William Brand

The Watch Dog

3,461 posts in this topic

Aboard the Watch Dog. The Collision.

The Navarra turned, but too late. Whatever noise had drifted to her helmsman from the Whole Company, wasn't enough to change the events of the moment.

William flinched as the bulk of the Navarra passed the quarter galley, fully expecting her to strike upon it and carry it away. In truth, she missed the aft parts of the 'Dog altogether, and cleared the casement and windows three full feet wide of them. After that, she struck everything within reach of her spars. Had she but come upon them with no alteration in her course, her spars might have passed high enough to sweep by without catching upon the rigging of the frigate, for the Watch Dog sat low in the water from those stores brought over from the Lucy, and the Merchantman was taller than she was. But turning at the last, the Navarra leaned hard over and the spars of her fore and main tore out the after backstays and starboard shrouds of the frigate's main. The Spanish hull collided with the side of the frigate simultaneously and destroyed enough of the main chainwale that it set the turnbuckles loose. The mainmast shuddered from the hood head all the way down through the mast partners to the very base of the mast step. It was a sensation and sound so sickening to feel and hear that men actually groaned aloud as their faces shot up at it, so that the sound added to the deep thrum of it all. Adding to this the spritsail yard of the Navarra had caught the slack of the main brace and plucked the brace block away, so that it rebounded aft and outward with the line and tangled in the Navarra's rigging as she passed. Half of the Starboard stairway disappeared along with part of the bulwark rail amidships even as the main brace went taught for a second time and tore it's supporting pins free of the Quarter galley roof. It carried these bits of freed iron through the lower shrouds of the Mizzen, which would have been unscathed otherwise. The backstay of the mizzen parted enough that the blocks at its base passed over William's head near enough for him to duck, but not so near to really threaten him. The chainwale held aft but the mizzen gaff seesawed so violently that the mizzen stay went slack and then taught again quickly enough to crack like a whip. By this time the Navarra had almost completed her pass, but she did not leave without taking the main stay, the backstay of the fore, the fore lower shrouds, the fore brace and some sail off the main. Wood and line were sent in too many directions, so that there was no place of safety. Some two dozen men were hit by parting line, blocks and too many smaller cogs of the frigate's machinations to name. Even the bells for and aft rang hard once as the 'Dog first leaned to Starboard, and when freed, hard over to Larboard, so that four bells sounded in succession.

Ciaran had been in the very act of going aloft, and would have seen the Navarra had he been there, but he was climbing up to relieve the lookout of the main top. 'Eagle Eyes' Ciaran had never failed to site a ship first or second in all his time aboard, but for this changing of the guard in heavy rain. He was at the maintop when the Navarra struck and the mast mimed the pendulum. He grabbed John McGinty as the frigate was struck amidships. John surely would have fallen to the decks below, had Ciaran not caught him by his shirt sleeves as he toppled backwards. When the Navarra let go of the frigate the main went wide with a difference of some 20 feet. Ciaran, too mindful of his friend to guard his own purchase, could not get his own hands secured as this happened. He did not fall, so much as he was hurled from the heights, so that men staring up from below saw him launched from the main into the gloom and the unknown. John had just caught the end of Ciaran's fingertips before he disappeared. So shocked was he to see Ciaran carried away that he almost failed to right himself as the frigate leaned back again to Starboard.

On deck, 'Straight Shot' broke free of securing lines forward at the rail and fell over upon the deck. The 18 pounder might have gone clean through the deck had her weight not stuck well upon beams below the planking. 'Bloody Thunder' also slipped it's moorings and rolled into a the beckets and bollards at the foremast, where it lodged enough that no man was harmed, though Andrew Light would spin tales after about the canon that nearly dragged him down. No other cannon came loose, but the weight of water in the scuttlebutt shattered it below decks as it was hurled sideways from it's place, and the quickly stowed cargo faired poorly in places, so that goods were lost.

Lazarus Gage had stumbled twice in the act of saving crockery and was just reaching for a knife he had thought stowed when he sent it falling to the floor. It landed between his bare feet with a defining 'THOCK' and quivered there. Lazarus sat down slowly and whistled through his teeth. "Hello feet."

Jacob Badger had saved or shoved more than a few men in those moments. It was his way and his work as he pushed or pulled a man from harm's way. Lines heavy enough to hurt a man and blocks large enough to kill men outright fell down among the throng. Badger saved at least three men in quick succession just before the last of the lower shrouds came free of the main top. John McGinty saved himself by hugging the topmast as the top cantered to one side. The freed main yard swung far enough around the mast to chip the mizzen topmast and it torqued the bracket in its place, so that it slipped a pin or two, letting loose the abused shrouds. They fell upon Jacob Badger, David Henry and Paul de Lannel like so much net upon fish and carried them over the side as the Watch Dog overcorrected in a trough of the sea. David called out and hooked James Booker's ear hard enough to leave a gash in it as he was carried over in mid cry. Paul was dumbfounded by the weight of the rigging, for it had struck him straight down upon his head and addled him completely. Jacob managed to give an order of all things. He shouted, "Stand clear!", just before he passed over the side above the stairway. His hand would have caught the bulwark rail as he went over, but it had been removed there by the Navarra. Ajayi caught the last of the retreating line, but too late to bear up three men as they hit the water. The great Yoruban allowed himself to be carried sideways into the bulwarks as knot in a block, if only to keep hold of the line. His shoulder, elbow and wrist had words to say on this account, but they never let go.

No other sailor aboard was hurt so much that they couldn't rush to help another or stand clear for others more nimble than themselves, and for so much to have happened in so little time, the watch Dog was mostly unharmed. Much of what had happened as the Navarra passed was absorbed in hemp, be it line or sailcloth. Had the frigate and merchantman exchanged rigging alone, the two of them should have been relieved ever after, but the Navarra had both shoved the smaller boat aside and grabbed hold of her rigging at the same time, so that the integrity of the 'Dog's framing had been tested stem to stern. Weathering and rot going all the way back to the frigate's time as the Nubian Trader now revealed themselves here and there in degrees, and the trouble astern worsened in a moment, so that water would have come in there if not for the ministrations of carpenters earlier that day. All other damages to the frigate were summed up in paint, trim, decorations, and lives.

William had witnessed everything from the horrible high ground. It was like a box seat at the theater. Every parting line, falling block and scattering sailor had been laid out before him. He had actually put up his hand as Ciaran went soaring into the dark. He had rushed forward to grab lines that were far too far from him to have been reached. He had even seen the forestay of the main come crashing down within inches of his Steward as she made her way aft. The line came down with enough force to lay out two other men and turn Tribbiani around on her heals. Last of all, William had watched as the Navarra passed between the frigate and the longboat like the moon.

A bloody, eclipsing, Spanish moon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not being on the Watch Dog, but on the quarter of the Lucy, Dorian did not see all that had happened, but more heard the collision. The wrenching of wood, snapping of lines and cables normally would have sent curses in his native tongue to come forth. But this whole scene had caused him to loose his voice. Not a word escaped his lips as the destruction occurred. When the Navarra was free of the 'Dog, there was near silence on all three ships as men stared at the damage and others waited to see what became of the longboat and those aboard here. Had anyone been watching, they would have see captain Lasseter hook his pistol on his belt and pull something from his jacket pocket. He began to whisper while staring into the darkness. Preston was staring at the Watch Dog and slowly turned to Dorian as he heard his whisperings. He shifted his footing and finally stepped closer, hearing Dorian's voice.

"sed libera nos a Malo..."

At this Dorian crossed himself and whispered "Amen", before turning to the deck of the Lucy.

"On Deck! Keep puttin' th' Lucy ta rights!"

