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Realistic or Modern The Golden Age of Piracy [KurtH6355 & Myxyzptik]

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  1. Action

Myxyzptlk

In hoc, signo vinces
With all things made ready Buffy prepared for his final step before setting out to sea, which would be a good day's breakfast. Most of the crew, probably more than half had piled into the lower deck where Rich would typically be at work cooking. The Captain was about to chastise the extra load of crew for piling on earlier than they should when he caught wind of some heated exchanges. Buffy would push past some of the crew men to get closer to the action,

"Make way!"

Buffy demanded, the conduct was rather unruly and it was not the sort of behavior that a Captain would wish to see of his crew just moments before setting out on an important voyage. After brushing shoulders and sneaking his way through Buffy had gotten to the focal point of the conflict. It was a loud shouting match between multiple crew members and Rich, the most vocal of which being Charles Walsh who he recognized to be one of his gunners. Buffy would watch for a few seconds longer only to overhear the most important details. Not a moment sooner did Buffy interject in an attempt to quell the festivities.

"Stop this at once! Here now Charles!"

Buffy would withdraw the remaining 1,000 he held in his personal deposits. It was not ideal to use them so early but it was for instances like this where a crew would willingly mutiny a cook for a lack of breakfast. The man held it out toward Charles Walsh and beckoned him to take it. Once done Buffy would plant his hand on Charles's shoulder and order him to find some breakfast out in town. Buffy did this to momentarily stop the hostilities, and with the prize money there was probably better food that they could scrounge up then the dry flapjacks, meat, and hard tack that Rich would typically churn out.

"Go out in town and treat yourself to breakfast, make sure to buy yourselves fruit and vegetables. It's best to eat these before a voyage. If you have any remaining from my prize money than use it to buy enduring foods for the rest of the voyage. Go now."

The Captain would usher them off the ship. He hoped they did in fact buy fruits and vegetables with the money since scurvy was a rancid affliction and fruits spoiled easily overseas. He would also pay no mind to the fact that he would likely go hungry until dinner or that he would not be able to spend anything personally but Buffy was not much of a man who held value in material goods. With the crisis temporarily averted he would turn to the chef and try to reason with him. Buffy noted Rich's caution and partially understood it but any logic that would justify not feeding the crew was less than sound. The stocks were to last a year and the food was well prepared to avoid contamination, spare the hard tack which would occasionally have insects burrowing inside it but some men wagered that was extra protein.

"What has gotten into you, Rich? We have plenty of supply to last a year what is it that you are trying to conserve? You'll meet many quarrelers if you keep at it like this."

Buffy had serious concerns with this behavior. Starvation was a quick way to mutiny for a Captain and it rapidly depleted morale aboard a ship. Problems certainly would not be resolved if a starving crew killed its sole cook. Buffy wished to talk some sense into Rich before things took a turn for the worst in the foreseeable future.
 

KurtH6355

Your mom (ooooooooooo)
Charles eyes widen as you empty your pouch of gold into his, which is very light indeed. Grinning from ear to ear now, he promises to share generously with his crewmates. With that, the matter's resolved, at least for now, and all your crew save for your officers, Finn, yourself, and a handful of deckboys and other servants stay aboard. Since the ship isn't at sea, there's no need to go in waves.

However, as they go, the thought that Bauer may try something comes to mind. He's docked close enough that from the  Grenouillie he could see if you released your crew, and you can see that his crew is aboard his ship. However, with orders already made, money already given, you can hardly go back on it now.

You're probably just being paranoid. No way he'd try something so bold here at dock.

As for Rich, his reply is a surprise. "Well, I told Alex this morning, but considering what you said he probably hasn't told you. A lot of that shit on the Galleon was bad. We've got four months of food," Rich tells you.

Four months is still a large amount. Sailing from Nassau to Port Royal only takes a day and most of a night. To Eleuthera, a mere four or five hours. But considerably less than the year you thought you had in store. If stretched to specifically only be used when at sea, then you could probably double the longevity of your current stores to eight months, at the displeasure of the crew, but much to Rich's approval, and your own purse's.

