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Inigo Montoya

The Pirate Hunter's Smarter Brother!

2,856 posts in this topic

"Mister Neede, Mister Neede," cried and tugged a young urchin at his arm, "there's a man here to see you."

Thomas blinked rapidly as a fat bead of sweat ran across his brow. It had been months since he left Port Royal and still could not become used to the base surroundings he now shared with the young boy and his dog. Where did the dog come from? Thomas tried to remember how the dog had arrived but could not. He reached for the small bottle of port he had set aside the desk early that morning.

In the corner of the room, the boy prepared a small bowl of water for Thomas to wash his face. Thomas removed his glasses and yawned. The day had begun some hours ago, but Neede had spent most of the night continuing to unpack the last chest and crates he had brought with him from Port Royal. Lady Ana had been gracious enough, and for a few coins more, to move his belongings aboard the Resurrection to his new haunt. Thomas was still unsure if he had made the right decision. He moved to the window and looked out across the harbor. The morning had the small town teeming with activity. "So much to be made," he said to no one.

A slight bump at his elbow found the boy holding a large basin, "sir," he merely whispered.

Edited by Thomas Neede

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"What? What say yea?" Angus bellowed at the sailor who had just informed him of the bad news.

"Sorry, sir, but there's no helping it. We musta hit a reef, or maybe a whale bumped us. Coulda been anything."

Angus snorted. "Whale? Yea ninny. More like the incompetence of yon pilot." He gestured to the scrawny man draped over the wheel, clearly drunk. "We were supposed to land in Charles Town. Now yea say we're landing on some island yea never heard of? Then, I want my passage fee returned tae mae. Ye hear! And the fee I paid for my servant. I'll want that back as weel."

"You'll have ta ask the captain 'bout that, sir. We're pretty close to the island. Captain says we should see her before noon, meybe. Best make ready to take your things to shore. Not sure how long we'll be stuck there."

Resisting the urge to smack the man, Angus said, "Fine then. But I'll want a wee word with the Captain as soon as we're on shore. And throw that bloody pilot tae the sharks!"

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Tomas clambored onto the dock. Three days at sea had made him quite hungry and he could assume only that his dinghy mates were the same.

Tomas had Roberto dig about the small craft to find items perhaps to trade or even sell for a bit of sup.

Phonse, while still dripping on the dock, continued to hold the leather satchel. Tomas stood with his hand out. Reluctantly, Phonse removed the bag and gave it over. The Spaniard opened the flap and rooted around in the bag, but found nothing.

"Nothing?" remarked Tomas.

"Si," Phonse replied sheepishly.

"How do you propose we pay for any vittles?" Tomas asked pointedly.

Phonse merely shrugged.

Roberto was still in the boat and pulled a small canvas tarp from the bow. He managed to find a small brass compass and a very small, yet heavy bag with what looked like bones in it. He tossed both to Tomas who promptly dropped the satchel. Phonse snatched it up just as quickly. Tomas sighed.

The spaniard spun the compass and found that it did work. He turned slowly. Looking southeast, he could see the narrow channel lose itself as it turns to the south about the point and back out to sea. To the northeast, all he could see was a large rock outcropping that eventually broke north around the bay into a narrow beach where there were a few huts lining the beach eventually disappeared into the jungle. Due north of the docks he could a see a wide stream running down into the bay. He could only assume that this was their fresh water source and why the small set of buildings had been built nearby. As he turned to the west, the wide beach had tens of twenties and possibly thirty or more craft dotted the shore. He could see many dinghies and longboats, but mostly were dugout canoes with fishing nets strung across the bows. As the beach turned and ran east at the far southern end of the bay, Tomas saw three large vessels laid on their side for careening.

This basin had to be relatively unknown. He saw no fortifications, nor cannon, nor soldiers.

Phonse had followed Tomas as he surveyed their surroundings. "¿Dónde estamos?" Phonse asked quietly.

"No estoy seguro," replied the Spaniard, "pero la Marina no británica, ni español."

"Pirata?"

Tomas clutched the small bag and tossed it gently in his hand. He smiled wryly, "Si."

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As the Rakehell glided slowly into the strange bay, Ransom looked around, taking note of the new surroundings, on alert for danger. She saw nothing but fishing boats and dugout canoes. Three larger vessels were being careened on shore. No flags flying, so no telling who was in charge. She hoped it was a free port, or so off the chart that no major power thought it worth watching.

They anchored safely offshore, then a jolly boat was lowered. Ransom turned to Africa. "Come with me, and you as well, Colard, and get Jimmy. We'll row over and see what's what. Colard, you ask around about careening, I'll find out what our food options are. Africa, you guard the jolly boat. Any sign of trouble, you let out the signal, and we'll come running back. Got that?"

Africa nodded, then called out, "Jimmy...to da jolly bout."

Soon the four of them were rowing toward shore, while the rest of the crew stood at the rail peering down at them.

"See if they've got any rum for sale," Tunny shouted, and got a laugh.

As the jolly boat got closer to shore, Ransom looked over at the dock and saw a small boat that looked familiar. "No, it can't be," she muttered.

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Sitting now barely upright, Tomas swiped for his tankard. He squinted into the sunlight as it begin to set through the trees to the west. Another sip and he found he was empty.

The sounds of refittment and reconstruction had stopped for the evening and the small thatched ordinary had begun to fill with those previously working on the beaches. Voices of many nations argued, laughed and sang as it eventually became dark on the small island.

Phonse and Roberto had be sent among the sparse buildings to find anything they could get for the small compass. Anything at all would help Tomas be able to pay for his afternoon's drinks. The Spaniard pulled out the small bag and tossed it upon the table. He opened it slowly almost fumbling with the drawstrings now that the rum had set in. He pulled out a small human tooth and held it closely to this eye to examine it. A pale stone, almost soft enough to crumble with his fingers, he withdrew next. There were several other odd things he unceremoniously dumped from the satchel: some more bones, a short white feather, a crystal that seemed to glow in low light of the room, dried tobacco leaves, and a small ring with a strange seal on it. He set each of these in front of him in a small circle. He stared at them, confused. More rum was poured into the tankard.

Tomas sat, trying to make sense of the odd collection when he heard a commotion outside the door.

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As the others walked away, Africa stood watch by the jolly boat. He was nervous. They didn't know this island, didn't know the other ships, although Ransom seemed to think the small ketch tied to the dock was familiar. He clutched the leather bag full of corpse powder that hung from his neck, muttering the incantation for safety his grandmother had taught him when he was just a child.

Time passed. The lights in the small town started to go out as folks sought their beds. Neither Ransom nor Collard had returned. It was then he heard the ruckuss coming from the dock-side tavern. Suddenly alert to danger, Africa prepared to call out the signal for the others to return, when he saw Ransom jogging toward him.

"What going on?" Africa asked, glaring at her. "Where Collard?"

Her attention was on the tavern. "I don't know where Collard is, but it looks like there's a fight brewing over there. Not sure, but we'd best stay clear. I've managed to arrange for some food stock, but unless Collard can get us a careening crew, we're litteraly stuck on this gnat's ass piece of land."

"Dat not good."

"No," she replied, "it's not."

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