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The Pen is Mightier than the Sword
Patrick

Werewolf II - Game thread

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It had barely been a week since the Fat Slug had left behind the port of Aného on the Slave Coast. The heat was sweltering, humidity atrociously high and the rain daily. For Captain York it was business as usual.

 

It was spring in the Carolinas, the Slug's destination but would be getting on to late summer by the time she arrived. The perfect time for unloading a precious cargo of slaves, just before the autum harvest. The Slug was heavily laden with humanity, carrying well over five hundred souls, most of them slaves, shackled below decks. Not that John York counted them as souls. For him the barely fifty or sixty white men were all the humanity on board. The rest were but cargo. Perched on the stern, next to the first mate, who was anchored to the rudder as though his life depended on it in these calm seas, the captain could not help but smile. There were no signs whatsoever that this was anything other than a routine trip.

 

OOC: non-lynching day phase. You have at least a few days to have your fun, before the wolves start having theirs. ;)

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Carey sang to himself as he mopped the deck, the exaggerated cheer in his voice helping only partially to offset the fact that he couldn't carry a tune if it was given to him in a bucket.

 

"Yo-ho, haul together, hoist the colours high!

Heave ho, thief and begger-"

 

"Blimey, Carey, will you just shut up?!" Kipling snapped, flicking the end of his mop in Carey's direction. "I swear, if you keep up with that pirate bull for another voyage I swear I'm gonna toss you to the sharks."

 

"Aw, go easy Kip," Carey replied to his friend. "It's just a spot of fun." And really, singing pirate songs was the closest he was going to get to that sort of life. Carey liked to think he'd made his peace with the contrast between the stories and real life, though he still had his moments of sulking over the fact.

 

It paid to look on the bright side of life whenever possible, he'd decided, and his current lot in life wasn't all that bad. He and Kipling had gained enough seniority on the Slug that they were mopping the top deck of the ship, outside, instead of cleaning the slaves' quarters below. And there were youngsters on board that could be sent up the crow's nest instead of himself; something Carey was definitely in favour of. Not that he'd admit he was afraid of heights. Pirates weren't afraid of anything.

 

"Work isn't fun," Kipling grumbled, though it was his usual grumbling now instead of genuine anger. Kipling liked to complain, and Carey liked to tease him. It was a contentious friendship, but somehow it worked.

 

"Maybe not, but at least the weather's nice," Carey offered.

 

"I'll give you that," Kipling agreed, standing up to stretch his back. He surveyed what they'd done, and what they still had to do, then gestured with his chin. "You take port, I'll take starboard?"

 

Carey grinned. "Arrr, matey."

 

Kipling rolled his eyes.

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Lieutenant Swanson was humourless, as usual (or so much of the crew believed while he was onboard. On land, however, there were stories... Stories that got you watch and watch if you let him hear you telling them.). He strode the deck on the carefully mapped route he'd taken for two years now, calling four bells.

Edited by The Death of Rats

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Davey paused his current duty - mopping some undefined portion of the deck (he had actually no idea whether he was on the right spot) per someone's orders - to count the strikes.

 

One... two.. three... huh... was that four or ... yeah, four...

 

He liked the sound of the bell. Just the way the brass rang and echoed brought a tiny smile to his lips, reminding him of how different the sound of the school bell was. But then, that wasn't classy as this one... And as a consequence of his musings at any point when he heard more than three rings, he most likely than not lost count of them. Not that it mattered, unless he was on watch. Not that it mattered even if he was on watch... Davey actually never understood the call bell. Or the bell calls. Hm... reminds me of bell cows... or cow bells... something like that...

 

He continued mopping the deck without much purpose, but shook himself back out of dreamland when someone shoved a mop handle on his back. He turned with a yelp, finding Carey's amused grin.

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"If you're not careful you're going to mop your way clear off the ship and into the water, Davey-boy," Carey cautioned. Davey blinked at him, then looked over to find he was about three feet from the railing.

 

"...Huh. Where did that come from?"

 

Laughing, Carey hooked an arm around Davey's shoulders and nudged him away from the railing. "You've been here a year and still haven't figured out how big the ship is, have you. How old did you say you were, again?"

 

"Eighteen!" Davey said indignantly.