Perhaps more pressing, though, is why you're only finding out about this now, and from Rich, not from your Quatermaster. It'd be one thing if you hadn't saw him this morning, but you just spoke to him about the upgrades.

Thinking of the upgrades, you consider whether you should try and recruit some men in Freetown. You currently have 80/100 crew (upgrades finished in about an hour and a half.) There's always a healthy stream of potential crew floating around. Across the West Indies, it is known Nassau is the place for a pirate's life. Otherwise, the fate that befell the Osiris and soon these two rebel slave ships, if things go well, is a guarantee. Not an if, but a when. Bellamy did not allow for competition.
 
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Myxyzptlk

In hoc, signo vinces
Buffy fervently hoped that Charles would in fact spend it on the fruits instead of returning with more cutlasses, flintlocks, and jewelry. The Captain would just have to make do with the fact that he was shooting in the dark before returning to the matter at hand. The food situation was rather bizarre and it was causing serious strife aboard the ship. Rich would then inform Buffy of the spoiled food on the galleon. While it did make for a nasty trojan horse it hardly seemed like the end when told that they still held onto four months worth of provisions. Buffy wiped his brow, there was still a good helpful of sweat lingering from the duel earlier that day.

"Alright mate I know you mean well but a crew is only as good as its last meal. We'll see if we can get more from those slave ships and if not then any cargo we get we'll use to stock provisions."

The situation was not outrageous and while Buffy found it confounding why the Quartermaster had not spoken of it earlier he knew it to be a momentary mishap. There were other issues to be considered for the time being and Buffy would resign from any further talks of food. Buffy gestured adieu to Rich for the time being and returned to top deck to see how the fortifications were going. The laborers had worked good steam off getting A Series of Unfortunate Events properly outfitted for skating across the ocean blue. For a moment he pondered whether or not to get further men for the ship. Men in Freetown would likely be willing to join the crew especially considering his slowly rising reputation. But all the same he was broke and if any funny sorts asked for an advance he would be boned. Buffy would take his chances with the slave ships, men who had known nothing but captivity would be far more obliged to levy some crew men their way if promised freedom within the Republic.

As for another pressing issue he looked along the dock and stared intently at the Grenouillie. It had only been a few mere hours since Buffy had marched up to his rival's ship and declared his claim to the Galleon which he had yet not named. Buffy was still reasonably paranoid, a humiliated man like Bauer would expectantly be filled with scorn after losing the duel and the claim to the Galleon. What Buffy feared most was that if he set sail with A Series of Unfortunate Events that Bauer would light fire to the Galleon while he was gone or seize it for himself and break away from the Republic. The latter part was most definitely the thinking of a madman catastrophizer such as Buffy but his ability to predict things gave him much needed guard in his line of work. With A Series of Unfortunate Events being occupied only by laborers there certainly would be an opportunity for mischief on Bauer's part. Buffy would eye the mortar that had been recently attached to the ship and seriously contemplate aiming it at The Grenouillie.
 

KurtH6355

Your mom (ooooooooooo)
Rich nods at your words. Though you didn't specifically instruct him to always cook all three meals no matter if you're at port or not, it is implied, and how it's been so far.

The next forty-five or so minutes go by without anything significant happening. You sit up by the helm, on a simple crate, deciding not to question Alex as to why why weren't informed sooner about the spoiled provisions. You remember him being pretty shitted last night, celebrating harder than the other officers surely, so it probably just slipped his hungover mind. You watch as the help works incessently at the rig upgrades while you clean Dunesbury's cutlass, unnecessarily - other than the little splatter of Bauer's blood on it, the blade is pristine. Afterwards, knowing you've secured your claim and have no reason to carry it, you place Michael Dunesbury's sword on a rack with other captured captains' swords in your Quarters. A Spanish merchant captain named Angelo La Paz's rapier sits on its left, your frst prize, a schooner. A British merchant captain named James Langton's cutlass on its right; the fight between your ship and his was furious and legendary, lasting just under an hour and a half before you forced Langton to strike his colors or accept a watery grave for he and all his surviving crew-- you kept his sword to remember that epic combat by. You've taken several other prizes and had several other swords surrendered to you, but La Paz's, Langton's, and now Dunesbury's are those which you consider noteworthy. Dunesbury's, because taking his ship was the biggest accomplishment you've ever made, and also, because you successfully defended the sword in the duel with Bauer. Should you assign a new captain of the Galleon, you'll have to part ways with the blade to honor tradition, but should you keep her for yourself, Dunesbury's cutlass will likely remain on the rack for a long time.

