Skull and Shackles
Captain's Log 7
I had every intention of offerin’ mercy to any god-fearin’ man aboard the Man’s Promise – our target – as would accept it, but fightin’ in the fog conjured by our ship’s sorcerer on a slick and unfamiliar deck is a might more challenging than the stories let on. It was all I could do not to get spitted like roast boar, let alone fight mercifully. Also, the Rahadoumi don’t so much like the gods, let alone fear ’em.
We were tasked with taking the helm and then guarding the launch boats at the aft of the ship to make sure no man escaped our piracy. We managed to clear our section of the ship from enemy sailors about the time the fog lifted, but I could see more fighting toward the middle of the ship. Feruzi put her bow to work, and I heard Mister Hands’ pistol a time or two at least, so I knew they were able to engage from a distance. Reiko fought alone and outnumbered down near one of the boats, her blood flowing from a couple strikes she hadn’t been able to avoid, and I was stuck guarding the helm.
Then, inspiration struck and I popped the damn wheel off.
Dragged the heavy bastard down with me so I could join the fray. Made it just in time for one of the enemy officers to bring her magical extending spear into play. Turns out, getting clocked with a flying ship’s wheel is disorienting as hell. Mister Hands cackled as he finished the officer off.
A few moments of madness later and the ship was ours.
The celebratory mood aboard Wormwood was a welcome respite after the tension that had plagued her since boarding school – or my attempted murder. Booty was divided and libations flowed freely. I even partook in some of ‘em, makin’ sure to only drink from the stores of the Man’s Promise. I trust Wormwood’s swill about as far as I can projectile vomit it.
We sang. We danced. We stole things.
* * *
The survivors from the Man’s Promise were given the opportunity to join the pirate crew, and some of them agreed without too much prompting. Harrigan announced that those that could be ransomed would be, and the rest would spend the rest of their lives at sea. He punctuated this malicious comment by shoving the nearest bound Rahadoumi sailor – a woman – overboard.
I got that feelin’ in my gut like I was about to do somethin’ stupid again, so it was a blessing that the confusion of the remaining sailors jumping at the chance to join the crew distracted Feruzi – who’s always recruitin’ – from seein’ what I was up to.
Without thought, I dove overboard, swimmin’ hard for the strugglin’ sailor. She struggled less as I dragged her back to the surface and then she wasn’t movin’ at all. Like magic a line splashed into the water right beside me and I looked up to see Mister Hands – Ezikial – at the other end of it, his face concerned but determined.
Managed to get the lass back aboard the ship, but she weren’t breathin’, so I proceeded to revive her. Feruzi started in on me, but I ignored her as I worked on pumping the water out of the half-drowned sailor’s lungs. She came to vomiting, but it was a sound of life and that was music to my ears.
Of course, then I looked up and saw Sandara’s face and realized what it must look like. Didn’t have time to dwell on that overmuch as Plugg announced I’d be joinin’ him on a skeleton crew to take the Man’s Promise in to Port Peril to sell as salvage. For a wonder, the rest of my companions was called up as well, and the Rahadoumi lass I’d just fished out of the drink. It occurred to me to ask her name, and she told me: Leila al-Zahra. Plugg said she was to be my responsibility aboard the Promise.
So, I’ve got that goin’ for me.