 

"Right. Isn't that what you said last year, too?" Carey gave the boy an expectant look, waiting just long enough to see how flustered Davey could get before he laughed and ruffled his hair. "Go start back at the middle of the ship, Davey. That way I'm not having to perform a second job of keeping you out of the ocean."

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She didn't feel much like working with Carey and Davey. In fact she didn't like much working together with anyone, it...complicated things.


So instead she chose to deal with the slave decks, a job nobody else much wanted normally, and she didn't mind. Scrubbing was scrubbing.


Down below she let her eyes get used to the dark. Many eyes were staring back at her. Some from ground level, some at eye-height. Dark faces, with dark glistening eyes.


'Missy have bread?' a soft voice whispered.


Tina knew that most of the crew considered these people as less than pigs, but she often wondered who the pigs were. They seemed to do their very best to keep their cages clean, which is more than she could say from some of her shipmates.


She looked at the woman that the voice had come from, she recognized her. This woman had come accross as one of the leaders from the female slaves. Tina remembered the others calling here Aziza.


'No. Aziza? not today. I've just come to clean up your buckets'.


The woman flashed a grin, and reached behind her to grab the bucket with feces.


'Missy good to us,' The black woman whispered 'so we good to missy.' and handed the bucket over.


Tiny took it and stood there for a moment, not sure how to react. She then turned around without saying something and started to move to the corner that had the tubes going into the ocean to empty the bucket.


Mid-way she froze a second. The woman had called her missy, not massa. This may end badly.

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Michael hummed to himself as he measured the railing near the big hatch down into the holds, enjoying the fresh sea breeze and the hot sunlight on his back and shoulders. He knew that later it would be miserably hot, and considered his good fortune that unlike their cargo, he wasn't forced to stay in the cramped confines of the hold, packed together as tightly as possible to squeeze in just one more slave.

He straightened and stretched, his back cramped from his busy measurements. The railing here needed to be replaced, and he needed to get the sizes just right. Captain York was particular that his ship, despite its name and trade, remain in good condition, at least where the crew worked and lived. The cargo was another question, there it simply had to be solid and secure.

This particular railing was broken and jagged where one of the men now down below had gotten unruly when the deck hands were trying to force him down the hatch. He had made a break for the railing, only to meet Equiano or one of his enforcers. Having his head smashed through a railing had stopped both that man in particular and any thoughts of anyone else resisting.

Wiping his forehead with his forearm, Michael turned towards the hatch down to the first deck, where the ship's small carpenter's workshop had its place near the bow. Once he had the wood shaped, he could knock out the broken pieces and fix the railing. A few coats of oil to protect against the weather and the regular afternoon rainstorms around here, a few weeks of the sun baking the wood and no one would know the railing had ever needed to be fixed.

Squinting into the sun, he gave Kipling and Carey a friendly wave, and stepped carefully to avoid Lieutenant Swanson and his daily path. Absently, he noted the faint marks of the Lieutenant's path, one taken with precise regularity every time the man called the hour and rang the bells.

Later, Michael knew he'd have to go down into the holds. He didn't like it down there. He wasn't particularly abusive to their cargo, not like some of the others, but no one has a good word to say about the man who checks that the bars and chains are still fastened securely to the wood and fixes them when they're coming loose. Tiny wasn't really much better - he was nearly as closed-mouthed as their cargo, and didn't provide a whole lot of comfort against the cold glare of all those eyes shining out of dark faces in dark cages.

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Equiano once again thanked his gods that he'd learned to speak English from the Englishman. He'd been taken as a slave as a curiosity; it was quickly determined that he had no skills. He could not hunt, knew none of the plants safe to eat, could not even cure a hide. However, Equiano had liked to hear his stories of other lands, and other people. The Englishman was a mighty liar, speaking of empires and cities with thousands of people.

 

Of course he already spoke Portuguese. Those white men had been the first to trade for slaves, and still paid the best of the Europeans. He had a smattering of Arabic - the Moors had been buying slaves from Africa for many many generations before the first Europeans came.

 

As an Asante, he had learned a bit of a dozen African tongues. It was good to be able to speak the languages of the other strong tribes, for tribute and trade. For hundreds of years, strong tribes further in would conquer weaker ones. The best of those slaves were given as tribute to the Coastal Asante. They had been renowned warriors long before they traded for muskets.

 

The arrival of the Portuguese had brought terrible diseases that had eradicated entire tribes, far from the coast. The survivors had been easy prey and the earliest of the slaves sold.