However, a commotion so loud brews on the shore that you're driven out of your Quarters by it.

"Seems like a huge fight," your First Mate says. You can see off in the distance, an entanglement of many men on the main street of Freetown. You see no shining silver, so it seems things are kept clean, for now.

Immediately, your eyes are drawn to Bauer's ship. It is empty, apart from Bauer and some officers of his. They all look intently at the ongoing melee through glass.

That rascal. Had he sent his crew to attack your's? Or was this just convenient? It wasn't uncommon for brawls between rival crews to break out. But only mere hours after the duel?

"That's our boys and Bauer's!" Your Quartermaster exclaims, confirming who you'd suspected were the parties to the fray, as he looks through a spy glass.

"This is it! Let's fuckin' smash em!" Jacob Wells shouts about Bauer and his officers, loud enough for them to hear from the Grenouillie. Wells and two of his henchmen stayed behind to protect you and the ship in case of Bauer's underhandedness - you outnumber him and his officers. However, they'd likely respond with lethal force to an attack on their ship - you'll need to challenge them to take it to shore, unless you want to escalate things. It's unlikely Bauer and his officers will walk into a disadvantaged fistfight, it being five on eight, but you could just as well tell William, Alex, and Louis to stay aboard and make things fair.

Finn has a few years on William, but also thirty pounds, and Finn is a renowned pugilist. He's never allowed to join in on lethal fights unless the ship is being boarded and even then he tries not to, as he is an invaluable member of the crew; but he's one of your premier fighters when it comes to someone needing a beating - he often fights for sport and money in town as well. He's never without bruises and bandages over his knuckles.

While you and most of your officers know how to steer her, even some of your topmen know how, Finn is an unmatched navigator aboard the Series of Unfortunate Events. Without Finn, you may very well be screwed, if one day you took a long voyage, and caught an unfavorable wind in the black of night, and didn't realize it because you didn't notice how the stars had rotated ever so slightly. You hadn't even thought to look. Finn would. Which is why Finn is generally a non-combatant, but he can crack some skulls.

Jacob and his men, well, your men but his men, appear ready to go. They even seem angry they're not down there at the main fight.
 
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Myxyzptlk

In hoc, signo vinces
There was little more than the sawing of wood and heavy hammering of iron nails as the planks of wood were being formed into the hull of the ship. Buffy watched largely with disinterest as nothing of particular note happened for a good hour or so. The man pondered the situation with the provisions momentarily just to busy his mind while he waited. His mind was a bit disconnected with thoughts as one topic floated to another. A mental headcount of all the cutlass's he seized during his time at sea occupied his thoughts. Buffy would later pocket Dunesbury's cutlass on the same shelf that he had been pondering about. The man's boredom would only be brought to an abrupt end at more unfortunate news.

At first the noises came to him as mere murmurs before they turned into quite obvious shouts and insults that one would not dare utter to their mother. Buffy broke out from the Captain's Quarters and returned topside where he looked over the deck to find a brawl breaking out. It had become quite a riot and was a rowdy and unorganized affair. It was fist on fist, there were no blades drawn and no plumes of smoke indicated anyone fired their flintlocks. It did remain an intense mess of wrestling and unadulterated brawling. Buffy's head swiveled over to his First Mate, Josh Browne as he called out what had happened. Brawls in Freetown and other Pirate coves were not particularly uncommon but this was of particular scale, there had to have been at least one hundred or so heads swimming across the sea of angry fighters. Concerningly Buffy turned his head to where the Grenouillie was sitting at port and much to his dismay most of their crew had been vanished. Mysteriously propping themselves up on shore and breaking skin with his own. Upon hearing Jacob Wells angrily declare for a brawl on land Captain Buffy was unsure of whether or not he had enough of challenges for the time being.

