before had he seen a bird of that feather survive long in
captivity that was not of its own making.
Back and forth, back and forth.
realization dawned slowly, spreading its warming comfort of assurance as a plan formed in his head.
Where he was not one to enact a plan often, more to the point he was usually the one to soften the
damage that occured during and after; he felt this time, drastic measures must be undertaken.
The one slice of iron in the fae was that he was not certain of her feelings regarding him.
He had guessed and like any good scholar his guesses were usually good, but, this female could stump him. Best to get a confirmation before begining his scheme.
Before that, he could sit and ponder his plan; build it up in his head, all the steps required, leave no questioned unanswered. Should she care for him? He felt a flood of contentment at the thought, this scheme would work wonderfully and all would be well. Should she think otherwise, his heart skipped a beat, this whole thing could end in tears, of blood or salt, he could not quite lay bets on considering the source of his affection.
Either way, Duckie felt it was time to act; a fortnight to sit and stew was plenty of time, now, was the time for action.
Post by: Hibernian on March 13, 2011, 10:54:03 AM
“Lord, I wonder if it’s possible to lie in bed long enough to avoid that which is coming and just pass directly to the beyond?”

“Yet, if I am here to learn and to serve, that will not be accomplished in bed, perhaps by others who shall remain unnamed pirates, but at least not by this monk.”

“An offer; no, a compromise; no, as the devil learned in the desert one does not barter with You so I offer a prayer Lord; if I get up, you will send an angel to release the thumping from my head.”

“There, I am up, any angels sent to capture thumps may now make their presence known.”

Opening his eyes for the first time, no angels were visible, unless one counted the black dog lying on the floor in front of the door. Now that wee black doggie was no angel and while she was black, a wee doggie she was not. The monk’s traveling companion weigh near 7 stone and had a tail long and hard enough to be worthy of cat of nines. That tail also proved to be the source of the thumping as it beat a tattoo upon the deck. “So Amber, you are sent to be my angel and remove the thumping from my head, at least He has a sense of humor. Thank the heavens for that else I am really in trouble.”

A short while later, the monk and dog descended the stairs into the common room of the Le Cur Tavern. Brother Timothy noted it was near mid day already, very few patrons were at the tables and the Romani in the corner was avoiding his eyes. He also noted that there was a definite lack of officers and crew from the Lobo.

Post by: Hibernian on March 28, 2011, 09:33:03 PM
“Well, they’re not here. What I mean to say, is the ship has sailed. You see you and the Captain had been drinking all day and then a good part of the night, except you went to bed and he didn’t. Then come the morning, when we got up and found him still down here drinking, it took the two of us, Wench and I that is, just to get him up and moving, but that only worked so well. So we got a few of the crew to lend a hand and suddenly word spread and then those few turned into a few more and before you know it one could say we had a parade.”

“A parade is nice yet I do not see how that resulted in my being here and the Lobo being heaven knows where!”

“Oh no, you’re right the parade was fantastic, I truly believe it was one of the best we have had on the island for years ….and I can also see by your face that this isn’t really what you wanted to hear is it.”

“Athena you darling gypsy, where.. is ..ship?”

“But Brother the parade is part of the reason you’re still here. Or actually the people who came down to the parade. You see it got very loud, then very busy and somewhat confusing, and then perhaps well there may have been some drinking.”

“You may have been drinking?”

 “Yes we may have been drinking, one thing lead to another and well Wench and I started talking about something that perhaps we shouldn’t have been talking…”

“ Athena…”

“Brother you know us gypsies and how we love maps and treasure, we may have been talking about El Dorado and the heart. Oh you know the heart, El Corazon del Diablo.”

Post by: lilaney on June 24, 2011, 09:38:59 PM
There are some strong of will and others with the fortitude of soul to best the grandest of tests.
But, let it never be said that a sailor would willingly starve to prove a point.

And, it was to this specific mindset that Duckie planned to enact his scheme.

