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Atomic Sunrise 10: Exploration Eastward:Sand, Sea, & Stars-Rated R


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#261 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 08:13 PM

Sophie turned to Somphit as the healer unloaded the duffel bags. She shook her head.

"I'd guess not," she answered. "We'll have just whatever you and Isabella brought from the trucks and village. Do you think you need something else? We could check around the docks and town to see what they have to trade."

#262 Raeven

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 03:56 AM

"Ishmael is finding our new ship...and we're now apparently in the employ of the League.

Isabella almost dropped the large burlap sack she had been carrying….”what? since when? How? We’re not league…..and we have a ship already?” She looked over at Rex, Nemo, Enoch and Somphit….”when I was a child I remember a book about a rabbit being late for an appointment….or was it a girl, anyway there was definitely a rabbit hole”…..Rex grinned and shook his head…”Isabella, is this pertinent as I think we have things to do, places to be” ….she frowned….”yes, no….look, it’s just that while we’ve been loading everything up, which hasn’t taken all that long, we’re now working for the league and we have a ship”….she sighed…"there was an expression ‘down the rabbit hole’ and that’s what I feel like” she shrugged and looked at Sophie…”where’s Ishmael, which one is our ship? When do we leave? do we at least have time to do a little exploring, I really want to walk on solid ground for a while”

Rex took the sack from Isabella and put it in the cart…

“Ship or no ship, League or no League, I think we should have a look around, we will need some more supplies…food, fruit at the very least…and Somphit raises a good point, I know we haven’t had to really touch the medical supplies yet, but I think we should load up, we’re going to be sailing a ship, there will be minor injuries and then when we reach our friends..we have to be prepared”

Nemo was only half listening to the conversation going on around him..If Ishmael had a ship already that meant they could leave and the sooner they left the sooner they could find their friends, the sooner he would be reunited with Myka. He didn’t want to explore Bermuda, it looked like a fine place, an interesting place…a place Myka would have loved….holding a hand up to his face he squinted into the sun….the docks were busy, there were people everywhere, loading and unloading ships, selling their wares on the dockside, women welcoming the incoming crews, one of the women caught his eye, she put her hand on her hip and winked at him…he blushed and turned to look in the other direction….something caught his eye, he couldn’t be sure and he didn’t want to say anything to the others not just yet…..

“Hey guys….I need to stretch my legs, I’m..I ….I’ll be right back..I’ll stay out of trouble, I promise, I won’t even talk to anyone, and I’ll be back, soon…or I’ll find you”

He jogged off towards the crowds of people

Isabella looked at Sophie…”that was odd, even for Nemo….Rex I think perhaps you should ..”

Rex nodded…”I think you’re right, I’ll keep an eye on him and I’ll also see about getting us some fresh fruit for the voyage….where shall we meet? I know, I bet there’s an Inn or saloon in town, probably more than one”…..he looked at Sophie….”any ideas?”

#263 Ishmael Autolycus

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 10:19 AM

"Will the ship be stocked with supplies? I mean, medical supplies?"

"Forgive me, but I couldn't help but overhear," Dr. Tavus said as he stepped off the gangplank. "There are several apothecaries in town; since you are working for the League they should have no compunctions about extending credit. I personally favor Hildegard Parkinson and Sons, but any of them should be able to supply at least the basics." He paused, then added, "Apothecaries' shops on Bermuda are marked with a sign shaped like a mortar and pestle. Now if you will pardon me, I have a dinner engagement this evening. The best of luck to all of you." With that, Dr. Tavus bowed slightly, touching the brim of his hat, and departed.

#264 Ishmael Autolycus

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 10:55 AM

"Where shall we meet... any ideas?"

Ishmael had approached while the others had been watching Nemo's sudden disappearing act. Shaking his head, he asked Rex, "Three piers down, do you see the ship with the two raked masts, that is, masts that look like they're tilted? That's our ship, La Chasseur . Make sure you have Nemo back by first light at the latest."

Ishmael turned to Sophie and the rest. "Let's get our personal gear aboard while there's still some light left, then I need to make arrangements to have the rest of the supplies we'll need delivered in the morning. Fortunately the tide doesn't turn until almost noon tomorrow, so that gives us most of the morning to load supplies and familiarize ourselves with the ship, instead of trying to do that in the dark." He looked around at the group, and added, "Once we've stowed our gear, if any of you want to spend a little time exploring, I don't see a problem with that. Just be back and ready to work at first light.

"Now, shall we go see our new ship?"

#265 RJDiogenes

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 07:24 PM

"I'd guess not," Sophie said to Somphit. "We'll have just whatever you and Isabella brought from the trucks and village. Do you think you need something else? We could check around the docks and town to see what they have to trade."

"Oh, nothing special, I guess," Somphit replied. "I was just thinking they might have some stronger medicines than the herbal remedies we have."