Turning back to the rail he cleared his throat and called out to Captain Brand.

"William! What can-"

He stopped and almost laughed at the question he was asking. The 'Dog was there, saving the Lucy, but now Dorian was asking what the Lucy could do to help the 'Dog.

"What are you in need of?"

He almost looked to the spot in the water that they last saw the longboat, but resisted. He did not wish just yet to know the fate of those men.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Preston stood next to Dorian. He inched down the rail to survey the catastrophe that had just befallen the crew. Preston turned to tell the crew to get a boat in the water but stopped short realizing that all of the small boats between the Lucy and the Watch Dog were in the water. Calls from those in the small boats could be heard over the commands, orders and shouts from those still above.

Any man below on the Lucy had now heard the yelling on deck. Running atop they reached the rail just to see what the Navarra had accomplished. Nigel Brisbane and Jospeh Aretineson were the first to arrive. The two quickly dragged the broken cable connecting the Lucy to the Watch Dog back on board. Logan Christie and Charlie Marsh with Benjamin Quigley quickly behind them next took their place along the rail.

Charlie squinted into the rain and stood confused, "why, wha..."

Nigel simply pointed at the Navarra now steadily heading away. But Charlie's eye was elsewhere. "Ye gods," Charlie mumbled, "lookit the rigging on the Dog."

The men now standing at the rail prayed that while the Navarra had caused considerable damage to the Watch Dog, that it was the only damage done aboard. Any loss of life or limb would be unforgivable.

"Mister Pew" called Logan. He pointed at the hull of what had to be the Lucy's longboat. Several sets of eyes scanned the turbulent water now covered with debris.

Charlie Goddon, John Kingsman, Peter Norman, and David Leigh could not be seen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As turned to the boat bearing down upon, I had scacre the time to shout to my boat mates.

"JUMP!"

But as the words escaped my mouth, that sickening loaming feeling was cast upon and froze some of the men.

I started to shove men into the water, hoping the shock of the wetness would wake them out of their stupor.

As I saw some where to far gone to pay attention I jumped and dove deep into the water.

Pushing away from the long boat as far my lungs would hold out. I started for the surface.

The sound was deafening. All that could be heard was cracking wood and snapping lines and men shouting.

Treading water was becoming to great and I latched onto a piece of flotsam nearby.

I turned my heard to get my bearings, in time to see the rigging being ripping from it's place from the "Dog"

As the main stay came crashing with part of her sail, all went to black. It was the last time is was to see the Lucy or the Watch Dog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cries of 'MAN OVERBOARD!' were heard everywhere at once, so that William chanced to wonder if more had been lost over the side than he had witnessed. He almost collided with Tudor at the stairway as he rushed down to the main deck. The crew had polarized instantly to Starboard and Larboard as every able eye scanned the water for signs of those hands carried off.

Men piled upon the remaining line of rigging born up by Ajayi, so that he was relived at the rail, for strong as he was he was still recovering from too many injuries to bear up three men. It did not help that the Watch Dog bore over the netted sailors and threatened to carry the rescuers over the side. Even the line threatened to part.

William arrived amidships and vaulted a man just recovering himself. He grabbed at the remainder of the bulwark and joined all the eyes and pointing fingers. Debris was on the water.

Something, or many things together, shattered in the surgery then, and while the sound was appreciated as destruction, it went ignored on the weatherdecks.

Another prisoner dared his feet in the chaos, not out of any defiance or decision to escape, but out of fear for so much damage in a storm that was regathering in strength. One of the Dog's men employed there gave him the working end of a musket butt for forgetting his place.

Lazarus burst out of the galley, barefoot and wide eyed, now come to see what had happened outside his view. He was at the rail at once scanning for whomever had gone over.

Bloody Thunder would have run loose again, but Andrew Light had the presence of mind to drop one loop of a cable about the neck of it, and though it tore free from it's place, the frigate was saved any further damages as a groin in the cable caught in the woodwork. Three men threw themselves upon the wayward gun and subdued it.

John McGinty, still reeling from his own near demise and the loss of Ciaran, had recovered himself enough to shout out the location of the Patricia, for she was nowhere near the 'Dog at all. Overturned, seemingly unmanned and plowing through the water, she was observed trailing after the already vanished Navarra. The longboat was now little more than a wedge of wood tangled up in the line that had bridged the open sea between the two ships. The same line went taught and parted without much resistance, mercifully sparing the Lucy harm, but for what appeared to be the remainder of one of her own, for a boat of the cutter was damaged and sinking in the open sea.

Jim Warren went forward to the bow with a speed he'd marvel about later. The adrenaline that had carried him forward flew him all the way to the figurehead and he was the last man of the 'Dog to see the Navarra disappearing under full sail bearing with her the line which carried the Patricia away. He sent her onward with more than a few carefully chosen expletives, and if curses were weight, then the Navarra would not outlast the hour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aboard the Watch Dog

Twice, the Captain of the Lucy had called to William, and twice, William had not heard him. There was too much of a din aboard the 'Dog at present. It was a confusion of voices that William couldn't understand at first, for even in battle, the Watch Dog had never been so noisy with voices. He had joined the crew at hauling where Badger and the two crewmen had gone over when the cacophony finally distracted him enough to turn his head about. He chanced to wonder why so many different calls and exclamations overlapped one another when it occurred to him that Badger had never allowed so much loose talk and confusion. The man had been religious about too much talk and would correct any gathering of men that made it hard to hear about the working parts of the frigate.

William admonished himself for thinking of Jacob in the past tense then as he hauled upon the line. He also did what Badger would have done under similar circumstances.

"Silence!" William yelled, and more than once. The command did not first quiet anyone, but it was repeated like a contradiction as it rippled out to all parts of the ship. When a kind of silence finally did settle, the true and necessary words about the ship could be heard.

Peter Youngblood was calling from somewhere forward for assistance at those guns which had moved from their purchase. He was not careful with his disdain.

Eric and Luc were directing their men to all points of the frigate. Luc's accent was heavy in his urgency.

Jim was at Brand's elbow suddenly. "We've no bosuns!"

Aboard the Navarra

Durand had reached the deck of the Navarra in a rush of surprise, dismay and now a rising anger. He came up half naked, but for his coat and a sleeping gown comprised of an ill-fitting shirt. Most of those sailors who had been abed and all those sailors (so careless in their duties awake as to be abed in duty) were already at the rails as the last trailing lights of the damaged ships disappeared behind the Spanish Merchantman. Durand threw himself to the rails and stared back along the Navarra's wake. He could just make out the frail thread of line that dragged the Patricia, and the even frailer man that tried to gain purchase on her as she plowed upon the sea. He took in everything. He digested all. He heard…silence?

Then he turned back and looked into the faces of the Navarra's crew and found that not one of them mirrored his own urgency. Instead, they seemed cow eyed. They looked past past Durand with a kind of passing interest that made Durand's stomach go cold. They were street gawkers who looked upon the castaway with a pedestrian interest.

"Why do you stare and do nothing?" Durand said, trying to keep his voice even but failing, for he was staring into the faces of a crew worn to the nub by the politics of the Captain's tyranny mixed with the indifference of his officers. They were ghost sailors but for the smell of sweat. The Navarra had become less a ship, and more a failed government. The callous wealthy and the street raised poor lived here together of course, but divided by a caste system as real as a wall.

Durand tried to wake something, anything in them. "A line! We have but t…" Durand began again, but he was cut off.

"Cut away that sea anchor!" the ship's bosun commanded from under the cowl of his oilskins.