 

When Equiano had been taken slave, he'd remembered the Englishman, and saw the hands of the gods turning the Wheel. Like the Englishman, he set about being useful as he could. With his tribesmen, he had set about organizing the slaves. He had requested buckets for latrines, and ensured that they had been used. He had made certain that all slaves ate, not just those near the hatches.

 

Cargo was valuable, and with Equiano in control, it was a relatively healthy cargo that arrived in the Carolinas. The few that had died had been given quietly to the cannibal tribe. Importantly, he had instructed the cargo in basic English words - Master, Mistress, Please, Thank You, I Obey, Buy Me.

 

And so instead of being sold, Equiano had bargained with the Captain to be in charge of the cargo on each voyage. Now, four years later, he was foreman of the cargo, and well-paid - he'd bargained for his freedom and a stake in future cargos - he received one coin in ten from every slave sold. A slave typically sold for 15 English Pounds from the Asante, and sold for 40 pounds in South America, or 45 pounds in the North America. With Equiano doing the buying and caring for the cargo, he was able to ensure he bought the best in Africa.

 

He had invested all his first pay in buying African food in bulk. By giving the cargo familiar fruits and vegetables, there was less dysentery, which led to less disease. Meat had been rare for most tribes, and he gradually introduced the salted meats the crew ate to their feed. He ensured that they were well watered. Many slavers wanted their cargo weakened by hunger or elements. Equiano wanted strong valuable slaves, and feared no rebellion. He also doused them all with salt water weekly, to keep them clean. It cut down on the cleaning after they'd been sold, and held the smell down.

 

He was Asante. He feared no African.

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Adam was, obviously, in the kitchen, grunting orders to his apprentice while he himself took care of the more delicate jobs. It was interesting, having to cook for both the crew and the cargo; usually the cargo got whatever was left when the crew was done. He had to admit that he rather preferred it this way; Equiano had taught him about the ingredients he supplied and the food he could make with them, and once he got the hang of working with them, he'd started experimenting. Some extra spice here, a different vegetable there, subtly altering the taste of each meal. He sampled everything before it left his kitchen, and he had to admit that he actually liked the African food.

 

At lunch, the crew lined up in front of his kitchen. Everyone got a big spoonful out of the huge pot he'd prepared today's stew in. The ones who had complained too often already had their food land in their bowl with slightly more speed than the others, resulting in splatters and annoyed grumbling. Still, nobody dared to protest too loudly. Not since the time Jacob had attacked Adam, and gotten some special spices in his next meal. The whole ship had heard his painful howls during the day-long bowel movement that followed.

 

*splortch*

 

"NEXT!"

 

The next person moved up. When Adam saw that it was Tiny, he nodded towards the cabinet next to him to indicate that he'd stocked it with some extra supplies. " 's not natural, eating as much as you do and not getting any rounder."

 

*splortch*

 

"NEXT!"

 

Carey, Kipling and Davey all moved up at once, standing next to each other. He knew they did it just to break up the line, and managed to bite back a chuckle today.

 

"What, you guys are sharing one spoon now? As you wish."

 

He splortched food into Kipling's bowl and was about to call next, when their incredulous looks made him chuckle after all. With a little more enthusiasm than strictly necessary, he splatched food into Carey and Davey's bowls as well, before calling out for the next person.

Edited by Venefyxatu

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Night fell. The captain was serious about running a tight ship and only experienced crew members served during the night, no fourteen year old was perched in the crow's nest in the starless sky above during the small hours.

 

Captain York had retired to his quarters shortly after nightfall with a carefully selected jug of Caribbean Rum and the slave girl who had caught his fancy for that night. Barely had his business with the girl been finished though that a knock came at the door. The crew knew not to bother him except for major trouble, so despite wishing to fall asleep with a well-shaped breast each side of his head, the captain stifled a grumble, pulled on his breeches and opened the door.

 

Equiano was no longer a slave, he had become too useful for that, but the captain still had not fully come to terms with having a black man on his ship who was not actually a slave.

 

 

Equiano's eyes were very white as he spoke quietly to the Captain.

 

"It is very bad. One of the slaves was a spirit man, very bad ju-ju voodoo. He kill himself and write bad spells with his blood."

"You mean, he wrote and THEN killed himself."