"Forgive me, but I couldn't help but overhear," Dr. Tavus said as he stepped off the gangplank. "There are several apothecaries in town; since you are working for the League they should have no compunctions about extending credit. I personally favor Hildegard Parkinson and Sons, but any of them should be able to supply at least the basics." He paused, then added, "Apothecaries' shops on Bermuda are marked with a sign shaped like a mortar and pestle. Now if you will pardon me, I have a dinner engagement this evening. The best of luck to all of you." With that, Dr. Tavus bowed slightly, touching the brim of his hat, and departed.

"Oh, thank you, doctor!" said Somphit, starting to touch the brim of an imaginary hat and then waving instead, hoping that nobody noticed. "Apothecaries. That sounds wonderful. I'll feel a lot more comfortable with a good stock of medicine on board. If nobody needs me at the moment, I'm going to go shopping."

#266 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 08:44 PM

Dr. Tavus joined them for a few moments after overhearing Somphit's question about medical supplies. His suggestion peaked Somphit's interest, so Sophie left them to discuss basic medical supplies. She knew Isabella had the more advanced medicine and portable equipment hidden away, along with her supply of herbs, so all together they should be able to deal with any medical issues that arose on their journey.

"...what? since when? How? We’re not league…..and we have a ship already?...where’s Ishmael, which one is our ship? When do we leave? do we at least have time to do a little exploring, I really want to walk on solid ground for a while.”

Sophie nodded, turning her attention to her friend. "We do have a ship! Remember at the village when Alex said there was someone here who could help us...well, Commodore Pellew already had one ready for us. Word travels fast somehow," she said, narrowing her eyes slightly in annoyance, "for a world that has no long distance communication systems. When we get back to the village...I'm going to find out some answers."

Sophie was in agreement with Rex about needing more food and supplies, but was distracted when Nemo suddenly took off on his own. Isabella was just as puzzled.

"…”that was odd, even for Nemo….Rex I think perhaps you should ..”

Sophie nodded, keeping an eye on the tall teenager...young man...until he disappeared into the crowd on the docks. Somphit finished her conversation with Dr. Tavus, then turned back to the group just as Rex asked,

"Where shall we meet... any ideas?"

Ishmael appeared behind them before Sophie could answer...which was good because she had no idea where to meet.

"Three piers down, do you see the ship with the two raked masts, that is, masts that look like they're tilted? That's our ship, La Chasseur. Make sure you have Nemo back by first light at the latest."

Rex departed in search of Nemo...and fresh fruit and other food. Sophie figured he knew what trade goods they had brought with them and would deal with that part. Or perhaps the vendors would extend them credit since they were working with the League for now.

"Let's get our personal gear aboard while there's still some light left, then I need to make arrangements to have the rest of the supplies we'll need delivered in the morning. Fortunately the tide doesn't turn until almost noon tomorrow, so that gives us most of the morning to load supplies and familiarize ourselves with the ship, instead of trying to do that in the dark. Once we've stowed our gear, if any of you want to spend a little time exploring, I don't see a problem with that. Just be back and ready to work at first light.

"Now, shall we go see our new ship?"


But Somphit decided to start her shopping early.

"Apothecaries. That sounds wonderful. I'll feel a lot more comfortable with a good stock of medicine on board. If nobody needs me at the moment, I'm going to go shopping."

"Be careful," Sophie cautioned. "We'll load your bag onto the ship and give you a room...uh, quarters."

Once it was just Sophie, Isabella, Ishmael, Enoch, and the two guards they started off down the docks. Between the six of them and two boys that Ishmael "hired" to help out, they guided the three carts toward their ship. As she and Isabella walked side by side pushing one cart, Sophie watched as La Chasseur came closer into view. It was smaller than Eagle but still seemed scarily large for their small, inexperienced crew to handle.

"Ishmael says we can do it," she said confidently to Isabella, not realizing that her friend might have no idea what she had just been thinking about.

Reaching the ship, Sophie turned to Ishmael. "Isabella and I are going to drop our things off then start looking around town," she said, She lay a hand on Ishmael's cheek. "Don't worry, we'll be careful as well. If you're gone by the time we get ready to go, then I'll see you later, okay?"

She and Isabella went first up the smaller gangplank loaded down with their personal bags. They left Ishmael, Enoch, John, and Abel to start with the rest. The two boys, under the watchful eye of the men, would do their share.  The women found a ladder that led down into the ship.

"C'mon, let's go pick out quarters...cabins?...while there's still light enough to see inside! And did Ishmael just give us permission to stay out all night?" she asked with a mischievous laugh.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 17 February 2016 - 06:30 PM.