Durand's Spanish was not as well tuned as his English, but he understood the order well enough. Understood it like a closed fist across his face. He also understood that he could not stay aboard this ship and look at himself in a mirror after. He gave the Lieutenant one last nod, even as the young man was joining the bosun to protest his order. Then Durand plucked out his false eye. The act made one unprepared sailor vomit, for the man had not know Durand's eye to be fashioned of anything but flesh. Durand chanced to smile reflexively at this as he tucked the eye soundly in his cheek. Then, rethinking its safety there, he swallowed it. Another sailor almost joined the first, but Durand took no notice. He tossed his sword, sheath and belting to the Lieutenant, who caught it easily enough. Then Durand shed his one good coat and went over the side and down in shirt tails and bare feet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the sea

Despite his rough exterior, unsettling gaze and not a little disregard for the niceties of society, Durand was still a romantic in his heart of hearts. He often saw his own brutish acts as purposeful and important. His decision to fling himself from the evil purchase of the Navarra had seemed brave, openly defiant, and maybe even…what? Righteous in the moment? He imagined the deliberate act of passing his sword and dislodging himself from his heavier garment would be remembered after with sobering reflection and admiration.

A statement against tyranny.

Durand was now certain that departing the Navarra in such a fashion was the most foolhardy and wasted act he had made in his time, and he was just as certain that he might not live to see one worse. He knew then that his departure would remain no more in the memories of anyone aboard the Navarra as poignant as he might remain alive in the sea for ten minutes together, but was certain now that it had just seemed foolish to all who witnessed it. It was just a wasted demonstration. He also thought on how he had come aboard the Navarra to better serve the purposes of all three ships. He believed under the circumstances, that this had been his second most foolhardy decision. The third worse was now taking it's first turn in his innards.

He thought all this in the two seconds between the deck and the sea.

When he surfaced sputtering he realized another thing. He had never been a good swimmer, and even the 'bear' for which he was so aptly named in all other respects, was better in this element than himself, for it could bear up its own weight and coat in water. He was now too heavy for his poor experience and even the thin shirt was a sea anchor.

Still, he surveyed his surroundings in that instant perspective lent to the suddenly desperate. Adrenalin had flooded all parts of him, as had the shock of the cold.

He turned first to the Navarra as she was bearing away. The merchantman slowed no more for him then she had for anyone else. Durand had applied many adjectives to ships in his time, but now a new one occurred to him. The Navarra seemed…Indifferent. Indifferent as the sea.

Durand turned his attention to his only other hope, Patricia, for she wasn't so much bearing towards him as he had hoped she would, but past him, and he would have missed her altogether if not for the most certain way in which some sailor had taken a recent order aboard ship. Just as the Patricia would have slipped past him, the line which dragged her went slack. The poor passenger who clung at her was at first carried up out of the water by act of stalling, and then drowned again as Patricia tried to right herself.

'Corks'. It was the only word Durand could think of in the moment, and nothing in his life had ever made him feel so small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aboard the Navarra

Durand's departure did not go unregarded as he imagined. In fact, it was profound enough, that while his flight had not effect all who witnessed it, it had effected those that it would have pleased Durand most to have it effect.

Captain Avendano was furious. He turned upon his First Mate at once, screaming such accusations and demanding answers from questions that could not be anything but rhetorical that Lieutenant De la Cruz returned nothing but a stare of insulted bafflement. Avendano did not take such a look well and he struck the Lieutenant full upon his face with an open hand.

Ettore Tarín took a step back to see the Captain so enraged, as did almost everyone else, but Lieutenant De la Cruz did not retreat at all. Rather he returned an even, cold, almost murderous look that Durand, Lasseter or Brand would have understood. It was one thing to be struck or slandered by a man that was an equal, but to be so verbally and physically maligned by a pig such as Avendano. That was too much. It was past bearing.

A line of quick, fresh and very bright blood ran straight down the Lieutenant's chin and neck, propelled by gravity and the drive of the rain. He made no attempt to wipe it away or stay the flow, but focused Avendano with a gaze so prophetic that it burned Avendano a little. The Captain could not deny that it unnerved him to see a man so young as this come over the wall of his secure position aboard ship, and all of his power and money were laid aside by that look. He was not uncertain that the young officer wouldn't kill him there and then, with his sword or the one left to him by Durand.

The Lieutenant simply stood. Then, De la Cruz, mustering more dignity and control than Avendano, cleared his throat and said, "What are your orders, sir?"

For his part, Ettore Tarín was grateful of the rain, because he found himself suddenly aware of his own frailty as a man, and not one well equipped for fear, danger or any other tension presented to him. The collision, Durand's departure or the threat of bloodshed between the Lieutenant and the Captain had caused him to piss himself, and he prayed that no one would notice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aboard the Watch Dog

'We've no bosuns…'

William let the words roll about in his brain a moment or two. The words were sobering, and made no less true as the torn rigging was dragged back aboard like a net. William hoped to see something there that would make Jim's words false, but Jacob Badger was not recovered. Inside the remainder of the tangled line they found only Paul de Lannel, still unconscious.

It was a bitter dish to swallow, but William digested it at once.

"We've no bosuns." he returned. "Fetch Andrew Light here!" he shouted, and as he waited for the man to appear, William turned to the rail and called out to the Lucy. "I've lost Badger and Roberts!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For once the role of clairvoyant was switched, and predicting Tudor's approach, the captain turned to look at her, as soon as he had finished calling out across the still turbulent waves to their sister ship. "Mistress Smith! get this man to the surgery."

Her customary curtsy or nod of acceptance of her orders was missing, instead she flew right into action, motioning for the first unoccupied crewmates she found to come and assist. It took a combined effort to remove the man from the line, but soon they were making their way below and approaching the door to the surgery. Even if they had knocked, chances are the occupants of the room wouldn't have noticed. Managing to push open the unlatched door with her foot, Tudor continued to struggle to be of assistance in the carrying of the unconscious man, but no sooner had they laid the man out on the cot, then she realized state of pandemonium that the usually restful room was in. Everything that had at one time been on a table or a shelf was now on the floor, including several bottles and what appeared to have once been a cup of tea, before it had been knocked to the floor and shattered. Both women of the Surgery were running about the room, trying to put everything to rights. After sending the crewmen on their way, back to be of any assistance topside, Tudor briefly informed Maeve of what had befallen Paul, before offering to replace the doctor in the task of cleaning up shards of tea cup, so that she might be free to see to the patient.

In the grand scope of all that had happened in the past fleeting moments, broken china hardly seemed important - there were many other broken things that needed seeing to. But at that very moment, the pieces of porcelain were the problem that presented itself to the Steward. Who was to say how many more might come to the surgery in the coming hours, and if more were to come, the surgeon would need to be free of movement and have everything in order, not worried about stepping over broken bits with sharp edges as she worked, or wondering where all her tools went. After gathering up all the pieces into a found rag, and making sure that all medical tools and other necessary accoutrements were retrieved from various corners of the room, Tudor left to return to the upper decks, wonder what other proverbial smashed tea cups there would be for her to help clean up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aboard the Watch Dog

Andrew Light presented himself to the Captain in short order, but William was involved in conversation across the waters with the Lucy, so that Andrew hesitated to make himself known. He did this long enough that William called for him again.

"Send for Mister Li…!" William began, turning to find the man at his elbow.

"Cap'n!"

"Mister Light, you are promoted to Bosun. Get these men under control."

Andrew Light blinked twice in quick succession and returned only a questioning, 'Sah?', quickly followed upon by a sharp, 'Sah!', collecting himself immediately. Within seconds he was louder, brisker and commanding as he turned upon the rabble. William was certain that the man straightened his posture enough to gain half a foot as he went. Andrew threw himself into the role the way that men do on fields or seas, taking up responsibility at once. William followed his course across the deck for only a moment before returning to his own surroundings.