Where Lil was wise in her ability to avoid and deflect confrontation, she had minimal
control over the foodstuffs; thankfully, that was left to more proffesional hands than hers.
Duckie was not one for diguises, but, he had to admit they worked in a pinch.
The crew was amused with his plans to lay a lady-snare, and willingly involved themselves in the game.
Duckie the Dr. was now simply Drew, a common seaman.
He enjoyed the integration, though it took him a few days to adjust to the overtly scruffy look and the smell.
The name Drew was being used in the general scuttle-butt to amend the men to the feel of the name and
they highly enjoyed creating the sea-stories to build his grandiose reputation.
Ducky was charmed at all of the adventures his nom de plume had gotten up too; He had to admit the men knew their
game of story-telling well and he made a mental note to be more with them during happier times.
This night, he sat hunch-shouldered in between two sea-dogs,with his back to the door he simply waited.

Eventually, she would come.

There was a modest pall of silence in the hum among the men that usually occured when a female's presence was espied in the ranks. Duckie stiffened a bit, and then forced himself to relax.
There was more than just Lilaney aboard of the fairer sex.
He watched Julian a table over keenly to see his reaction, that would give him a good idea.
Julian's eyes flicked up from his meal, then flicked down.
"Not Elinor"
He watched some of the more romantic old-salts for a moment; no reaction.
"Not the Captain"
The numbers narrowed, Duckie decided to dare a glance.
A brief glimpse and his heart thumped.
"Yep, thar she blows"

He swallowed a small thrill of emotion, and simply waited.
So very soon, he would have resoloution.

Post by: lilaney on August 27, 2011, 09:21:27 PM
Duckie set ready to pounce.. when the world suddenly shifte hard to Starboard..
People, benches, plates, food, and plenty of swearing slid across the floor and while many seasoned sailors were able to brace soon after the sudden shift. Not everyone was lucky. Duckie ended up flipped up and over his bench, amid peals of feminine laughter.
Soon after the sharp right turn, the entire galley emptied back on deck.
If there is one ideal that will remain true throughout time, a sailor's curiosity must be sated.

Duckie, not being a sailor, assumed that the Captains must have had a rather decent excuse for almost dipping the bow into a proper curtsey even for Davy Jones.

With Lil, yet again hidden amongst the sprawl of curious Sailors, he quietly made his way back to his surgery to soak his thoughts in some well aged cure.
Post by: Welsh Wench on January 26, 2012, 09:54:02 PM
"What the hell....?"
The ship thumped and dipped, throwing Honour from the chair over to the bed where Jack had been lounging.
"Well, hello to you too!"
The ship buoyed to the opposite direction, Jack landing on top of Honour.
"You planned this!"
"Now, how can I control a ship when I am here with you?"
"You must have sent a signal to the helmsman! Turn right! Turn left! Hard!"
"As much as I love--and always have--having you under me---in a captain's way, of course!--I had nothing to do with this!"
"Yeah, I'll bet!"
He disentangled himself. "Your boots always did look good entwined with mine."
She stuck her tongue out at him.

Jack looked out the porthole window.
"Well, it looks like someone has a thing for El Lobo del Mar! Look!"
Honour peered out the porthole with Jack.
"What is it?"
"A humpback whale and she is trying to have a go with the old Sea Wolf."
The ship bumped once more and Honour and Jack landed on their bums.
"Do something! Don't you have a harpoon?"
"Are you crazy? Harpoon a poor fish---"
"--whatever---for lusting after my ship? Just wait and it will be over before you know it."
Honour looked at her fingernails and murmured, "I've heard that before."
"Wait...what's this?"
"This!" He reached into her bodice and pulled out a paper.
"What the hell? Honour, you've been snooping in my room!"
"Have not! I was merely looking for some reading material and--what do you mean, snooping? Pot, meet Kettle!"
"Well, I was in your room looking for your brownie recipe, if you must know the truth. The crew--a few of them--had a hankering for them."
"You may inform the crew that my apron and my culinary skills are---GIVE THAT BACK TO ME!"
Jack unfurled the paper and kept it out of her reach.
"What are you doing with this map of El Corazon del Diablo?"
She grabbed for it and he held it out of reach.
"It won't do you any good, Honour. The other half is gone."