#267 Ishmael Autolycus

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 11:46 AM

The two young carters helped move the rest of the groups' belongings from the dock to the deck of La Chasseur, then departed once Ishmael had paid their fee, trailing their carts behind them. Enoch, John and Abel, with Ishmael directing, quickly stowed everything. Rex, Nemo and Somphit's personal effects were left for them in three neat piles in the main cabin until they could arrive and choose their quarters.

"I'm going to need one of you to stay aboard tonight as anchor watch," Ishmael said, once they had finished. "Basically make sure nothing happens to the ship, no one who isn't part of our group tries to come aboard, that sort of thing," he explained. "It means you won't have a chance to do any exploring, unfortunately, but you'll get to sleep in in the morning while the rest of us are getting the ship ready in exchange."

"I'll stay," John offered.

"Are you sure?" Enoch asked.

John shrugged. "Yeah. I'm not feeling real sociable right now. Don't think I'd enjoy myself much."

Abel gave his friend a searching look. "All right," he said finally. "But I've got the next one."

"Sure," John agreed. "You guys go, have fun."

"All right then, Enoch, Abel, same thing I told the others; be back here ready to work by first light," Ishmael said. "Oh, and a word of warning- Bermudans take pride in the smoothness of their rum: it goes down easy but it's a lot stronger than you realize at first."

Abel nodded. "Got it, boss. We'll take it easy. Come on, kid, let's see what's out there." With that, he and Enoch left.

"I'm headed out as well," Ishmael said. "Let Sophie and Isabella know what's going on, if you would, as well as the others if they get back before I do."

"Got it, b- ah, captain."

#268 Raeven

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 07:26 AM

Isabella looked up at their new ship, La Chasseur….she had no idea whether they could actually sail it….

"Ishmael says we can do it,"

She laughed…..”you’re reading my mind again Sophie?”

After clambering on board, she set her bags down on the deck and looked around

"C'mon, let's go pick out quarters...cabins?””

Isabella grinned and picked up her bags…..“bunks, beds, cramped, enclosed spaces? race you there” she ran towards the back of the ship and headed below deck…. “I’m guessing you and Ishmael are going to take the Captains quarters, seeing as how Ishmael is the Captain…..so I am going to have the next biggest which seems to be the one across from the captain's…if that’s ok with you?” she peered into the cabin…”yep, definitely a cabin fit for an officer…and with just me in here, it’s going to be positively spacious” she placed her bags on the bunk then headed back to see if Sophie was ready to go exploring.

Nemo dodged around people and carts, ignoring the ladies whistling at him…he was sure he’d seen Amet, leaping over a fallen cart, he turned a corner and grinned “AMET….Amet” he raced over to his friend…”It is so good to see you, what happened, how did you end up here, is Myka here? The others? We thought pirates had taken you….we have to get back to Ishmael and Sophie, we have to let them know you’re here, alive and well”

#269 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 01:21 PM

Freedom's Ghost:

Cassie glanced over at the sculpture Alexander was holding up and frowned. “That's sort of creepy looking,” she commented to him. “I don't think I'd want one of those staring at me all the time.”

“Pssst, someone's coming!” hissed Ryland from peering out the cracked opening of the door into the hold. The pale-skinned teenager eased the door shut then made a frantic, fearful dash for his cage.

Cassie slammed the lid of the crate she was peering into just as Ryland's cage lock clicked shut. She motioned for Alexander to hurry as she nearly threw herself into her own cage, much as she would have  prefered to lie in wait for whoever was coming and bury the knife concealed in her cyber arm deep into an unsuspecting pirate.

The hold door slammed open to reveal Hawk, apparently drunk, staggering into the underbelly of the ship with the bulk that was Demon following. Hawk carried a heavy cleaver with dried blood on the blade. Cassie's eyes opened wide as she quickly went over her options to keep Alexander and Ryland safe. If she could kill the two pirates, then they wouldn't be able to hurt her friends.

But it surprised her somewhat when Hawk unlocked her cage, although not enough to keep her from positioning herself to launch at him. Somehow, though, he grabbed her before she could react and with Demon's help hauled her out of the cage. Cassie fought, even using the strength of her cyber arm, but the two pirates were stronger. She couldn't get any sort of physical advantage. They twisted her arms behind her before she could eject her blade, and carried her over into the shadows. In the near darkness the two men slammed her onto a wooden table and strapped her down. Cassie felt her breath knocked briefly out of her.

In the shadows, when two flickering, scavenged camping lights were lit...their usefulness in this world nearly over with..., Cassie twisted her head back and forth and arched her back, trying to free herself. She saw dried blood on the table. Apparently others had been tortured here as well. Her normal arm was bound tightly to her side, while her cyber arm was stretched out over the table and strapped down.

Hawk growled low in his throat. The smell of cheaply made liquor floated around him. “Bitch...” he mumbled, “I'll show you...wha' is it?...not normal...wanna see.” He laughed and sneered drunkenly. “Take it...then you...trophies.”