The rain was coming on again, hard. They'd soon be as wet through as anyone lost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upon arriving back upon the deck, Tudor realized that one chaos had been replaced by another. Andrew Light was giving the orders of a Bosun - she could only assume that the Captain had name him such - and the and through the newly promoted man's commands, the chatter, noise, yelling and general din had died down to a somewhat normal buzz. However, the storm was starting to gain ferocity. Rain poured down heavily, and within a moment of being exposed to it, there was barely an inch of dry cloth about her and her bright hair had been darkened from the water, the spiral curls drooping. The storm did not bode well, and for neither the first nor the last time that day, Tudor wondered why storms and crises always had to strike in tandem.

She looked about the deck for a sign of the commander of the ship, completely at a loss and in hopes of some instruction. She was a fair weather sailor - the few storms and events she had seen in the past few months aboard the Dog were both the width and breadth of her seafaring knowledge and she had no inkling as to what task was best suited both to her skills and to the crew's needs at this exact time of emergency. As she looked forlornly around the deck, all she could see in her mind's eye was the image of the shattered tea-cup, everything was broken, but this time she did not know where to begin to clean.

The rag that held the broke porcelain was still in her hand, momentarily forgotten. Taking an opportune second between gusts of turbulent wind, she tossed the knotted cloth into the choppy waves that splashed around the ship's hull, took a moment to breath, then looked around again with fresh eyes. Now was not the time to allow herself to be overwhelmed by circumstance, although that is what she wished she could do. Now was the time for action, for work, and so work she would. Whatever task she could lend her hand to, she wanted to. There were guns to be re-secured, debris to be shifted; All these tasks seemed as trivial as the smashed mug of a few moments ago in comparison to the entirety of the damage, but she hoped staring at the tasks one at a time would keep her from being overwhelmed by the enormity of all of them together.


Upon arriving back upon the deck, Tudor realized that one chaos had been replaced by another. Andrew Light was giving the orders of a Bosun - she could only assume that the Captain had name him such - and the and through the newly promoted man's commands, the chatter, noise, yelling and general din had died down to a somewhat normal buzz. However, the storm was starting to gain ferocity. Rain poured down heavily, and within a moment of being exposed to it, there was barely an inch of dry cloth about her and her bright hair had been darkened from the water, the spiral curls drooping. The storm did not bode well, and for neither the first nor the last time that day, Tudor wondered why storms and crises always had to strike in tandem.

She looked about the deck for a sign of the commander of the ship, completely at a loss and in hopes of some instruction. She was a fair weather sailor - the few storms and events she had seen in the past few months aboard the Dog were both the width and breadth of her seafaring knowledge and she had no inkling as to what task was best suited both to her skills and to the crew's needs at this exact time of emergency. As she looked forlornly around the deck, all she could see in her mind's eye was the image of the shattered tea-cup, everything was broken, but this time she did not know where to begin to clean.

The rag that held the broke porcelain was still in her hand, momentarily forgotten. Taking an opportune second between gusts of turbulent wind, she tossed the knotted cloth into the choppy waves that splashed around the ship's hull, took a moment to breath, then looked around again with fresh eyes. Now was not the time to allow herself to be overwhelmed by circumstance, although that is what she wished she could do. Now was the time for action, for work, and so work she would. Whatever task she could lend her hand to, she wanted to. There were guns to be re-secured, debris to be shifted; All these tasks seemed as trivial as the smashed mug of a few moments ago in comparison to the entirety of the damage, but she hoped staring at the tasks one at a time would keep her from being overwhelmed by the enormity of all of them together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aboard the Watch Dog

Words went back and forth between the frigate and cutter. It was all reports of men lost and damages taken. William wasn't sure yet if he had lost more of the Company against the snow or the Navarra. He was so angry that his heard hurt on one side and he was trying not to lash out at each lagging sailor or task before him.

Andrew Light was in an altogether different state, which like the Captain, effected his thinking. His head didn't hurt, but it floated a bit about him as he did his best to fill Badger's place. He chanced to laugh once. It was a short, report of a laugh, almost a hiccup, and no one heard it but himself. Just a nervous little sound as the shock of his appointment continued to sink in. It sank in better than he could imagine, for when one sailor refused his order in the confusion, Andrew thumped below the shoulder and spat angry correction into his face with words that Badger would have understood.

Two men went down then as a low line parted and whipped across the deck diagonally. It caught Jean Dorleac across the shoulder and left ear as he was reaching out to grab Alexander Sparshott. Jean went down like a boy kicked by a horse, but Alexander caught the rope in the throat and it carried him backwards. One moment he was upright, and the next his head whipped back and his legs went straight out in from of him like a man that had run upon a stretched line at a sprint. He fell spread eagle on the deck, which probably saved his back and limbs, having landed so equally distributed, but the wind was twice knocked from him, so that he gasped for air some two full minutes.

William spotted Tudor in the fray and pushed his way aft along what remained of the Starboard rail. He shouted over a rush of wind that filled a few of the sails that the Navarra had loosed. This caused the Watch Dog to heal over again at a weird angle as she fell into the trough of the first large wave they'd see over the next few hours. A man caught William's elbow as the frigate fell forward, and William almost shook off the hand in anger, realizing at the last that Jannes Kampaert had done so only to teary his Captain. William managed a nod as did Jannes and the two passed going to different task.

When William reached the Steward his eye caught that of Mistress O'Treasaigh. She was braced in the doorway of the surgery wrestling for the handle of the loose door.

"How there!?" William managed as a wind buffeted the weather decks again.

Maeve had already seen enough of the decks and damage to know what the Captain faced, so she put on a face that she imagined courageous and returned, "We shall manage here." She managed to close the door then, which strengthened her remarks.

William, finding himself with Tudor, suddenly realized that he knew not where to send her. He frowned more than once and then collected himself. "See yourself below. The carpenters may have need of you."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

B the time she found the carpenter, the carpenter's mate and the few crew members that had been assigned to their assistance, Tudor had recounted any and all carpentry experience she ever had. It had totaled one project, when she once was responsible for reattaching a table leg to it's top. The table was made sturdy by the time she had finished but it had taken dozens of nails, half of which had been bent, ruined, pulled from the project and cast aside. If the water that was flooding in was any indication, there wasn't not the time to have some so useless with a hammer, attempting to help. She would more then likely make more holes, then she would patch them.

"How can I assist? I am useless with tools, but I have two free hands."

"Aye, and a mind for every detail about where things are stored about the ship." The Carpenter quickly explained his proposed repairs and told her of his need for more wood for the undertaking. Be it debris, ripped from unneeded areas, whatever could be had to help patch the Ship's wounds.

"I know there are some sturdy crates that supplies were brought aboard in. Some should be empty by now. If not, I will make them so. I would bring you the ward room table if you thought it would help." She said, making a mental note of the size and quantity that would be needed.

"The broken up crates should do fine, if you can muster up enough of them. Don't go bringing the Captain's table to be chopped up for repair scrap. He might have need of it."

"Not as much his need for it then need for this hole to be plugged, I'm sure. No need for a table if there is no Ward Room, or ship even, to keep it in." Tudor laughed a bit despite the situation, as she started to leave to set about her task. She was grateful for the moment of lightheartedness. Watching the skilled craftsmen at work, she felt almost as if she could start breathing again. The damage was still great, the danger was still serious, but even if she didn't, someone knew where to begin to set things right, and that was something. She took her leave with a promise to hurry back from the cargo hold with what she could find, asking for neither assistance nor accompaniment from any of the crew that were gathered there, and everyone else continued on with the work they did.