"No. Very bad ju-ju. Ship is now cursed. Be very careful Captain. I throw body overboard, and the sharks would not touch it. I wash down blood with salt water, but it burned into hull. Very bad." Equiano looked terrified, for the first time in the Captain's memory.

 

It was heathen nonsense to think the ship cursed. Wasn't it?

 

"Get out of here", the captain roared, slamming the door shut. He glanced at the half-finished jug, hesitated for a second, then took a long swig.

 

"Don't get dressed yet", he said to the girl, who had started pulling on her clothes. She did not speak English, but she understood the waving of the captain's hands anyway. He wanted more.

 

A knock on the door interrupted what the captain was about to start. He tore the door open, seriously considering throwing the former slave Equiano overboard. The creature standing there looked nothing like the Asante. That creature had no place on a ship, or even on land.

 

Captain York's screams woke everyone on the ship.

 

By the time Lieutenant Swanson arrived, the entirety of the captain's cabin had been splattered in blood and gore, and the only thing that moved was the fully naked slave girl, shuddering violently, the decapitated head of the captain lying slanted in her lap.

 

 

OOC: Thanks to Peredhil for the inspiration of how the ship came to be cursed. This does not mean that Peredhil is or is not a wolf. ;) It is now day phase, and cries for blood are heard on the ship (although the interior decorator has already quite well taken care of the interior of the captain's cabin in that regard...). Happy lynching. ;)

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Carey didn't sing that morning as he mopped the deck. Not only because it would have been more than a little morbid, but also because he was worried he might throw up if he unclenched his jaw. He'd made the mistake of being too quick to respond to the screams, and had seen more of the bloodied remains than he cared for.

 

Some pirate he'd be, with a stomach weaker than a woman of society.

 

Kipling, working quietly beside him, glanced over at his friend's pale face.

 

"Who do you think it was?"

 

"Huh?!" Carey jumped, cheeks flushing in embarrassment a moment later. "What are you on about?"

 

"Who do you think did this?" Kipling repeated quietly, glancing around to make sure they weren't being overheard. "We'd have found a monster on board by now, and did you hear Equiano going on about a curse?"

 

"I thought he already got rid of that body, though," Carey mumbled, his stomach lurching again at the thought.

 

"Maybe the curse spread," Kipling suggested weakly. "It could be anyone at this point."

 

Carey wished his friend hadn't pointed that out; he was feeling paranoid enough as it was. Glancing up out of habit when he saw motion out of the corner of one eye, Carey frowned when he saw Tiney heading for the lower decks. Odd kid, that one. Odd, scrawny kid.

 

It wasn't hard to imagine someone that small looking for a way to get more strength and power - and strength had definitely been employed in the Captain's decapitation. And Tiney didnt even complain about working down amongst the slaves.

 

Was that just a sign of quiet obedience, or because Tiney was actually working with some of them? Such as the one who had cursed this ship...

 

Shaking his head to dispel the grim thoughts, Carey returned to his mopping.

 

OOC: voting for Tiney/Sweetcherrie

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Equiano glared at the ship's crew, his back against the railing. It could be anyone. One of the cargo. One of the crew. A stowaway. The nature of the curse was not yet certain. Holding his medicine bag in his left hand, and muttering a mixture of prayers from many cultures, he began searching the ship. Carefully searching. If it could be found during the daylight, it would be weak. Evil flourished in the dark.

 

voting for Azuran - Paqs

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Carey had scarcely returned to his mop when Swanson's bellow lashed against a sailor not as subtle as he. "Mister Livesey! Way off that chatter, or you'll meet Mister Bland's rattan, you will! Mind your work!"

 

The Lieutenant was tense indeed. Sailing men were supersitious as a rule, and at the best of times rumor flies like a blaze around a ship. A captain was never killed in the best of times, and The Fat Slug's had just been. This also left Sawyer an even higher ranking officer than he was yesterday, in practice, if not name. He had to enforce discipline, or the whole crew could explode.

 

 

 

[(OOC: Vote for Mynx. You rabble-rouser, you.)EDIT: Fixing the Lieutenant's name. Yeesh.]

Edited by The Death of Rats

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With the Captain’s death, Lieutenant Swanson had taken command of the ship. Michael considered it his good fortune that he hadn’t been part of the work detail that had to collect the Captain (with a broom, to hear one of the white-faced men say later, clutching his grog like a lifeline and looking like he was wishing for the barrel it came from as well). Looking at the wall in front of him, he didn’t consider his duty that much better.