Demon stood grinning, yellowish teeth against his dark skin, holding her secured legs down even harder, hurting her legs. Every time Cassie struggled and swore at them, he grunted an encouragement to Hawk.

Hawk's calloused fingers dug into her skin, the dark-haired slaver tightly gripping Cassie's scarred shoulder where the soft metal, cyber arm had been attached. He held the cleaver in his other hand but hefted its weight almost impatiently. Cassie tried to turn her head to bite him but Hawk's hand was out of reach. He didn't even seem to notice her defiance.

“Cap'n won't get much for her anyway,” Demon growled.

Hawk spat on the wooden floor. “Nope. She's not a mutie. None o' the slavers'll wanna buy her. Seth'll prob'ly just kill 'er anyway, feed her body to the ocean dwellers. I jus' want that arm and hand.”

The two pirates suddenly looked at each other as a thought passed between them, and they both laughed drunkenly. Cassie had a moment to roll her eyes in disgust.

A third pirate, Kralen, who had originally attacked Alexander on the beach, walked in and scratched at his pointed beard. He ignored the other two pirates...that wasn't his business and he wasn't getting involved. He grimaced at the abnormally large headed mutant in his cage, disgusted by his appearance. But Kralen unlocked the cage and grabbed the back of the mutant's dirty robe.

"C'mon," he ordered. "Captain Seth wants to talk to you. What use you are besides bein' a slave, I don't know," he muttered to himself as he dragged the mutant out of the hold.

Only Ryland saw Alexander being hauled roughly away.

Fear suddenly overcame Cassie. She couldn't move to free herself. Ejecting the blade in her arm wouldn't do a damn bit of good with no way to use it. The damn pirate was actually going to use the cleaver to chop off her arm! Hawk raised the weapon in the air with a deep, steadying breath. Cassie gave a last, violent struggle to free herself before she was dismembered. Once they found what her arm was made of and the advanced design, it was only a matter of time before the slavers took the rest of her apart.

“Remember the last time you messed with a woman the Captain wanted,” a voice came from behind them. “He did say he'd kill you next time, didn't he? I'm not lookin' to treat more whip marks on your back, much less throwing yer dead body overboard.”

Cassie gasped and craned her neck to look up. The cleaver didn't fall after all, to slice roughly through skin, bone, and advanced metal and circuitry. Hawk growled and glared at Doc Finn, while Demon actually stepped back.

Finn leaned casually against the lowest part of the ship's mast, arms crossed over his chest. His long, bushy hair and unkempt beard and mustache, as well as his glasses, hid most of his face. He simply shrugged at Hawk when the First Mate glared at him with narrowed, angry eyes.

#270 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 03:53 PM

As she and Isabella made their down to the inside of the ship, much smaller than Eagle, Sophie took in everything toward the front in several glances. There'd be plenty of time to really investigate later tomorrow and out at sea. The remaining light of the setting sun streamed in through the portholes...reflecting off and down through prism-type glass above them in the overhead. It lit up the interior of the ship from the outside sunlight enough for them to see. Sophie opened one of the crates that had been stored temporarily near the hatch that led down to the hold. She grabbed two flashlights.

“I’m guessing you and Ishmael are going to take the Captain's quarters, seeing as how Ishmael is the Captain…..so I am going to have the next biggest which seems to be the one across from the captain's…if that’s ok with you?”

"Sure, that's totally fine," Sophie answered, handing an old-world flashlight to Isabella. "Here, hide this somewhere for now."

Peering into the "largest" cabin at the rear of the ship, Sophie laughed as she dropped her bags. The Captain really didn't have that much room, she thought. Just next door was a smaller cabin that she decided to claim as well. It wouldn't hurt for her and Ishmael to have a little bit more room for each of them. It was then she saw the closed lantern hanging from the ceiling of smaller cabin. Curious as to whether they would be the same as on board Eagle, Sophie unhooked it and took off the outer metal covering. To her delight, something inside began to glow until there was enough light shining out to light up the small room.

"That is still so fascinating!" she exclaimed to no one in particular. They had learned on the other ship that the mutated, glowing seaweed inside came from deep in the ocean. Apparently the League used this light source on some of their ships.

She left the lantern open and hanging, as well as opening the one in the other room, to light up the rooms when they returned.

Grabbing her satchel and making sure her weapons were still secure, Sophie headed out to find Isabella sitting on a very small cushioned bench just off the doctor's rooms. Across from Isabella was the head. However, she wondered if it was actually going to 'work'. They'd have to ask Ishmael about that before trying to use one.

"Nice view there," Sophie joked. "So, there are those weird seaweed lanterns in the rooms. Did you see one in your room? The stuff that glows. We might not even need the ones down here that we brought. You ready to go?"