"It's just skin on skin. Still, I'd prefer they not rough themselves up so soon before Rackham's gave us orders."

Buffy watched for a little while longer before deciding the best way to resolve the matter was to send a big fuck off boom that would let the men know it was time to scatter. However, the best way would come in the form of the most reckless and extreme method possible. Captain Buffy would call for Andrew Boudoin, his Second Mate and entrusted Gunner. Buffy would point to the mortar cannon and decide it was time to test out the new invention.

"Andrew! Load the mortar with something light, aim to miss but land close enough to where the men quit their brawling!"

This was a rather insane plan and it would possibly do better to just go down there and call out the orders. Or just challenge Bauer to a brawl but for every five or so decisions that Captain Buffy made with great thinking and rationale there was always a plan or bold action he made that was founded purely on maddening intuition. This would certainly be one of those cases and if the man ever made the history books perhaps this would have been something historians looked at with particularly curiosity. There was at least some caution placed into having Andrew Boudoin load and fire the cannon. He was a better shot than Buffy was and at the very least the chances of collateral were considerably lesser with him manning the mortar than Buffy.
 

KurtH6355

Your mom (ooooooooooo)
Your Second Mate bluntly refuses. "Sir, I have no fucking clue how to use this thing, let alone aim it without the intention of destroying everything it lands near. Sorry. Only thing I could guarantee is hitting the island. Somewhere."

Thinking over it again, it was probably an unwise idea.
 
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Myxyzptlk

In hoc, signo vinces
It was a huge misfortune that the man in charge of handling the cannons had no idea how to utilize the mortar. This was a problem considering it cost the crew a good load of money. Buffy pondered a while the ramifications of having none of his mates understand how to fire off the mortar for a while longer. Buffy thought of trying it out himself on account that someone NEEDED to know how to operate the mortar when the time came but even if he figured out how to load and prime the mortar his aim would not be nearly on the level of Boudoin's. While disappointing he would not insist on any unneeded risk if his Mates would rather not do so. He offered something of a stern suggestion for Boudoin as he looked over at the melee occurring.

"Well you ought to learn soon. The crew paid a pretty penny for it."

Buffy leaned over the deck once more and then proceeded to climb off A Series of Unfortunate Events. The Captain sought only to break the brawl up and nothing more. As it currently stood he detested the violence on account that it painted him in a bad light and secondly that it came before they were due to set out for sea. The latter part being more of an annoyance than anything else truly. Buffy waved on Jacob Wells to bring some of his marauders with as security detail while they approached the shore where the mess of fighting had occurred. The Captain would march toward the scene and withdraw his flintlock. It certainly would be no mortar but it carried enough power in its barrel that the noise would startle a rowdy riot. Buffy came close enough to the fighting where his presence was obvious but not so close that he ran the risk of getting smashed in between a pit of fighters. Buffy aimed toward the sky and fired his flintlock.

"Enough! What is this quarrel about?"

The Captain was giving the benefit of the doubt to Bauer himself for the time being. Although he did suspect him of giving an order for his men to quarrel with the crew of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Truthfully, Buffy had little care for what the altercation was spurred on by as much as he was interested in getting his subordinates back onto his ship. Primarily he was asking for the sole purpose of playing diplomat. Being the authority figure among them the responsibility of resolving conflict fell upon him. Buffy scanned the brawlers with his peripheral vision, noting all the bumps and scratches that bruised their facial features. Chiefly looking for anyone among his crew who would be disabled headed for their oncoming voyage.
 

KurtH6355

Your mom (ooooooooooo)
"It's an investment! We got this shit las' night -- hell why don't you figure how to use it!? Blow your own bloody hand off 'stead of me and mine!" Boudoin demands of you: it seems you made him feel stupid, which always makes him really angry, cus, well, he is sort of stupid. He's a brash, bold brute. He's also one of the only men who could ever speak to you that way and get away with it with his tongue still in his head. Being an accomplished gunner and your boarding captain, you hardly have a place to discipline him without first finding a suitable replacement should things go south, since Boudoin is certaintly the hot headed type that might send things south. Christ, sometimes it feels like you're not even a captain. It's sometimes a very hostile work environment.