All but one. No one noticed when Harry Saltash left after her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only being able to imagine what kind of state the hold was in, Tudor set her course first for her own quarters, knowing that there she would be able to find a lantern in undamaged state, as well as various other tools that might help her. She quickly tossed a tangled mess of thick twine for lashing her foraged scraps of wood together for easier carrying, into a bag, along with a long, dull knife, useless for cutting but entirely practical for prying, and scraps of rags, either for drying or wrapping around her hands to prevent splinters. She was certain that there were other tools more suited for her tasks stored somewhere on board, but she wasn’t entirely sure where to find such items, and she would be damned if she was going to bother any other crew member who might be useful elsewhere to help her locate them, when she knew she had passible substitutes in her own trunk.

Finally certain that she had all that she might need in her task she turned to leave, but stopped short when she opened the door, and a mountain stood, leaning against its frame.

“Saltash?” It took her a full second to realize who it was. “What are you doing here? Don’t you have something you should be doing?” She gave her best attempt to not sound annoyed, as she did not have any reason to dislike the man, he had been aboard such a short time. Likewise, however, she had no reason to like him either, and his malingering outside her door while others slaved to make repairs to the shop did not do much to steady her patience for him. Deciding that the conversation needed to remain short, Tudor attempted to push past him, but he shifted his weight to prevent her. “You are in my way. “ She snarled, and managed to duck under his arm that barred her path.

“What’s your hurry, little miss?” Finally the man spoke, turning to look at the retreating woman, and causing her to stop dead in her tracks and turn back to him. His broad face bore what she could only imagine was what he would call a flirtatious smile – she thought he just looked like every other lecherous sailor that thought she might be an easy conquest.

“My hurry? My hurry? “ She repeated his words, her pointed features contorting into a horrified look of disdain and annoyance, all hopes of remaining civil gone. “In case you didn’t notice, Saltash, another ship just collided with ours? I don’t know about you, but I rather like keeping the ship that I am on from sinking. Now, go back to your duties, and if you have none assigned to you, find something useful to do and leave me be.” She sneered at the man then turned away again, determined not to waste any more time on trying to figure out what the man was about.

She hurried her pace, but in two strides he had caught up with her, and grasped at her shoulder, stopping her movement forcefully and almost causing her to lose her footing. She tried her best not to flinch as his fingers dug in, a vice-like grip, almost feeling as if he might crush the whole blade, and force his fingers and thumb to meet. “You can’t talk to me like that!”

“Can’t I? I thought I just did.” By now, it was more than clear to her that neither Harry’s intentions nor his manners were good, but Tudor refused to be intimidated and looked the man squarly in the eyes. “And I am about to do so again. You may not respect me as an officer, a crew mate or even a person, but if you do not do as I say, I swear to you, I will make your life a living hell. Now, let go of me you giant idiot.” Her final words were said through clenched teeth, and her delicate, pale hand shot up from her side and thumb and forefinger just managed to wrap around the man’s large wrist, grasping tightly onto his pulse points, causing his hand to go numb and his grip to slacken.

Not hesitating to see what he might do, she started to walk away again, this time with much more haste, and with a different destination in mind. She was no fool to think that this man wouldn’t continue to follow her, nor foolish enough to think that if it came to any kind of physical altercation – which seemed likely with how forcefully he had just held her – that she would stand any kind of chance, being unarmed and facing an opponent literally twice her size in height and weight. Above deck was her safest option for the time being, and while she loathed the fact that she would be abandoning her task, going above she could find others to replace her, and could stay in the eye shot of others.

Her progress was stopped yet again, but this time she couldn’t help but gasping in pain as the man’s hand wound into her hair, causing her neck to jerk awkwardly. Pulling her towards him, Saltash actually managed to lift the Steward of the ground, by only her curls, but he quickly wrapped a muscled arm around her ribs. “I said, you can’t talk to me like that.” He could feel, and was amused by the fact that Tudor’s breath was becoming a bit labored, his crushing arm around her knocking the wind out of her.

With a force that would rival that of a mule’s kick, Tudor’s small heel smashed into his kneecap, causing him to lose his grip on her for a second time, and this time, also causing him to have his leg buckle out from under him. Her landing from being dropped was less then graceful, her own footing lost, giving her no real chance of escape. As she tried to quickly pick herself up off the floor, Saltash grabbed her ankle, dragging her towards where he still knelt. “You stupid bitch!” He growled, still wincing from the knee that was already swelling. “That hurts!”

She couldn’t hide a derisive laugh. “It wasn’t supposed to tickle you stupid shit!” This earned her his large hand flying at her mouth, the loud smacking sound echoing for a second. Tudor blinked a few times, trying to shake of the impact, but the blood was already welling up from the lip that was now split open, and her nose, having caught half of the blow, was not in much better condition.

While still recovering from the stinging in her face, Saltash had already rediscovered his strength, and with his grip having never left her ankle, he started dragging her back towards her small quarters. “Let GO!” She shrieked as loudly as possible, knowing that he would pay it no heed, but hoping that maybe she might be heard over all the other cacophony of sounds that swirled through the ship at that exact moment. In other actions that she assumed to be futile, she quickly landed two blows to the man’s head, one balled up fist smashing into his temple, the other landing squarely between his nose and cheekbone. Such strikes would have felled men with less of Saltash’s strength and experience with brawls, but all it served to do was distract him for another moment, but not enough to loosen his grip for a third time.

Wincing, and blinking, he picked her up again, and limped his way back the last few feet to her small corner of a room, and forcefully threw her onto the floor again, causing her head to bounce off the wood floor. The pain was excruciating, and Tudor’s line of sight blurred, but she did not lose consciousness. She almost wished she had. Barely able to see and pain coursing through her she tried again to writhe her way free, but now Saltash’s full weight was upon her, straddling her waist, one hand crushing her jaw, it was clamped so tightly over her still bleeding mouth, the other hand searching for the buttons at the fly of her slops.

Edited by TudorSmith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This would be just one of many rapes committed by Harry Saltash. He thought of them as adventures, but only an animal like Saltash would. In fact, his entire vocabulary was on the slant, for he thought of nothing correctly, at least compared with anyone but other brutes. For Harry, abuse, assault and the act of rape were matters of course now, having learned them from a very early age. His father, a farmer by day and a drunkard by night, had carved and fashioned Harry with tools verbally sharp or blunt as boots. Harry had repaid the cosmos in kind by beating his sister, and when older, visiting her. The first of his true 'adventures'.

Now, here in the half lit spaces of the 'Dog was a plaything for sport. One that could kick and hit in need of breaking. Here was an 'upstart' as his father would have said. Harry might have use of his knife before he was done.


. . .


On deck, everything was noise. Everything was chaos held in control. No one heard a thing below decks to send them running. The storm raged and so did the officers, so the world went on, but for one sailor who went below unbid.


. . .



William Dash was not a coward to be sure, but he was young. The storm was just too much. He had reasoned with himself that no one would miss a boy of thirteen if he just found a place to rest, to maybe even sleep. It wasn't the act of a selfish lad, just a very mortal and very tired one.

Because of this, young Dash found himself standing at a sort of crossroads between the waiting promise of sleep forward and the discovery from those working aft to repair the sprung timbers of the frigate. It was here where, his earlier resolve and his loyalty to ship and sailors gave him pause, and in that pause he heard something he did not expect. A struggle? Carpentry? Dull thuds and scrambling that seemed too clumsy for work. Sometimes loud and then soft by degrees, so that he couldn't be certain what he heard. It roused him from his fatigue and his choices to some third course.