They climbed back up the ladder and found John on deck by himself. He was obviously armed and carrying one of the strange lanterns she'd found down below. There were others hanging from the rigging of the ships that had been opened and were glowing. Sophie noticed the dock was lined with various types of hanging lanterns and stationary lights that now glowed. She hadn't really noticed them in the daylight.

"I'll use the ones we brought once we're out to sea," he said.

Sophie nodded. "Did Ishmael and the others leave? Are you staying?" she asked.

"Yes...and yes. I'll watch the ship tonight." John answered in a tone of voice that left no room for Sophie to ask details about why he had stayed behind.

"Okay...then we're leaving, too. Shoot anyone who tries...anything," she ordered vaguely.

John smirked slightly. "Or I could try to warn them away first," he offered.

Sophie shrugged but grinned. "Whatever works best," she answered. But with John's deep, smokey voice, it was likely he could get someone to back down just by talking. Luckily she'd known him long enough at the settlement to be immune to the sound.

"Remember, you two need to be back by first light; although I would suggest getting some sleep at some point before morning," the guard added.

The two women made disparaging noises. "Plenty of time for that out at sea," Sophie said, feeling surprisingly more relaxed than she had in a long time. "We have exploring and shopping to do."

John shook his head. "Oh...and watch out for the rum. The Captain says it's "smooth" and goes down easy but is a lot stronger than you'll realize."

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 21 February 2016 - 08:48 AM.


#271 RJDiogenes

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 05:00 PM

The swinging wooden sign above the door had said Aloysius's All-Encompassing Apothecary and it told the truth. The cramped store was filled top to bottom with bottles and boxes and vials and pouches of just about every medicinal supply known to man.  Some were derived from plants, some were derived from sea life, some were of uncertain, and possibly dubious, origin, but there was no malady for which there was not some remedy available.

Aloysius was an ancient man, skin as black as pitch and hair as white as snow, but as sprightly as a teenager. As he added a glass bottle full of a jellyfish poison counteragent to the bulging basket on the countertop, he said, "That should cover just about anything you'll need on a long sea voyage, young lady. Pain killers, antibiotics, antidotes, soporifics, stimulants, and regeneratives."

"Thank you very much," said Somphit.  "And this will all be charged to League credit?"

"Yes, yes," replied the old timer.  "No money down. Pay in installments.  Or trade, eh?  And can I offer you a free sample of my house-brand aphrodisiac? Guaranteed for men and women.  It's my own blend and I swear by it myself. Confidentially, just between you and me and the street lantern, it gives me the potency of a 20 year old. I can demonstrate, if you have a couple of hours to kill."

"No, thank you, I... really? Um, no, I don't have time," Somphit said. "But there is one other thing I need. Someone on the crew has a crippling anxiety disorder.  Do you have something to treat that?  It has to be very, very strong."

"Why, yes, of course. I have just the thing."

*****

A third pirate, Kralen, who had originally attacked Alexander on the beach, walked in and scratched at his pointed beard. He ignored the other two pirates...that wasn't his business and he wasn't getting involved. He grimaced at the abnormally large headed mutant in his cage, disgusted by his appearance. But Kralen unlocked the cage and grabbed the back of the mutant's dirty robe.

"C'mon," he ordered. "Captain Seth wants to talk to you. What use you are besides bein' a slave, I don't know," he muttered to himself as he dragged the mutant out of the hold.

"You show surprising wisdom in admitting your ignorance," Alexander told him. "I have many uses. I am a polymath."

As Kralen hauled Alexander toward the door of the hold, Doc Finn stepped inside. Alexander caught his heel against the threshold for just a moment, just long enough to make eye contact with the doctor. He looked deeply into the doctor's eyes.  It was a moment that stretched time and narrowed space. "Help Cassie," Alexander said. "And when all this is over, I'll let you live."

Then Alexander was dragged away, but by that time the doctor had already thought it over.

#272 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 08:27 PM

AMET….Amet...It is so good to see you, what happened, how did you end up here, is Myka here? The others? We thought pirates had taken you….we have to get back to Ishmael and Sophie, we have to let them know you’re here, alive and well.”

Amanda jumped with a gasp when the tall young man appeared in front of her and Amet, shouting her giant friend's name so familiarly. He rattled off so many names...but names that Amet had mentioned...that the slight blonde teenager felt her mind whirl. Without realizing it she stared in surprise with huge blue eyes.

How...how were these people here? These were Amet's friends? And they were on the island? How did they find him...when he'd been lost himself?