A sweet smile graced Honour's face.
"Not necessarily. I happen to know where the other half is."
"You do?" He leaned towards her. "Where is it, my love?"
"Wouldn't you like to know, oh, light of my life?"
"Oh, look who is starting with the sweet talk now?"
Jack backed her against the wall and planted both hands on either side of her.
"Sweetheart, you just may have something I want."
"I'll bet you say that to all the strumpets."
"Oh, I wouldn't call you that."
With that, Honour brought her knee up to rack him but Jack was too quick and deftly moved to one side.
"Ah ah ah!"
"Bite me, Jack!"
"I thought you would never ask!"
She ducked down and slipped from his grasp.
"I just happen to have in my possession the right side of said map given to me---for safe keeping, mind you--by one Captain Rhys Morgan!
"Rhys gave you one half of the map?"
"Oh, I stutter?"
"And where is said map now? Go fetch it! We can sail towards El Corazon by sunset!"
"I don't have it."
"Then where is it? Surely you must have it somewhere with all the stuff you carry around with you. I have never known you to be unprepared."
"When I left to go on my search for Captain Spleen, I had----wait! How did YOU end up with half of it?"
"Oh, that. Poor Spleen! He was losing very badly at cards. And he can't  hold his rum like he used to."
"So you won it in a card game?"
"Well, it was rightfully mine. After all, I...."
"Oh, ho! YOU lost it to HIM!"
"It was a long time ago!"
"And you've gotten better at reading marked decks, huh? Especially when you marked it?"

Jack just grinned at her.
"So now where is the map, my love?"
She leaned forward and whispered, "In a chest of drawers under your daughter's nappies!"

Just then the ship gave one last heave.
Honour landed on top of Jack.
"Game over," he whispered, as he lit his pipe. "And oh, so satisfying!"
Post by: lilaney on July 11, 2012, 04:54:00 PM
The winds blew clean and salty as the afternoon faded slowly into evening.
Aside from the momentary upset from nature, and one truly confused whale; routine barely ruffled from
its natural movements.
Lil sat quietly, away from bustle, away from confrontation. Hands kept busy splicing line, while her mind did the unthinkable.
It built up courage.

The salts watched her in apprehension, knowing an aggitated female is more taciturn than any near-sighted humpback.
When the marlinspike once held in her capable hands flew across the deck, they flinched and moved instinctively out of her path as she stormed towards the surgery.

In the cool dim of the surgery, a heart-hurt male sat staring moodily into an amber-filled crystal. His eyes seemed to be attempting to divine the future from the barrel-aged liquor.
He didn't even flinch when the surgery door slammed open; when he did move was not of his own volition as he was jerked away from the fine liquor and grabbed into a forced embrace.
Whether from surprise or awareness of the inevitable; it took him almost a full ten seconds to realize what he had been hoping for was happening.

Somehow while fully involved in what was before him; he also secured the door, blew out the lights, finished his drink and found what he was looking for: Happiness.
Post by: Hibernian on July 12, 2012, 12:46:48 PM
Throughout her life Athena had come to know many friars and monks who, when the cities and towns would have nothing to do with her people, cared for the hearts and souls of the Travelers. For the most part she remembered the brown robes as jolly round men who were often makers of beer or cheese, and always spoke of the goodness within the world.  Brother Timothy was struggling for control and when he finally spoke she was sure it was to be neither about beer nor cheese, in fact she wondered if it was too late to cry Mulligan and run for the safety of her bed to start all over!

“You and Wench spoke of the Corazon, how nice.  Was it over tea and crumpets, for heaven’s sake Athena I need more than just you spoke of a place that has been driving men mad for the past, what how many years? Give me an idea of her plans at least, does she plan to venture on her own, with Captain Jack, does Jack even suspect this, or perhaps she’s enlisted the St Olaf Girl’s Choir to set the atmosphere for just the right moment to tell him about her impending death wish! “

“Well, I’m pretty sure she didn’t mention anything about a choir. But we talk about the usual things, gold, riches, gold, boots, gold, Captain Jack, gold, map…”

“A map, Wench spoke of a map of the Corazon?”
The Romani girl took a step back away from the brown robed man, “actually not so much spoke of a map as we looked at a map.”
“Are you telling me that she has a map to El Corazon del Diablo because that would be a very bad thing. Please tell me I misunderstood you, please tell there is no map.”
“Oh no,” the gypsy smiled finally having some good news, “she only had half a map.”

