Skull and Shackles
The Journal of Ezikial Hands, Journeyman Gunner Part Seven
As we made way against the prey-ship, Chopper, Reiko, Feruzi and myself were given the task to take the wheel and guard the target ship’s boats, with Chopper being in charge of our boarding party.
Once we had made our ship fast to the other, one Man’s promise by name, we proceeded to cross over and engage her defenders as we found them. Having dispatched those that were close to me, I made my way towards the ship’s boats, so as to secure them as we had been ordered. The scent of blood was once again working, in its own strange way, upon me and my hear beat faster, and the urge to laugh and dance rose within me, as I sought out new opponents. Happily, I was not overcome with this bloodlust as I have in the past, but remembered my orders and sought only those in my way as I sped about my tasks. When a target made himself available to me, I did not hesitate to discharge my pistol, but was not able to do more than make him surrender.
At this point, Chopper took his orders to guard the wheel and removed it from its post in order to guard it in a more convenient, to him, location. Almost at the same time as Chopper began to roll the ships wheel to where the rest of the crew fought, an officer of the Man’s Promise came aft into the area we were to keep clear. Upon the sight of her and her companion crew members, I fired my pistol, but only wounded her, while she, upon noticing the direction of my fire, struck back in a most magical manner with her pike, from 20 feet away. Seeing an opportunity that could not be passed by, Chopper did assault her by throwing the wheel and knocked her down with it. My mirth and joy in battle could no longer be restrained and I let loose with a bellow of laughter as I danced around her far reaching pike to end her at close range with my fighting knife.
Having no further opponents to tend to, and Reiko, Chopper and Feruzi having dispatched all others, I set about the Pirate’s true purpose, that being the acquisition of loot, or booty, and in the common vernacular; the spoils of war.
Feruzi, being a woman to speak her mind, chided me for my bloodlust and I had to remind her that I was, after all, a pirate and not any sort of proper that you might think of. Meanwhile, Captain Harrigan, having, apparently, dispatched the opposing captain, had moved back towards the fighting at the front of the ship, and Feruzi took the opportunity to search for anything left behind. With the best of fortune, for me anyway, she found a bottle of fine brandy and gifted it to me, knowing of my fondness for distilled spirits. I was right and truly grateful for this as my own stores, mentioned in a previous entry, had began to run low.
We had, then, taken the Man’s Promise and all her stores and cargo, as well as many of her crew and thus retuned to the Wormwood to tally it all and celebrate our victory. I took this chance to have Sandara examine the items I had taken from the officer, and to share some of the brandy with her and Chopper, whilst sharing the story of the wheel and its subsequent use as a missile weapon.
While my attention had been taken with guarding the boats during our battle, Feruzi had slain an opposing crewman that had been attempt to ambuscade our very own Captain and had earned a magical fighting knife from him as her reward. Being of a similar mind, we traded, she to take the boarding pike, and I to have the fighting knife. At this time, we also received our crew-share, some 300 gold pieces.
In the morning, it was with reddened eyes and painful heads that we assembled on the main deck to hear the words of our Captain.
He told us, then, that he was pleased with our capture, and that he expected to sell the newly captured ship and ransom some of the officers from it. Those who would not be ransomed would then be offered a place in the crew, and to prove the folly of refusal, threw a bound woman of their crew overboard.
Having seen Chopper in action before and knowing, at least something, of his mind, I was not surprised by his sudden dive overboard after the bound woman. Knowing well the difficulties he must face in rescuing a person in such dire straights, I made my way to the rail and collect rope with which to haul him aboard, and knowing full well it may be for naught should Plugg or Harrigan take exception to this rescue.
Having helped to bring Chopper and his newest friend back on board, Feruzi accepted and she would, the chance to berate him for his foolishness. Chopper, as a matter of course, ignored her haranguing and tended to the woman so that she might live, and having succeeded, invited her to join our crew.
Plugg then interrupted our meeting with this woman with a bellow and ordered us to make ready to join him on the Man’s Promise as part of the prize crew, and at the time telling Chopper that he was to be responsible for the rescuee. Knowing that it was unlikely that we would return to the Wormwood, I began to make ready my gear and was called out by Grok, who gave me a Parting Gift of fine whiskey. She was very much overcome by my leaving and therefore I left my original fighting knife in her care, to let her know how much I truly did appreciate her attention whilst aboard.
Once aboard the Man’s Promise, Plugg left us in no doubt of his incompetence by ordering no rum ration or entertainments, and by assigning Rosie and Sandara to the officer’s cabin with his flunkies and hangers on.
I expect this portion of my life to be more painful and unfulfilling than any of the time I spent working on the Seafire.
Besmara watch elsewhere.