#273 Raeven

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 02:22 PM

Isabella looped her arms through Sophies and grinned at John.....”we'll be good, we'll stay away from the rum....mostly, I mean, it would be rude not to try just a little wouldn't it?” she laughed, waved at John with her free hand and pulled Sophie away from the ship....” time to go and have some fun, explore a little” she looked across the dock.....”the lanterns make it look so pretty, I wonder if we could take some of the magical glowing weed home with us” she paused “there's something about this place, it makes me feel safe, which is strange as nothing here is familiar....I think it must have been the camaraderie of the crew” she looked back at her friend, smiled and patted the knife tucked into her belt...”but I know all too well that looks can be, and are, deceiving....so we'll shop and explore with our usual amount of caution and healthy scepticism”

Rex finally caught up with Nemo just as he reached Amet....he nodded at the startled young woman who appeared to be with their friend “Miss.....we're sorry to have frightened you....Nemo here, he's just happy to see Amet, we thought he was lost" he saw the woman's eyes widen ...."Forgive me, I'm being rude, I am Rex, the tall lanky fellow, that's Nemo an I'm assuming you already know Amet?"

Nemo looked at Rex..."tall and lanky?" he looked down at himself...."oh, ok, perhaps you're right" He smiled at Amanda "Pleased to meet you Miss" then he turned his attention back to Amet, he needed to know where Myka was.

#274 Balthamos

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 04:06 PM

AMET….Amet...It is so good to see you, what happened, how did you end up here, is Myka here? The others? We thought pirates had taken you….we have to get back to Ishmael and Sophie, we have to let them know you’re here, alive and well.”

Amet stood dumbfounded as Nemo bounded up to him. He stared at Nemo and his heart sank as he realised how disappointed he would be when he had to tell him that he was the only one.

Nemo looked at Rex..."tall and lanky?" he looked down at himself...."oh, ok, perhaps you're right" He smiled at Amanda "Pleased to meet you Miss" then he turned his attention back to Amet, he needed to know where Myka was.

Amet found his voice as Rex caught up with them. Feeling self-conscious he looked down, at his feet, "I'm sorry Nemo, as far as I know it's just me here, everyone else was below deck when I, well, kind of escaped but mostly fell overboard.". Amet looked at Nemo, "I'm sorry Nemo I don't know where everyone is. We were captured on the beach and when I woke up I was on a ship but I was kept on deck and everyone else went below. I saw them a couple of times and everyone was, well, not okay but still..still.. still walking and talking. I fell overboard and was rescued... a few days ago I think. People here, mostly Amanda, have looked after me. How did you get here? Is everyone else here? Do we know where the ship went?"

#275 RJDiogenes

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 01:41 PM

Holding the back collar of Alexander's robe, the pirate Kralen tippy-toed the tall mutant into the pirate captain's quarters. Alexander's sandals had fallen off somewhere along the way and he picked up a splinter in his right foot as he was dragged over the threshold.

"Yeowch! Splinter!" he shouted, hopping on his left foot. "I need to be taken back to the doctor."

Kralen shook his head and dropped Alexander to the deck in a tangle of gangling limbs. "Here he is, cap'n," the hirsute pirate said.  "Although I don't know what you could want with this weak-kneed freak."

Captain Seth leaned forward onto his desk and looked down at Alexander with a sneer of disgust. "Unfortunately, it has something I need."

"And I won't be of much use if this splinter in my sole becomes infected and I die of a blood disease."

"Yeah, okay," said the captain.  "Kralen, amputate his foot."

Alexander winced. That wasn't the outcome he had been hoping for. "Inadvisable," he said, thinking quickly.  "Have you noticed my huge head?  Yes, I see you have.  It houses my huge brain, which you have need of, and which requires a much larger blood supply than a normal person. Any sudden drop in blood pressure, such as that caused by an amputation, would result in loss of consciousness and probable encephalopathy."

Kralen scratched his head.  "You understand any of this foreign English, cap'n?"

"Enough of it," said the captain, standing up. "Okay, you skinny freak, you'll get to see the doctor after we have our talk.  You'll live another ten minutes, won't you?"

Alexander shrugged. "Yes. Probably."

"Good. Kralen, step outside."

Kralen made a face and left the cabin, closing the door behind him. Alexander rose painfully to his feet, and noticed for the first time that Myka was huddled in the corner on her knees, secured to the deck by her ankle with a black iron chain. She was barefoot and her clothes were in tatters, but she seemed well, though her eyes were full of fear and pleading. Alexander arched an eyebrow, but didn't speak to her, keeping his attention on the pirate captain.

"So," said the captain.  "I'm Captain Seth.  And your name is Alexander, is that right?"

"That is correct information."

"How about if I call you 'Alex?'"

"How about if I call you 'ensign?'"

"Hell's Bells, you're a mealy-mouthed bilge rate, ain't ya?"  snarled the captain.  "You don't seem to know which side your hardtack is buttered on."

"Be that as it may," said Alexander, "I am willing to let bygones be bygones and negotiate in good faith. If you let myself and my comrades off at the nearest port, unharmed, I'll give you a 48-hour head start before notifying the port authority. But that is my final offer."