“Well, bless your heart, isn’t that nice, perhaps Wench will only get half mad or half dead. I’m sorry Athena that was cruel of me. But it is a point in our favor, half a map is no good, and what are the odds she’ll ever find the other half. After all, things like treasure maps tend to be lost for eons all over the world. The bravest and smartest men of the past 100 years have looked for that map, how could one little blonde wench find a treasure that has been lost for ages and confounded the best pirates and treasure seekers of the world? She can’t even park a boat much less find where to even start looking for the other half.”

The Romani girl took another step backwards, “Unless she already knows the location of the other half of the map?” Without saying a word the monk sat down, leaning his elbows on the table he slowly lowered his head into his hands.

“I’m going to need a drink.”
Post by: Captain Jack Wolfe on October 26, 2012, 06:44:06 PM
The monk walked down the night-shrouded streets of Sangral. Amber, his faithful dog, was ever wary at his side.
“Can you believe it, girl?” he chuckled. “All this time, Wench knew exactly where El Corazón del Diablo lay? What are the chances? Never mind, we’re talking about Wench. It stands to reason. Ah, well. Only a couple more streets, and we can retire and try to get our heads around this revelation.”

As they walked, a sudden, strange wind began to swirl about them. It was gentle at the start, but quickly grew into an unsettling whirlwind. Brother Timothy reflexively clutched the crucifix that hung around his neck as he thought to which saint he should pray for protection. Amber plastered herself against his leg, her hackles raised. She growled at the unseen source of this odd wind. But her growl faded as another sound, a strange wheezing and groaning, began to fill the air. It grew louder and louder, an almost mechanical straining, like something trying to force its way into being. And there before their astonished eyes, it began. Faintly at first, it faded into view, then out again, then in once more. Again and again, more substantial each time, the structure began to materialise. Finally it became stable and solid, blocking their way with a metallic thud.

It was a box. Or a shelter. Brother Timothy couldn’t decide which. It was oddly familiar, this tall blue box with its lighted windows. A solitary light atop it flashed on and off slowly. Then he remembered.
“Wait a moment! When we made port in Glenlevit, I saw this! Amber, I saw this very thing! It was on the docks. Two people left it for a moment and went back in. But then it was gone. There were other times, too. Just out of the corner of my eye. But I didn't dare believe...”

He studied the enigmatic blue box. There seemed to be a door. Above it was a black sign that in illuminated lettering read “POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX.” On one door was another sign that read:






Haltingly, he stepped toward the odd structure.
“Pull to open, it says. Shall we see what’s inside, Amber?” he asked.
Amber whined a little, but stayed by his side as he reached to touch the door.
Suddenly, the door swung inward with a loud squeak. A tall man wearing a pin-striped suit, an ankle-length trench coat, and with a head of unruly, spiky hair emerged. He grinned knowingly as he stepped onto the cobblestone street.
“Ah, there you are!” he said happily. “I’ve tried about eight different times to find you! Well, eight that you know of. You do get around.”

Brother Timothy stumbled backward. “Me? Why in God’s name would you search me out?”
“You were the only one to notice me,” the tall man said. "That, and for some reason the TARDIS keeps bringing me back to you."
“What? When? Your words are a riddle to me.”
“Oh. Yeah. Time differential. Sorry, I keep forgetting. The ship you were on, what was it? The “Lobo del Mar”? Something like that? It was at Glenlevit. An awful lot of cats, too, if I recall.”
“Yes, I remember. Your... box appeared. You and a young woman with blonde hair emerged, but you fled within and vanished again.”
The tall man seemed to grow sad. “Yeah, that was... That was Rose. My companion. Long story, that. Anyway, I saw your ship and decided to move on. I owe the captain money. And a chicken. Another long story.”
“Which one? Wench or Wolfe?”
“Wolfe, that’s the one. Jack Wolfe. Never play cards with him, he cheats. Badly. Wait a moment, you have a captain named Wench? Isn’t that a dual occupation?”
“You don’t know Wench, then.”
“I guess not. Anyway, it’s a bit chill out, yeah? Care to come in, take a look about? I’ve got tea.”
Brother Timothy stayed silent, but backed away.
“Oh, come on,” the tall man said as he stepped out of the box, his hands stuffed into his trouser pockets. “You’re an adventurer. Don’t deny it. Otherwise you wouldn’t be associated with Jack Wolfe. Wait, you’ve got a dog! I love dogs!”
“Her name is Amber.”
“I’ve got a dog, too. His name is K-9. He’s ever so clever.”
“Affirmative!” came a metallic voice from within the box. A boxy metal dog came floating out and took its station at the tall man’s side.

