Skull and Shackles
The Journal of Ezikial Hands, Journeyman Gunner Part Four
As come to all that sail upon the surface of the seas, we made close acquaintance with a storm, slowly at first as all new-met folks are and then with thunderous roars and wave washed decks.
It was such a ferocious blow, that to a man, we must work to keep the Wormwood afloat and running before the storm and the bilges and hold free, for the most part, of water lest we flounder. By the by, while I did keep watch upon my shipmates and those among them that I was sure wished me harm, none had any leisure to approach myself or my mates in order to attempt to cause mischief.
This day, our poor friend Rosie was washed overboard, although, thank the goddess, she was spotted in a timely fashion by Freuzi from the crow’s nest. Being the closest to her and of a mind to continue to listen to her boisterous fiddle playing, I made to assist by throwing her a line from the deck. By myself I was unable to make heady against the sea that attempted to take her from us, but intervention was close to hand as Chopper and Reiko laid hold of the line, and thereby the three of us overmatched the ocean and pulled Rosie to the deck.
This storm kept us at the rigging and the pumps all through the dark hours of the night, sapping at our vitality and making us stupid with cold and wet. By the dawning we thought we could work no more, but the storm kept at us, even if it did slacken a small amount.
It was at this time that my mate Chopper, was overcome with exhaustion and swooned while upon the rigging. With a bit of luck, I was able to catch him and maneuver him off the rigging and towards his hammock. Freuzi did what she could to assist, but it was Sandara that now worried me; she had gone to distract Scourge from our activity, which he would have deemed cause for a flogging, and I bade Feruzi to aid her.
Once Chopper had been laid down, I returned to my station so as to give no cause for Scourge to wonder where all of us had gone, but I found, to my surprise, that Scourge was fumingly angry and paid scant attention to who was doing, or, rather, not doing, what.
I found later, that in order to draw his attention away from Chopper and myself, Sandara insulted his manhood and spit in his face, for which she was confined in the sweatbox. In trying to, surreptitiously, aid her, Feruzi struck her senseless before hiding a flask of water and some biscuit upon her person. When she was released, much the worse for wear; I was pleased to share with her the remainder of my flask of distilled spirits, which she had more that earned.
At this point I was moved to take stock of those that I trusted upon this ship and found that the number was quite low indeed. Chopper: carpenter, surgeon and warrior. Freuzi: bow-woman, pugilist and smart mouth. Sandara: Besmarran, impulsive and full of fire. And, possibly, one more: Reiko. It came to my mind that I should make sure of her leanings and soon, before something even more untoward occurred.