William Dash found Harry Saltash in the very act of…what? At first, he didn't know. The huge man was half crouched half lying on someone that young Dash first took for another sailor. But then he saw something that woke him up more than the men he found there. It was something that Harry had removed from his clothing that was not a knife. Dash was shocked.

"I…" young Dash began, thinking an apology might be in order, because here was some business unspeakable playing out before him. His young brain whirled a bit at the idea of two men so engaged, and at such a time, and…

William Dash stopped just as he meant to retreat. That was no man spread out beneath the hulk of Saltash. It was the Captain's Steward. Her face was full of confusion, terror, and something else. Was it rage? Was it all the violence she wished to inflict upon her attacker, but couldn't for the fault of being smaller. It didn't matter. Young William Dash, formally of the merchant ship Red Helen and formally of no other place of importance all his life; a once messmate and now a yonker of the lowest place aboard ship, stood up to his full height. He was five foot nothing and still coming into a frame that wouldn't be great until years from now. He was slight, almost scrawny in the door frame, and not a third the size of Saltash, but his face of thirteen went cold.

"You there. Get way from her." His voice cracked a little, belying his youth.

Saltash, who had turned at the first sound uttered by Dash, smiled a little and pointed a meaty, mocking finger. "You can have her after."

Dash's lip trembled. His guts went all sickly, partly due to trepidation, but in truth, it was mostly anger. Anger that such a man as this should be down here doing unspeakable things while men above toiled to save lives, to save everything. Dash was also trembling for the shame that he should be in such company, but he checked this thought, knowing his earlier weakness had led him here, now, where he alone could save someone. He almost vomited.

"Back off boy. This is men's work." Saltash turned away from Dash with such indifference to him that the young man was suddenly enraged. Also, in truth, Dash might have loved Tudor just a little bit, as boys do, so he launched himself at Saltash.

Now, an older man would have dared the field of Saltash with more care, and perhaps more reinforcements, but William Dash did not. Satlash caught him on the fly and struck him hard enough across the face to break his cheek in two places. William Dash went sprawling, completely unconscious before he hit the floor. Saltash only laughed, momentarily distracted by the fun of it all.

It was then that Tudor blinked, surprised to find that she had taken Harry's knife from off his belt without knowing it. Suddenly everything was reduced to animal survival.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The cool metal in her hand seemed to clam Tudor, all riotous thoughts stopped instantly the moment the blade was safely in her palm. A million thoughts had been screaming since the moment she had be pinned to the ground, but she couldn't fight them or silence them, but instead had dwelled on them, thinking perhaps they could drown out her current reality. But her grasp finding the knife caused everything to shift. She still fought and thrashed as she had been doing, but it was more calculated now, less of a hopeless attempt. She used the motions that Harry Saltash all but expected from her to disguise her turning the knife around slowly a few times in her hand, to get an idea of the size and sharpness, without drawing attention to it by turning to look. A light thumb brushed against the edge told her that Saltash kept it sharp - either from being an experience sailor or from being a brute who wouldn't be above using the tool as a weapon when no others were allowed to be carried on ship, she couldn't say - but either way she was glad of it. Despite the rounded end, she intended to inflict as large an amount of damage as possible.

Sparing a quick glance over at the young powder monkey who had both so bravely and so foolishly tried to come to her aide, Tudor allowed herself a brief second of worry for the boy. He had been hit hard, and probably hadn't suffered as many fists as she had over the years, and the only thing that had stopped him being flung further by the force was the wall. Her anguish grew as she saw him crumpled on the ground, but kept herself from losing her newly found focus. Now it was not only herself that was depending on her clear head.

Finally, his mirth at injuring the boy worn thin, Saltash turned back to his original object of amusement. He fell upon Tudor's neck with his mouth - it could neither be called kissing, as that implied gentleness and affection, nor could it be called slobbering, as it was not nearly so simple-minded - he bit, with force, adding to the list of bruises Tudor was sure to have if this ordeal ever ended. But this action, as unwanted in and of itself as it was, was exactly the sort of thing the Steward had been waiting for. Grasping the knife firmly, steadying the blade with her index finger, she raised her arm, hooked the sharp edge agains the back of his ear and pulled forcefully. Between her forward motion, and his recoiling from the pain, she sliced the clear through, and not willing to loose the forward momentum , continued to slice across his face.

What started off as a thin red line that crossed his cheekbone, his left eye, the bridge of his and cut through his right eyebrow suddenly turned into a geyser of blood, although Saltash was still most shocked about his ear. He bellowed angrily, a injured bull in the matador's ring, but Tudor had no red flag to wave, only a spear. Shifting her grip on the knife she dug the edge into his upper arm, with as much force as she could, trying to push through all the skin to the muscle.

He tried to hit her, to pin her hand down, but the cut across it's face served the purpose she had for it - the blood dripping down his face was blurring his vision and she managed to evade his grip, raking her weapon across his chest. His weight on her lightened enough that she could sit up, and as loath as she was to put herself any close to him, she wraped an arm around him and gave him another cut on his back, the mirror image to the one on his chest. With that, and a small shove, she finally was able to wriggle her self out from under him. Stumbling to her feet, she pulled her slops back up to her waist, buttoning as she tried to find her footing and hurry her way across the room to where the boy lay unconcious.

"Boy . . . which one are you . . . I don't remember, I'm sorry" She spoke to him as if he was conscious and would be offended that for the first time in months she couldn't remember everyone's names. "Dash! That's it Dash, wake up, c'mon, wake up. You need to get out, now! DASH!" She tried in vain to wake him, yelling, shaking him, tugging on his hair. Part of her said to leave him and run. Saltash would most likely follow her and leave Dash in the heap on the floor, but she couldn't leave the boy - he hadn't left her.

Dash's eyes fluttered open, staring up at her dazed for a moment, but quickly his line of sight focused on something just past her shoulder, fear filling his bleary eyes, and he just manged to mouth 'behind you' in time for Tudor to turn, and see Saltash lumbering towards her. Once again, she used his own momentum against him and rammed the heel of her hand forceably upwards against his nose, causing what some would consider a knee-weakening cracking sound to echo. Tudor found it quite satisfying, almost as satisfying as seeing the man fall to his knees from the sharp pain cause by the snapping of nasal bones.

Not waiting to see if he would find his strength yet again, Tudor did her best to lift William Dash, who had once again slipped away from the waking world, up from the floor and carry him from the scene of the horrors. This was no small task in and of itself, and an incredible feat considering she bore injuries herself. The boy, while lighter, was the same height as she was herself, and was completely limp, passed out from pain no doubt.

"Stop!" Saltash shouted, still disoriented but standing again. "Don't! I'll leave you be, just don't tell anyone what happened here." He toppled over again as the ship shivered in a strong wind. "I'll never come near you again, I swear, but just don't tell anyone, or else!" Twenty minutes prior, this would have sounded threatening, but now his words were choked on blood, his face was in tatters and he could barely stand.

Or else WHAT? Tudor thought to herself, but didn't stop in her attempts to take the young boy and flee. She couldn't think of a single thing that he could do to her that would be any worse then what she just had to bear, so his threat was beyond empty to her. Besides, someone MIGHT just notice something. Your nose is broken and I will have bruises for weeks.

As if he sensed her skepticism, he gave intimidation another attempt. "I'll tell everyone you seduced me - lured me in - and started to attack me, to rob me!"