"Ease off, Andrew," Louis says, patting him on the back and pulling him away from you before he says something else he'll regret.

Before long, you make off to shore to quell the rioting, despite Boudoin's disrespect/insubordination, which may need addressing later. You, Wells, and his two pals hop off the ship and head toward the scrap. Not wanting to be shown up, probably, Bauer and his officers disembark the Grenouillie, and come along.

The chaotic sound of melee which rings across Freetown comes to an instantaneous stop at the sound of your shot. All heads whip around - men hold eachother in grapples still as they look at you in surprise. Slowly, reluctantly, they seperate. And then you question them, and they start yelling.

"This fucking bitch, he-"

"You fockin'!"

"And then they fuckin-"

Everyone has a different reason for why the brawl has started. You still can't be sure whether this was an attack by Bauer, or plain old brawlin'.

To your relief, looking around at the arguing brawlers you see nobody with any serious-looking injuries.

"Hey! HEY! Get back aboard, the lot of you!" Bauer barks at his crew, who begin to shift away as a sea of purple and red, bruised and battered.
 
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Myxyzptlk

In hoc, signo vinces
As the gunpowder discharged from his flintlock it would leave behind a noticeable smell. The plume of smoke lingered in the air as a slowly waving reminder of Buffy's presence and as he looked upon his men he expected a good excuse for the rumbling. Of course, he would get the polar opposite and find that it was chiefly just nonsense. During the time in which they all accused each other for various reasons, none of which legitimate to the weary Captain, he inspected the swashbucklers among him to see if those of his company were unfit for battle. To his greater relief they were still endowed with good health. Soon enough Bauer arrived from the Grenouillie and ordered his men to make haste to their posts. Because of this Buffy was inclined to suspect Bauer had not commissioned his men to start a riot, though he did not entirely dismiss it. Buffy turned back to his men and restored his flintlock to its rightful position on his body.

"Enough then. Back to the ship."

Buffy commanded pointedly. The Captain turned on them and began making way for A Series of Unfortunate Events. When he returned to the helm he faced the man he had left in his absence with a look that seemed to say 'Monkey Business' and nothing more. The Captain waited for the whole of the crew to get topside and then resume their positions. Presumably by this point the constructions would have finalized and they could prepare to sail on their course. Hopefully the crew had finished getting the proper meals and had not spent it on other leisurely products. Buffy sought out Finn Frost, the helmsman, and spoke simply.

"When the last man touches their position make way for Eleuthera"

Buffy would resign to the back half of the helm once done. From there he was able to see the crew in its whole. From the top men to the men scrubbing the top deck. Naturally the only thing he would be unable to see was the lower deck. But there was nothing there that was worth seeing anyway for the time.
 

KurtH6355

Your mom (ooooooooooo)
Your crew shuffle aboard, sharing hateful glares with Bauer's crew as they head off to their own ship.

Wells is chatting with a few of his mates who were in the fight on the way back to the ship. You might be able to learn more about the rumble's cause from him.

"Off we go!" Finn says, steering you into the northeast. "Lady wind is feeling bitchy. Let's hope she lets up soon, else this is gonna take longer than it should," Finn notes shortly after you begin your short voyage. Eleuthera is normally only six hours of travel, making your ETA around four in the afternoon, it being ten in the morning now, but bad winds could eat up your whole day if you're unlucky.

"Should keep an eye out for easy prizes," your Second Mate, Boudoin, says. He seems to harbor no bad mood from the little dispute over the mortar earlier. However, his next statement might prove otherwise.

"Captain, could I have a word?" He means in private.
 

Myxyzptlk

In hoc, signo vinces
Buffy exchanged glances with the crew as they came aboard. They all more or less began making toward their positions, some of them labored a little more. Certainly from the shots they had endured during the scramble on the beach but it was nothing Buffy was going to shout about. While the animosity with Bauer and the rest of his gang was still polluting the air Buffy's mind had gone to other things. Mainly Eleuthera and the slave ships, there had been an excessive amount of distractions along the way and he now expected more to come. One of which being a potential storm brewing in the clouds. As Buffy turned his eyes up at the sky he saw clouds formlessly spilling into another. The wind was welcome while there was still sunshine but it could be a bane for the sails, hopefully the new upgrades would alleviate some of those problems.