The captain scowled and came around the desk to glare at Alexander face to face. He regretted it, because Alexander was at least six inches taller and he had to crane his neck.

"I didn't bring you here to negotiate," he said. "You're my prisoners and slaves. I can torture you or kill you or pickle you or keelhaul you, if it suits my fancy."

"Tsk tsk. What would your sister Maybelle say?"

"What the Hell?  What do you know about my sister? Speak up, you scurvy wretch!"

"Oh, I just noticed the letter on your desk while I was admiring the antique sextant that you have. The compass and telescope are nice, too, but the sextant is in really excellent condition. In addition to the letter from Maybelle, I saw the open pages of your log book where you speculated that Kralen lies about his shore leave activities and a map of Varuna that was drawn by someone who clearly has no conception of how to spell.  I'm a speed reader and I have a photographic memory, did you know that?"

"Why did I let you live?"

"It's well that you did, because it's clear from Maybelle's letter that she has no idea that you are involved in the slave trade and would be quite disappointed in you if she found out.  Her penmanship indicates that she has had an excellent education and is sophisticated in her social mores, but also that she has underlying tendencies toward depression and a certain fragility of spirit that can lead to suicidal ideation when confronted with trauma, such as a negative revelation about a beloved sibling."

"How can you know that about my sis? You never even met her."

"I've read all the best books on handwriting analysis.  It's all there in the strokes and whorls."

"Come to think of it, there was that time she went overboard and almost drowned after papa died. She said she fell, but it always seemed weird to me."

"There, you see?  Imagine the consequences if she discovered your involvement in a criminal world that she loathes."

"Yeah. Crap."

"You should make a clean break with this sordid underworld and take her as far away from here as possible. Far inland would be best, far away from any reminders of the sea and piracy.  She would also benefit from medication.  I have a friend who knows all about that and I can put your sister in touch with her."

"Thanks."

"No need to thank me.  We'll talk later, after I see the doctor.  My foot is really starting to throb.  It was nice meeting you and talking to you."

Alexander turned to go and had his hand on the doorknob before the captain shouted.  "Wait just a damned minute! I'm not done with you yet!  Hell's Bells, you're making me cuckoo with all your big words and long sentences!  Get back here!"

#276 Raeven

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 08:21 AM

Nemo sighed and ran his fingers through his hair….”...still walking and talking? I guess that’s something..even if it was a few days ago” he looked up at Amet…”we sailed here, Ishmael knew someone who arrived at the village on a boat, a ship, he’s been teaching us to sail so that we could get here, find a boat for ourselves and then rescue you all…we kind of figured that you’d been taken by boat, there was no other way you could have got off that beach without us knowing...I think Ishmael and Sophie were meeting the Commodore and he gave us a ship, I think, I don’t really know, they were in the middle of telling me what was going on when I saw you and I just had to be sure it was you” he turned to look at Rex “Rex you know more than me”

Rex smiled “I do, I actually stayed around long enough to get the whole story and also to find out where this ship of ours is so that we can all meet back there later…..it’s called La Chasseur  and Ishmael said to have everyone back there by first light…but before we head back we need to stock up on supplies” he nodded at Amanda “Amanda, our thanks for helping our friend, Amet, perhaps we could trouble you to help us a little more? I’m sure you know the best places to buy supplies, and I’m thinking that we may get a fairer deal if you accompany us, if that’s not asking too much?”

#277 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 05:28 PM

Short time jump, around 30 minutes:

Sophie and Isabella had wandered further away from the docks and into the small town that made up the very tip of the island, although they could still the water on their side. The strange glowing seawater plants in the lanterns had all been activated, as well as oil-burning lanterns in the areas made up of the old-world concrete buildings that had originally stood before the end had come.

They wandered in and out of a few shops located inside an old, large building, surprised to be recognized and offered credit against the Commodore's account. For now they declined politely, explaining they wanted to continue looking before buying; but Sophie wasn't entirely certain how much the credit for supplies extended.

"Come on," she motioned to Isabella. "Let's head back out to the smaller shops and booths for now. We've got all night to shop and choose."

Sophie felt a little giddy in a way...to not have to be tucked away safely during the darkness nor have something vitally dangerous or important to do at the moment was a strange feeling. It was strange to feel so free. The two women stepped out of a back door into an alley of sorts. They heard the door...a metal door with a scratched sign that had read "...ency Exit Only"... click locked behind them. There was no handle on the outside.

It was darker out here than it had been at the front of the building. And much less populated. In fact she and Isabella were the only ones out here. On the bright side, the moon was visible in the darkening sky, casting a few of the shadows away.