Brother Timothy shook his head. “How can I be this deep in my cups and not have had a drop to drink?”
The tall man stepped toward him. “Because it’s not a dream. I’m real. Just as real as you. I’m another traveller, like yourself. It’s just that my conveyance is a little out of the ordinary. And so is my dog.”
“You restate the obvious, Master,” said K-9.
“See what I mean?” The tall man held out his hand. “I’m the Doctor. And you are?”
Brother Timothy tentatively took the Doctor’s hand. “I’m Timothy. I am a monk.”
“Yes, well, I thought as much. The hassock, the sandals and so on. Franciscan Order, I’m guessing.”
“Franciscan, yes. However, I’m Irish.”
“I was getting to that. The accent was a dead giveaway.” The Doctor gave him an analysing look. “With a bit of a militant streak, if you’re keeping company with pirates. You’d make a great Hibernian.”
“Hibernian? You have me at a loss. I don’t know that order.”
“Not a monastic order, really. And they don’t exist yet. Not by that name, anyway, not until 1836. What a wild year that was. Charles Darwin, the Alamo, Edgar Allen Poe gets married to his cousin- there's another long story. Martin Van Buren gets elected president of the United States, Mexico wins independence from Spain...”
“I’m afraid you’ve lost me, yet again.”
“Sorry! Getting ahead of you. Never mind. I tend to do that. Like I was saying, though, you seem to be more willing to get your hands dirty than most monks.”
“Life takes us in unusual directions. Someone must bring the word of God to those who need to hear it most. And as extraordinary as you seem to be, I have seen many more things equally fantastic, if not more so.”
“See then? We’ve got lots in common. We can trade stories! I bet I can call your fantastic and raise it twice as weird.”
“Perhaps if we were to retire into the TARDIS, Master?” offered K-9.
“Splendid idea! Brother Timothy, if you will? I promise, the tea is exceptional.”
“I’m not one for tea,” said the monk.
“Beer then. You look like a beer man. I know the best in the universe. Your native Ireland, 1759. Are you game?”
“But... I don’t understand. This is 1673.”
“Did I mention? She’s a time machine, too. It’s really good beer, I promise.”

Brother Timothy buried his face in his hands. “This cannot be real. This must be a trick of Daemon Vardus, tormenting me from beyond!”
The Doctor placed his hands on Timothy’s shoulders. “I promise, I’m every bit as real as you. Now I don’t know who this Daemon Vardus fellow is, but I can assure you I’m not one to keep company with one who’d call himself a daemon. Not intentionally. There was that time orbiting a black hole-- Wait a moment! Did he ever happen to refer to himself as ‘The Master’?”
“No, not that I can remember. But Wench knew him better.”
The Doctor grinned. “I’m beginning to get a clear idea of your Captain Wench’s hobbies. Well then! The Master’s a stickler about making sure everyone knows his name sooner or later, so I’ll take your word it wasn’t him.”
“This Master, is he a friend of yours?”
“Once,” said the Doctor with more than a touch of melancholy. “Long, long ago. A childhood friend. You might say we grew apart in the worst way." He suddenly brightened again. "Anyway! Entree vous, si’l vous plait?”
The Doctor and K-9 led the way, and Brother Timothy could no longer fight the compulsion to see what was within the strange blue box. Amber dutifully followed.