His attention was once again diverted when his Second Mate, Boudoin called for his attention. Buffy heard clearly a mention about looking out for easy prizes. While it made for a good rule of thumb it was a bit of stating the obvious. It was stated merely as a segue into the next conversation, whatever it may have entailed. Buffy turned toward Andrew Boudoin and looked him over. It seemed like a dire circumstance that Buffy would have to oblige, and seeing as they had six hours if not more to spend at sea he would simply oblige it currently.

"I'll see you in my quarters then."

The Captain's Quarters were the only truly secretive place on this ship. If they had spoke in a hushed whisper even at the helm there was a good chance even then someone would overhear and spread the word of such a topic quickly. Buffy would leave the helm and temporarily set aside his duty to watch over the rest of the crew. Getting to the Captain's Quarters was always a curious journey. For one when you were in the lower deck you would always be closer to water but not as able to see it when down below. During his first days at sea being in the lower deck used to be something of a paranoia for him. Naturally, given the fact that he slept in the Captain's Quarters for nights on end he had gotten used to that. Buffy entered his quarters and awaited the arrival of his Second Mate.
 

KurtH6355

Your mom (ooooooooooo)
Boudoin keeps things short and to the point. "One of my veterans was shot to death in Freetown last night. Nobody knows how, why, or who," Boudoin tells you.

"I'd like it if you gave myself and Louis permission to launch an investigation into the murder," Andrew asks. It seems he hasn't the slightest suspicion that you were somehow involved, though you were.
 

Myxyzptlk

In hoc, signo vinces
Buffy would enter his Quarters underneath the helm. The Captain found his quarters to be modest with little decoration apart from the sword rack of those Captains who's cutlasses he had acquired. There was sparsely any furniture or ornaments that could be found in Captain Buffy's quarters. A quick search yielded little more than sea charts and empty paper and quills. Buffy idled as Boudoin brought themselves into his office. As the door closed behind them so did the wandering ears from the rest of the crew. The Captain only offered a small order upon reaching their pocket of privacy.

"Let's hear it then."

Boudoin's next statement and request would serve as a painful reminder of Buffy's earlier choices. Although it bore reminding that Buffy would not go out of his way to defend Jacob Wells had Boudoin found out. That was of course, if Boudoin were to find out. The Captain of course knew in turn to fall back on his cunning when brought forth this request. Chiming with a few implied suggestions of his own. Buffy would roll his eyes upward as if to show he were deep in thought before returning his remarks.

"You have my permission, albeit much time has passed since then and only more time will pass before we return to Freetown. I fear there is nothing that will be there by the time we return there."

After all, there was no immediate need to return directly to Freetown after coming into contact with the slave ships. They could port in another town and allow the crew to get distracted. Of course Buffy contemplated whether he should warn Jacob beforehand and give them some time to prepare. It would probably be best but for the time being but all Buffy could do was throw Boudoin off their own scents for the time being.
 

KurtH6355

Your mom (ooooooooooo)
As you speak, Boudoin stares daggers into you. He's not very bright, and so you don't think he could possibly suspect your involvement; but his dead eyes give you an ominous feeling. Though Wells made it sound like the debtors' death would go all but unnoticed, Boudoin seems to feel very wronged. Perhaps it is the recent infighting between yourself and Bauer that has him particularly upset about this murder, despite its occurrence having been immediately after you yourself had learned of Bauer's claim on your galleon, still unnamed, when you yourself were the only one who knew of the coming challenge with Bauer. Everyone is wary, now; the feeling that our kind can no longer be trusted prevails.

"Very well. Thank you, sir. I'll update you with any information I can muster."

With that, he takes his leave swiftly, after giving you a brief farewell.

You gravitate back toward the helm, as you always do. Things are orderly aboard the ship, as the next couple of hours drift by.