 

“Go down into the hold. One of the slaves used his blood to paint some jibberish all around his cage, and its disturbing the others. Get rid of it.” The Lieutenant had ordered with irritation.

 

Tiny and Equiano had both taken a crack at getting these… things off the walls and floor, but their every attempt had failed. Now it was Michael’s turn, and he had to admit, just looking at the twisted runes covering damn near every inch of the floor and wall of the cage were giving him the shivers. Tiny had already moved the other occupants of this cell to other places in the hold, and it was easy to mark them out, their skin almost gray in the dim light of the hold, and covered in a thick layer of sweat. Tiny insisted they weren’t sick, and the rest of the slaves were doing their best to care for them.

 

Michael looked at the tools in his hand. Scrubbing the work with lye soap hadn’t done a thing. He had tried steel wool next, scarring and scuffing the wood, but somehow as soon as he finished and stepped back, those terrible runes were there, on top of the scratches like they were just burned there. Now Walters had a brazier lit and an iron bar heating in the fire. Once the end was glowing cherry-red, he gingerly took the iron out of the fire and started to char the wood.

 

An hour later, he stepped back, rubbing his sweat-streaming forehead with one arm, and looked over the section he just completed. The iron dropped from his slack hand and he whispered a prayer to the Son, the Father and the Holy Ghost.

 

Branded into the wood over the swiping lines of charring were the same runes, as clear as ever.

 

Half an hour later, it was Michael’s turn to sit in the mess, holding onto his mug of grog and babbling in near terror as he related what was down in the hold.

 

In the back of his mind, he wondered who would have killed the Captain in such a way? He ruled out the common crew – they were too young, too small. The cook might have the anger, but not the strength. Equiano had the strength, but didn’t benefit from doing so.

 

The Lieutenant though… Michael knew of the tales of his shore-side escapades. He had the means, and the motive. With the Captain dead, who stood to inherit command of the ship and the Captain’s share of the profits?

 

Voting for Lieutenant Swanson/The Death of Rats

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Tina hadn’t liked the captain much, but she liked the lieutenant less. He stared at her often. And she’d heard whispers about him liking young boys. She shuddered, she should be careful, lest he’d find out that she wasn’t a young boy by force.


She slipped downstairs and pulled the plank that hid her secret stash. Adam generally made sure that he held some nice things aside for her. Normally she took it to the slaves, she couldn’t risk her breasts growing anyways, but today she needed the energy it would give her.


Chewing on a piece of juicy bacon she sat in her dark corner. Who on earth could’ve done this? Certainly not Adam, he was way too nice to do anything like this.


And the way she had heard the captain was murdered sort of ruled out some of the smaller boys, or didn't it?


OOC: Vote for Azuran - Paqs (young boy)

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Davey looked at Carey and Kipling with very round eyes, trying to think of something to say. But although his head was full of thoughts - terrified ones - his mouth seemed decided to not let him utter any of them. It might be for the best though; he had glanced at the bloody runes part of the crew had been talking about, and was trying to make himself small (in spite of his half-hearted bragging about being of age) so to avoid being sent to clean them.

 

He gulped, listening to more of the whispers around him. He looked sideways at Equiano - the former slave gave him shivers, but it might have been just for his height and strength. Or so Davey told himself. Then he looked at his most frequent companions, Carey and Kipling. And to Lieutenant Swanson - or was it Captain now? How did these things go when one was away from any authority? Had he heard anything about how succession worked on a ship?

 

Oh shut up, this is not a kingdom to have laws of succession...

 

Closing his eyes, Davey made an effort to stop his brain's babbling. He tried to be reasonable. Who would want the Captain dead... with black magic, of all things?

 

There was a point in some of the mutterings, though. The Lieutenant was now Captain. But then, who would need black magic to exact some kind of revenge? Equiano, who was African himself? And had apparently talked to the Captain about it? But wasn't that too obvious - wouldn't he have been more subtle? What did all those books they wanted me to read at school said about murderers... subtle? Or hiding in plain view? Davey sighed, rubbing his head. Black magic. Who'd need magic... his eyes strayed to Tiney. Or Tiny. Or whatever... he was the smallest, and he was a weird guy. No talking to others, no talking about his doings, not even swearing at his chores... just a boy. A small boy.