This time, she couldn't hold her tongue. "I wouldn't willing seduce you if you were as rich as Croesus you disgusting oaf! As is, what would I steal from an ugly half-wit with barely two shillings to rub together!" She yelled back at him, never ceasing to keep moving forward. It was beyond foolish, to continue to let him distract her, and to continue to antagonize, but the words flew out of her mouth too quickly to be stopped. Hope, she could see hope in the form of the steps to the upper decks now, she was halfway down the narrow corridor. She wanted to rest for a breath, but heard him starting to set after her, and so she quickened her pace. She was almost to the steps when she lost the hold she had around Dash, nearly falling over with the boy's dead weight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything was chaotic and Argus needed out of the small cramped room as he was whining and turning circles. She tilted her head a long lock of dark hair covering her face before she swept it back. "You do know it is raining out there?" She remained as she was wondering if she should attempt the deck now that things had settled down here or to wait as the Captain had bid. Again Argus barked and went to the door scratching and whining. "If you fall over I cannot save you..." She moved towards the door with quick light steps and turned the handle just as the ship rolled. Having to catch the doorframe she managed to open the door and Argus shot out of the cabin into the murky darkness. "Argus! Argus!" moving quickly she called to her dog and scampered down the steps where she saw last his shadow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alexander Sparshott and Tobias Vandevender were coming from two different directions when they came upon Tudor almost simultaneously. Alexander was bent for places below and aft, and brought with him as much rain as a man might carry in his clothes. He was half way down the ladderway when he saw Tudor bearing Dash, but misunderstood the scene completely.

"Have you need of me?" he asked, thinking that the young Dash and the Steward had come to some accident in relation to the ship and all her troubles.

Tobias was coming forward to bring the carpenters' reports to the Captain, even as Alexander voiced his offer of help. He passed so near to Saltash, that the man might have killed Tobias, but Saltash had shrunk back as far as the space would allow. Tobias too was quick to call out. "Wat is dit? Een ongeluk...?" Tobias called, failing to notice his own lapse into native Dutch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"YES!" She said, perhaps a little to forcefully, but then curbed her emotions - the sheer joy to see more faces, the relief that they were others with more strength. Her next words were measured carefully, but she spoke them quickly. "Please, some one get Dash here to the surgeon. I can't carry him there myself but he needs to be looked to, badly. He was hit very hard." She paused, unable to hide a groan of relief when, Sparshott reached for Dash, shifting the weight of the boy so it was no longer bearing down on her own battered body. "Get him to Mistress O'Treasaigh and tell her to bolt her door and not let any one short of an officer anywhere near the boy." This part was more than she should have said, and the words tumbled out of her mouth without her weighing them, but she couldn't regret saying them. As much as she wanted to give details of the occurrence of moments past to as few people as possible, she also could not bear the idea of Saltash finding his way to the surgery, and devising a way to silence the boy from confessing what he had witnessed. The thought quickly crossed her mind that depending on just how hard he had been hit, Saltash might not have to do any more to keep him from talking. Biting back that bitter thought, she sized up Tobias quickly. She had known that he had been working with the Carpenter and guessed what his original destination had been. "I need to get to the Captain, but I need someone to walk with me. I cannot go alone . . ." Her Dutch was limited in the best of circumstances, so she didn't even attempt to speak to him in his mother tongue, as she normally might.

Sparshott glanced her over, blood smeared over her face, broken lip still adding fresh to the stains and the red marks around her jaw already starting to turn to bruises. "But surely you need to go be seen by the Doctor too? What in God's name happened?"

Shaking her head, she determined to answer only of his questions. "I am fine," Although as she said this, she began to notice every ache and hurt more, as if her body was calling her a liar. "It is more important I get above decks right away." And away from where ever Saltash might be hiding right now she thought. "I MUST speak to the Captain, right away." The emphasis on this need was just as much to convince herself. Talking to anyone, let alone the Captain, about this was the last thing she wished to do. Given her options, she would have chosen to wipe off her face, go back to work and pretend nothing had happened, over having to confess to her ranking officer that something like this would happen - it would make her look less strong, more fragile, weak, a liability, unable to take care of herself, foolish - and she hated to cast herself in such a light. But more foolish would be to keep silent to save her pride and have Saltash walk about the ship free and merry as he pleased. It wasn't for herself that she had decided she needed to at least speak to the master of the ship, but for every other woman in the crew.

It was at this moment that another crew member, this time of a four-legged variety came barreling down the corridor, all teeth and barks. What he was after, if anything, Tudor couldn't speculate, and instead left the pup to his own devices, sure that his mistress would be after him in a minute. She couldn't be below another minute, it felt as if the walls were closing in, making it hard to even breath, and so she took the first steps up the ladderway, unsure if Vandevender would follow as she had requested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The storms had started to abate, suddenly dropping to no more than a light drizzle, just as quickly as the had set upon the battered ship. The general din of topside both comforted and terrified her, the space to breath, no shadowy corners, gave her a sense of security, but every yell, bang, sound, creak of the ship, sound of footfall behind her made her skittish, and all of these noises ruled on the deck. Everyone was too busy to notice her as she followed Vandervender, but she tried to shrink into herself as they walked, suddenly conscious of just how she must look. As they approached the captain, she pawed nervously at her face, trying her best to rub away the dried brown, and the fresh red, that stained her face, with her sleeve. More blood on the linen shirt she wore wouldn’t signify - it was already covered, both in her own and Saltash’s. “Je spreekt hem eerst.” She mumbled to Vandervender, bidding him to speak first to the Captain, remembering her basic grasp on his language, though he would have understood her in English just the same. She still wasn’t sure she had it in her to speak the words she knew she must.


William spared them both a glance as they approached, but turned to look again at his Steward, surprise at her state on his already troubled face. “Mistress Smith! What in the seven hells . . .” She raised a hand to cut him off, insisting that she could hold her peace until the carpenter’s report was given. Every word that was spoken between the two men in regards to the securing of the ship caused the knot in her stomach to tighten, knowing that soon, it would be her turn to speak. All she could make out from the conversation was that the ship was out of immediate danger, for the time being, the details of how this had been accomplished, or how such progress was to continue were entirely unheard by her.

Their conversation ended, the Captain bade her to speak, and taking a steadying breath, she began. “I was, uh . . . attacked, Sir.” She tried to sound calm and collected, but the devil may care attitude she wished for was missing, and her sentence sounded stilted even to herself. Hearing a commotion from the other side of the ship, she saw that Saltash just appeared on deck himself, almost looking as if he had been chased, and she no longer had time to fumble for words. “Saltash. He cornered me below.” Again she looked over her shoulder quickly. Her attacker had just found her in the sea of people that ran about, and his eyes spoke murderous volumes as he noticed who she was speaking to. “I am fine, but I tell you so you know, so that he might be detained. There is too much happening on board to have him guarded, and I would hate others to fall afoul of him. Young Dash already bore the brunt of his anger for attempting to intervene.” Again, a nervous glance cast behind her told her what her soldier’s sense had already felt, that Harry Saltash was trying to get to her as quickly and discretely as possible, and he was already halfway closer to her then he had been the moment before. “I understand that I am accusing a shipmate, and that no action can be taken against him until both sides are heard, but please - do not let him have liberty of the ship.” Her voice wavered at this, and she gritted her teeth. “Please, have someone put him under lock until . . . until.” She was running out of energy and the little courage she had was wavering as he approached closer and closer. “If I have to be locked somewhere as well, as a party to violence on the ship, I understand, but please, please,” She winced, tears starting to well in her grey eyes as she could almost feel him looming, only a few yards away, attempting to look busy as if he was working, while still holding at his sliced ear and face. “Keep me far away from him. Please.” The last plea came out of her almost as more of a gasp for air, weariness finally washing over her, as she slouched, no longer able the proud posture she was attempting, and started shaking from agony, pain, misery, chill and fear. She couldn’t meet her Captain’s eye, but kept her face turned down to the planks.