The monk froze as he stepped through the threshold, and Amber sat at his side and whimpered. He watched as the Doctor casually threw his trench coat over the railing that led to an elevated platform that sat in the middle of an immense space. It was easily fifty feet in diameter. Timothy looked up and had to fight a sudden fit of vertigo. The space seemed to extend upward beyond what the eye could see.
But his trance was broken when the Doctor snapped his fingers, and the TARDIS door slammed shut. The metal dog floated over to an uncomfortable looking yellow chair and settled down beside it.
Amber eyed K-9 and gave a suspicious growl. A small panel opened on the front of K-9, and something small flew out of it. The object skittered to a stop in front of her. She sniffed it, and found it was an agreeable smelling treat. She looked up at K-9, who waggled the two antennae that served as his ears. She regarded her metal counterpart for a moment, then accepted the gift.

“Incredible. Just incredible!” said Timothy as he slowly made his way up the ramp, gaping in wonder. “This machine of yours is marvelous. It’s.... bigger on the inside!”
The Doctor mouthed the words “bigger on the inside” as he casually adjusted the controls on the central console. “Really? I hadn’t noticed,” he replied with a smirk. “It’s called the TARDIS. Time and Relative Dimension In Space. Now then, 1759. Ireland. Dublin. St. James Court. Know the place?”
“I do, and well,” said the monk. “But not in the year you say. I’m sorry, but I simply can’t accept your boast that this... this amazing machine of yours can travel in time, much less travel at all! It has no wheels nor sails. We’re thousands of miles from Dublin, yet you claim you can show me a different one? A new one?”
“Well, you're in for a treat. But Dublin is Dublin. The only things that change are newspaper headlines and the make of cars.”
“Cars? Have you gone beyond boasts to making up words?”
“Oh... sorry. Getting ahead of you again. But there it is! You humans, the more extraordinary something is, the less you want to accept it!” Exasperated, the Doctor leaned on the console and sighed. “OK, then. What would it take to convince you all of this, the TARDIS being bigger on the inside and a space ship and a time machine... what would it take to make you accept it and, lawks-a-lordy, have a bit of fun with it all?”

Timothy crossed his arms. “If it is a gauntlet you want thrown down, here it is. Show me Ireland at peace.”
The Doctor grinned at him. “Oh, you’re brilliant. You are so brilliant! Good old brilliant you! You want to see Ireland at peace? Give me a moment, and hang on, because you’re about to see the year 2024. With the same brewery, such a bonus! Told you Dublin doesn't change. King William V stitched the whole thing back together and gave them independence. Well, I say he gave them their independence, I mean he got out of their way and they did it themselves. If he’d only do that for Wales! Anyway, you’re gonna love it. Just give me a moment to set the controls, and floor the Helmic regulator...”

The Doctor fairly danced about the central console, flipping controls and twirling dials, laughing to himself.
Excitedly, Brother Timothy ran to the door and peeked out.
“Don’t you go anywhere, Wench! I’ll be right back, I promise. This is one adventure I just can’t pass up. And Jack, you had better treat her well, or there will be more than a bucket of ice water waiting for you! And Lil, Elinor, Martin... do take care, my young friends.”
“Oi! Shut that door and get up here!” yelled the Doctor as he smacked a bell on the console with a rubber mallet. “You’ll need to hang on tight. It’s a bit of a bumpy ride through the 1980’s. Blame Maggie Thatcher or Ronald Reagan, everyone else does. Now, allons-y!”
The Doctor threw a large illuminated lever, and the TARDIS sprang to life. The time rotor, a series of green, glowing interlocking cylinders housed in a tall transparent cylinder in the middle of the console, began to glow as it surged up and down noisily.

Timothy closed the door, and the unearthly grinding, wheezing noise began again along with its wildly swirling winds. Almost deafening at first, then it quickly faded until the TARDIS and its inhabitants vanished from sight.

Timothy kneeled and petted Amber's head.
"Doctor, what did you mean when you said 'you humans'? Should I take that to mean you yourself are not human?"
The Tardis began to shudder and pitch violently.
"Hang on! There, to the rail!" cried the Doctor. He adjusted some controls on the console, using both hands and even a foot, before looking back to the monk. "Tell you what; let's get through the 1980's in one piece, and I'll explain it all over a beer. Or three. Look out, we're coming up on George Michael! Make it four beers!!"
With one arm hooked around a railing and the other around his faithful dog, Brother Timothy grinned happily. "Doctor, I can hardly wait!"