 

Too small maybe... Carey's words made sense. Who needs magic to kill? Only those who don't have other resources...

 

He gave up and rushed to bend over the railing, emptying his stomach.

 

-----------

 

OOC: Vote for Sweetcherie - Tiney (or Tiny? Saw both in the posts... )

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There was none of the usual joking or tomfoolery in the food line that day but there were all the more muttered conversations. Talk of one of their own being cursed and having killed the captain. As he handed out the food and extra grog rations, Adam couldn't stop his mind from wandering in that direction as well. Who? Who would do such a thing? Everyone had shifty eyes today as trust seemed to be evaporating quickly. Then again, there was a reason to distrust everyone; if it really was a curse, there wouldn't even have to be a motivation.

 

OOC: voting for everyone. Yes, everyone. No exceptions. That includes you, Patrick :D

Edited by Venefyxatu

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Conversation still never quite felt right to Paqs. Too forced or awkward maybe. On the streets he could go days without speaking sometimes and more often than not, a lack of talking was usually a good thing. Staying out of trouble you know. But listening--listening was key. You might overhear a baker talking about having to throw out a burned batch of bread. But when he overheard what had happened down in the hold and then the death of the captain? Well, it had always been survival first and Paqs was used to the mistrust of people who didn't know him...and that was pretty much everybody.

 

In his experience there was no such thing as magic or voodoo, just the cold, hard cruelty of real people. And he had witnessed even the cheeriest shopkeeper turn malicious, yelling at the young boy that had just walked in that he was just a filthy urchin who would only scare off the other customers. Paqs honestly didn't mind most of the crew here though. Carey...Adam...Davey...they were all tolerable, if occasionally annoying with banter. Tiney seemed almost as comfortable as Paqs when it came to keeping to himself, a mentality that Paqs could always understand. There was always something strange with Equiano though--like he was always judging you with those eyes--but surely he'd be even more careful than most not to break any rules here, wouldn't he?

 

Rumors and accusations were already starting to spread and Paqs made sure he grit his teeth and stopped by Lieutenant Swanson, both to affirm his position among the crew and to let slip that he thought Michael might have had something to do with this all. Paqs had no idea, really, but if it wasn't going to be him, it had to be someone else. Survival always comes first, right?

 

OOC: Voting for Gyrfalcon - Michael Walters

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Swanson had already ordered the cook to dispense double grog rations tonight; knowing full well it could easily add to the wag of already mobile tongues. It woulde definitely help the men sleep. He'd even issues some to the slaves; ideally a well-rested mind would have a more difficult time being paranoid, or God forbid, aggressive.

 

If the talk got much worse, at least Mister Bland would have much to occupy his mind with.

 

 

Lietenant Swanson turned from the raliing to meet the quietly approaching form. "Yes, Mister Paqs?"

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Whatever Paqs was about to say was interrupted mid-sentence as several pairs of hands grabbed hold of him and dragged him kicking and screaming to the railings on the starboard side. The Lieutenant and the first mate tried desperately to intervene, but a lot of sailors put themselves in their way. Before they even had a chance to do anything, the boy was unceremoniously dumped over the side.

 

"Trim sails!" the first mate shouted as he frantically turned the ship's wheel, taking the Slug into a slanting turn. "Get slaves on the oars! Turn her around!"

 

His shouts got the crew moving, some more reluctantly than others, and a select few under threat from the armed guards who had come up from below.

 

It took them the best part of half an hour to maneuver the ship into position, lower the ship's skiff, and rescue the by then thoroughly miserable Paqs.

 

No one noticed Tiney's body, her throat violently slit, and unceremoniously dumped in the former captain's now vacant cabin, for several hours.

 

OOC: The dice decided the draw between Azuran and Sweet, and unfortunately for the latter, they chose her. It is now night phase, specials, PM me your targets.

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Michael locked himself in his cabin and workplace, shivering despite the heat of the night. The quiet murder of Tiny and the separate mob attack on Paqs pointed to a crew on the edge of a frenzied bloodbath. the Lieutenant had allowed the grog rations to continue to those who didn't have them to prevent the crew, already on edge, from rioting. Now the ship simmered with sullen fear and anger, and every man the Lieutenant trusted with weapons in hand was patrolling the ship from stem to stern.