Edited by TudorSmith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

William despised men who beat women. He despised them thoroughly, and without forgiveness. Nevertheless, his face did not change much. As his Steward spoke, he looked less moved rather than more, and knew it would appear so, but in fact, this was the slow, placid, almost stoic outward look of a very inward hatred. The black shell of the grenado hiding the potential.

Vandevender was William's opposite in every way. His face curled, and uncurled in surprise, sympathy and understanding more than once and he shot glances in the direction of Saltash, William and Tudor respectively.

William simply nodded as she explained, saying nothing until she was finished. "Mister Vandevender, you may inform those men at work below that I have their report. They may send for what supplies and men they have need of at their leisure. Nothing is to be spared above or below to get us underway."

"Aye, sah." Vandevender returned and rushed off again.

Several things were happening at once.

Robert Thatcher, too fond of Tudor not to notice her passage at the best of times and her visage as it was now, was reprimanded for taking his eyes and hands of the task at hand, and Mister Light was giving him an earful for his troubles.

Harry Saltash had found the only solace that he could, throwing himself into work among many, if only to escape notice and the dog which had chased him bristling out of lower confines. No one noticed his wounds, mistaking them for injuries by ship and the collision.

Mistress Tribbinani, having caught up with the loose Argus, was kneeling beside him, trying to assess what he had done, how it touched Saltash and what should be done about either of them.

The prisoners at the space below the foredecks were watching all of this with a mixture of boredom and opportunity.

Jim Warren, too observant a man not to see almost all, had crossed to the Captain and Steward.

"Mister Warren. The men below have staved off the flooding aft, but may require some additional men. Please send any man below who may be of service, then have the marines clap irons on Mister Saltash." William said all of this, almost conversationally, removed.

Mister Warren simply nodded, business like and made no questions. "Aye,Sah."

"You have the deck, Mister Warren."

Then, stepping away from the commotion of all things, William opened the companionway door and held it waiting. "Mistress Smith."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tudor ducked into the doorway that was held for her, not caring if they were heading for the brig or anywhere else, except for maybe the small confines of her sleep area. All she wanted was to sit. Her feet felt heavy, her head pounded and stung from where it had been bounced off the floor, she was dizzy - not from the injuries but just from all strength finally sapping out of her. She wanted to sit, but wasn't sure that she could make it further then the ground right in front of her.

Noticing the unsteadiness, Brand proffered an arm to her, as if he was escorting her into a ballroom, rather then the great cabin to which he was now opening the door, although the whole time his face continuing to remain stoic. At first thought, Tudor wished that perhaps the Captain was being more clear with his thoughts as she was in mood to try and decipher moods and body language, but she now thought the better of it. Her own emotions were riotous enough, and she was glad for the pillar of solemnity beside her -it steadied more then her steps.

She still didn't speak another word, all of them were used up, as her captain pulled out a small chair for her. Collapsing on it, she never looked more like a porcelain doll, only now slumped over and discarded. "Mistress Smith, please make yourself comfortable in here, while I go and see to matters." He still spoke formally, a apparently collected calm, and he turned to exit the room again, but before he was out of earshot, she finally found some small voice again.

"Captain?" He hesitated. "Please, can as few of the crew know about this as possible?" Another piece of her broke, asking this. She was certain that such a pitiful request would solidify any doubts the Captain might have had about the extents that her vaguely described 'attack' had gone to, but it seemed that what was left of her pride had to be shattered further in order to be rebuilt, and the only way she would be able to survive was if she didn't have the pitying, or judging, looks of every crewmate as gossip spread. As soon as she asked, she started ennumerating the people that might have overheard or would have to be told; Vandervender, Robert Thatcher had been watching, Mr. Warren, the marines that would be sent to detain Saltash . . . .she kept counting in her head, wishing the number could be fewer . . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

William closed the door, going first to the surgery to fetch some salves and a cloth or two. He made no report of the Steward, but being so direct about what he required, Maeve simply guessed that it was for the care of some wounded fellow. She gave over everything that he asked for, though some of it came from the floor and under tables, as they were still collecting all the fallen and smashed things about the surgery.

He next went to the galley and finding a man there that was not the cook, but he ordered him to have the cook prepare some dish to which the man was not familiar, though of which William was certain that Mister Gage would provide.

When he returned to the cabin he noticed, but made no outward mention of the sudden way she seemed to change as he entered the cabin. He laid the small bottles and the cloth on the table and fetched up the bowl he used for shaving from his own quarters off the room. As he set it upon the table which served for a desk and dining, he noted the crack in the porcelain. Just one more battered victim of recent events. He poured a generous amount of water and seemed satisfied that he had all that he required. Then he threw off his oilskins and the wet waistcoat that had failed to shield. He did this with no care for either garment, but tossed them were he would.

Then he performed an act not often afforded him. He played the servant.

Taking up a three legged stool which lay on it's side nearby, he placed it and himself in front, and at the foot of Tudor. Drawing the bowl from beside the table he placed it at his right and took up one cloth and soaked it. He did this wordlessly. His face was calm, even gentle, but he said nothing. He simply wrung the cloth and began the careful task of wiping a wound here and gently sponging a bruise there. Despite being taller than her, he was seated low enough to make eye contact, though she made none. Occasionally his brow would wrinkle with the empathy or sympathy each wound called for, much has he had done when he was only a servant in a bygone house, two decades removed.

The water in the basin slowly turned from clear to pink to red as he worked and he was further reminded of his Egyptian captivity.

Then once, amidst it all, he kissed her forehead. Just that. He found one soft, unblemished part of her head, tucked back a wet lock and kissed it. Under the circumstances, and in a place so private, it might have seemed intimate, but of a kind which only friends know.

"I'm reminded a brave and worthy Steward…" William began then as he wrung a fresh cloth. He wiped blood from her hair as he continued. "She was a woman of small stature and of a station neither too high or too low, but of such a carriage of dignity and loyalty, that she set aside her mortal fears to strike the flag of my enemies." He smiled then a little and plucked a splinter deftly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A brief, weary smile twisted at her mouth, causing the recently staunched blood of cracked lip to start to well again, and out of habit, she raised the heel of her hand to press at it, and wipe away. Tutting at her, the captain batted her hand away, and dabbed at her mouth with cloth. "That was easy, compared to this." She said, with the first bit of bravado she was able to muster. "I was armed and prepared. Mostly, I was armed." She laughed a bit, trying her best not to wince as William continued to tend the myriad of bruises. It was painfully obvious that she still was on edge. She sat on her seat, slouching but not relaxed and she could not let her gaze settle anywhere - not from disinterest in making eye contact, but simply that the kept watching the door, lest it swing open with Saltash behind it.

"You are handling it with far more strength and bravery then many others have done before you. You inflicted quite a bit of damage on him for his trouble." He thought to encourage the bravery and the pride that was naturally in her manner, and her eyes did flicker for a minute with the sheer joy of having at least stood some ground before falling to the enemy.

"The Devil himself couldn't take me to hell without me giving him a fight." She said, again smirking, and again wincing at the pull it made on her wounds. "And. . . it isn't as if this is the first time something like this has happened to me. And I won't be surprised if it's not the last." She said in an oddly light tone for such a serious subject.

As if feeling the burden of such statements, her face shifted, dramatically and quickly, to a look of steely determination, with a touch of madness about the eyes, and she bolted upright from the chair, almost knocking the captain off his perch on his stool. She started pacing frantically, holding onto the back of her neck, all her hair pinned under her hand. "Captain - do you have some scissors, or a sharp knife somewhere around here?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now