"Well, well," said a slightly slurred voice behind them. "Lookee what's stumbled where they ought'n to have come...newcomers to the isle. Guess no on warned you about this part, eh? Why don't you two jus' hand over those satchels and we'll let you go...or not." The tall, bald, slightly paunchy man with the dirty clothes reached out a hand toward Sophie's hair. He wore brass knuckles on one hand and some sort of spiked glove on the other. "Maybe a might too skinny and pale but you two'll do for some fun."

Sophie had shoved her satchel out of the way and jammed her hands on her hips. Standing with her feet apart she narrowed her eyes at the two men, the other one leering at Isabella. "Seriously," she said to them in disbelief. "You do not want to mess with us right now."

Then she turned to her friend. "Seriously?" she repeated, this time in annoyance. "So much for feeling safe...although, actually I still do in a way. What do you think we should do?"

#278 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 05:42 PM

Amanda stood on the dock staring up at the refurbished pirate ship...La Chasseur...as the three men stood around her talking. It was apparent this was their first time seeing the ship. She had barely gotten over her shock of Amet's friends...Nemo and Rex...actually being here on the island and finding him before they headed to the ship her father had given to their Captain. She had seen the sadness in Nemo's eyes when Amet told them their other friends were still on the other pirate ship. Her heart had gone out to them all.

To have friends that cared so very much must be a wonderful thing in life. And to have lost those friends to such danger would be heartbreaking.

A man on deck came to the rail and peered over. Amanda saw he had a long gun of sorts and was shining a light filled with biolume down on them.

A deep voice called out, "Rex? Nemo? Amet, is that you? Holy sh...". Amanda heard the voice trail off, then..."Who's that with you? Can't have any strangers on board, sorry. Captain's orders."

#279 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 06:13 PM

Freedom's Ghost:

From where she was chained by her leg to the wooden floor, Myka remained perfectly still as the door to the Captain's quarters opened. After some trial and error since arriving in here, she'd found it better for her well-being to remain as silent as possible. There were no bruises on her face but there were other areas of the body to inflict punishment. Her tattered clothes and bare feet had offered her little protection.

She almost died when Alexander was shoved into the room. He immediately started yelling about a splinter, and then proceeded to alternately make the pirate captain angry as well as look like a fool. A few times Myka had to bite her lip not to laugh. It was just such a relief to see Alexander, all huge head and six-fingered hands of him, that she felt light-headed at times. But Myka had to keep her wits about her.

At one point Alexander nearly walked out of the quarters.

"Wait just a damned minute! I'm not done with you yet!  Hell's Bells, you're making me cuckoo with all your big words and long sentences!  Get back here!"

Myka held her breath. The Captain grabbed Alexander by the back of his dirty robe and tossed him to the floor in a heap. He went down in a jumble of limbs, falling right into Myka. She let herself be squashed by the Librarian for a moment as the pirate stomped over to them.

"Get the map...on the table...hand drawn...Varuna," Myka hissed into Alexander's ear before he was hauled back to his feet.

Seth dragged the mutant over to his desk where he swept a few things to the side and lay out a faded but multi-colored map. "This place...is it real?" he demanded, jabbing a large, dirty finger onto the old paper. "I was told it was a place I could invade, take over. I killed to get this map," he growled, glaring at the mutant. "There is already a castle...there in the middle. And accessible by the sea...here?" Seth nearly pounded on the map at the bottom where a small boat was pictured in the water. "There are rivers and big mountains...that one is covered in snow and the other is dirt...I want that land!" he bellowed. "Where is it? Have you seen it before? What does this mean?"

The pirate jabbed his finger at the top this time where the words were only half visible...'neyland'. "What is Neyland?"

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 19 March 2016 - 06:14 PM.


#280 Raeven

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 02:32 PM

Isabella sighed, she should have known that a pleasant evening of simply exploring and shopping was too good to be true, wherever they went they found trouble, or trouble found them....she studied the man leering at her, he was short and squat with long matted hair and a long straggly beard...he smiled at her showing blackened, broken teeth, she could smell fetid breath, stale sweat and other assorted vile aromas...

"What do you think we should do?"

She glanced over at her friend and grinned.....”How about we show these low life scum just who they're dealing with, I am so tired of being hit on, accosted, propositioned...tired of being seen as weak and vulnerable because we are women” she took a step towards the men....”All I wanted was to look around, maybe drink some rum, do a little shopping, but you had to go and ruin all that”....she pointed at them...you think we're going to be 'fun'...you alcohol ridden, filthy, ugly bullies..you make me sick”

She rolled her head from side to side and unsheathed her knife....”I say let's kick some ass” she smiled at the men.....

“lets' dance boys”

The man turned to his companion and laughed....”look lively matey, seems we've found ourselves a couple of feisty wenches, this is gonna be more fun that we thought, a little fighting, a little 'fun' and then when we've done with them, take what they have, leave 'em to the rats”



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