 

That didn't include Michael. He had been trusted before, but he had a strong suspicion that Paqs had said something to the Lieutenant after he had been fished out of the ocean. he had seen the way that Swanson had stared at him later, eyes filled with calculated malice.

 

The carpenter looked around his cabin slowly, and then began to assemble items. If he shaped this piece of wood here, and used this metal strip....

 

It would be crude and inefficient, but if anyone thought to break down his door in the middle of the night, they'd get a bolt in the gut, that, Michael promised himself, was a fact.

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Adam slept poorly that night. As if being on a cursed ship with a monster on board wasn't bad enough yet, the sailors were now trying to apply their own brand of justice. Two attacks in one day in addition to the gruesome attack by the victim of the curse last night was a little too much for his liking. After nearly flipping out of his hammock for the umpteenth time that night, he got out with a groan and decided to go for a midnight snack. If nothing else, at least the food would calm his stomach a little. He briefly considered that it might not be safe, but then again, staying in his cabin hadn't exactly done the captain much good, either, had it?

 

He shuffled to the kitchen to see what was left of his stash of extras for this trip...

 

OOC hint for anyone who might have trouble sleeping and feels like writing a post in which Adam is encountered: even though he never officially announced it it's fairly common knowledge that he will happily hand out extra snacks on occasion, especially in stressful times. An empty stomach only adds another reason for stress!

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Equiano stared down another crewman impassively... wordlessly. The sailor finally broke eye-contact and ducked his head resentfully, before turning to coil the rope as ordered. Equiano had no fears in dealing with any man - was he not an Asante?

 

But there was bad ju-ju on the ship, and he had no defenses against the black arts. It was with a rare uncertainty and hesitation with which he looked about the deck.

 

Too bad the white man's priests would not travel on a slave ship. They could use one, right about now.

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Carey gave up trying to sleep after Kipling's snoring startled him awake for the fourth time. How it was his friend could sleep even in the most stressful of times Carey would never know. Grumbling a little under his breath at the hour, he slouched off to the kitchen in the hopes of getting something to drink. Surely Adam wouldn't notice if one bottle went missing.

 

The sounds coming from the kitchen soon put paid to that, however, and once he was sure that the noises belonged to Adam and not the monster, Carey shrugged and pushed the door open.

 

"Don't suppose you have some rum you're willing to part with, my friend?"

 

"Rum?" Adam pulled his head out of the larder and looked at Carey. "That's not a snack, young man."

 

"I am eighteen you know." Carey protested.

 

"You and every youngster on this ship."

 

Rolling his eyes, Carey took a seat at the table and started picking at a bread roll. "Something to wash a snack down, then?" He grinned, before sobering quickly and shaking his head. "I can't even get my head around what's been happening. Whose bright idea was it to bring a witch doctor on board anyway?"

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Davey rolled on his cot, unable to sleep. This is not what I've signed for... It was all good to work and get to see the sea and a different world, and to talk to different guys. He liked adventure - he really did - that was why he had left home, wasn't it? Even if he still got turned around by the weird names they gave to the parts of the ship. Or the directions. Or everything aboard and on the sea.

 

He was a big boy - an adult by now!

 

So why he couldn't sleep, and remembered every small fear he'd ever had about monsters under his bed and in his wardrobe, monsters that sometimes his mother, sometimes his older brother, said would come out to eat him if he weren't a good boy?

 

I'm not a boy. And who has ever heard of a good pirate?!

This is a slaver ship, a small voice countered.

 

Davey scowled, definitely losing count of the lurches he was using to try and distract himself into sleep. He glanced at the door, then at his sleeping companions... was he seeing an empty cot? Or was that bundle really a guy? Or maybe a ...

 

No. Nononono. He gulped, and without looking again he got up and rushed towards the deck.

He needed some fresh air.

 

He was distracted on his way to the deck by the sound of steps, and a door. That, and the fact that in his sleep-deprived, nervous state, he couldn't find his way up. W-was that something running towards here? Without thinking, Davey started running - never noticing that he was going towards the sound instead of away from it (but, again - he never knew bow from stern anyway).

 

He barged into the kitchen, out of breath, and grinned brilliantly at the raised-eyebrow-stare from Adam.

 

"Ehm.... good evening? I... thought I heard... sounds?"

 

Carey snorted, and waved Davey to join him.

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