"Captain, we'll be making it to port in about an hour. Winds are good now, thank lady luck," Finn updates you. "I, eh, need to relieve myself."

"I can steer her for some time," William, your old fourth mate, veteran of the Pirate Round, offers. He's probably best at the helm besides Finn and yourself.
 
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Myxyzptlk

In hoc, signo vinces
The young captain would send Boudoin on his way. He would need to remind himself to caution Wells about Boudoin looming over his dealings like a hawk. But for the time being he would excuse himself from his own cabin and return topside where Finn Frost and William had situated themselves. Time was more of a loose approximation when one was at sea it oftentimes felt. The ocean blue was the only template of which they would see during the ride. The only way Buffy could avoid his mind dulling throughout the journey was to issue out menial commands to his crew. It was a routine process and watching his crew scrub the deck made up the majority of a Pirate Captain's time out at sea.

The slog would be briefly interrupted by Finn excusing himself for the head. Buffy would nod in his direction as William took the wheel in his stead. Buffy would scratch at the back of his scalp in the meanwhile. His attention turned upward as he waited for the silhouette of land to appear. The worst part of being at sea was the way the humidity clung to one's skin, a warm day could be made into a walk through an inferno. As Buffy struggled silently with the uncomfortable sensations he watched over his crew to ensure everything was going as planned.
 

KurtH6355

Your mom (ooooooooooo)
Time seems to move by at a crawl as you sail toward your destination. The monotony seems to be getting to your crew; Wells picks up on it, and starts up a song to cure the boredom.

"Old Billy Riley was a dancing master.
Ol' Billy Riley, oh, Ol' Billy Riley!
Old Billy Riley's master of a drogher
Ol' Billy Riley, oh, Ol' Billy Riley!
Master of a drogher bound for Antigua
Ol' Billy Riley, oh, Ol' Billy Riley!"

This is one of your crew's favorites, and several appear from below deck almost instantly, having been resting or cleaning or some such, to join in the tune.

You know you're imagining it, but the song seems to propel your ship forward at rapid speeds. If it weren't for the shanties, you'd have given up at this sailing thing a long time ago, you think to yourself.

"Ho! Quiet!" Finn calls out, at this point having returned to the helm.

The two ships come into view for you, Finn, and all others at once, and Ol' Billy Riley is sadly cut short. On the horizon, you see your quarry; two schooners, each without a flag. Could be any ne'er-do-wells flying no flag, but the fact that it's two schooners near Eleuthera doing it leads you to believe it's the slaves. However, something unexpected is happening.

The two ships are locked in a vicious duel.

"The hell?" Boudoin asks under his breath quite appropriately.

"Gotta go break it up. They're no use to us dead."

You can see a large cloud of smoke drifting off quite a way away from the action. This would suggest it's been going on for some time. Both ships look low in the water, as if they've both taken shots below the waterline. The two are close enough to be exchanging both cannon fire and small arms. Likely many are already dead, and you consider whether it's even worth salvaging.
 

Myxyzptlk

In hoc, signo vinces
As his eyes seemed to crust along their lashes the voyage was sped up briskly by the singing of shanties. It was not his personal favorite but it was far better noise than the slushing of droning seawater. And at the very least it was boisterous enough to make the time pass. As the nautical miles swam past them in a brief haze Buffy felt himself become absent minded for the time being. That was until Finn's voice cracked through the shanty and caught everyone's attention. The song ended awkwardly with the crew trailing off at the end of one of the song's stanzas. Buffy wiped the sweat from his eyes to better see clearly, though he would not need much of a good eye to know what was going on. He could HEAR it rather distinctly.

"Huh?"

Buffy was not entirely sure of the identity of the two ships but from the way Boudoin spoke of it the crew would have to believe these were there targets. It did not seem entirely implausible that the slave ships could have resorted to fighting after disagreements between each ships. Maybe the Captains of either schooner disagreed on a critical matter and their egos came to blows. Assuredly, Buffy was no stranger to such an encounter having been so quickly apprehensive toward Bauer in recent memory. As for the matter at hand Buffy recalled well in Rackham's note that if the ships had been destroyed than it was of no considerable loss. However, Buffy was not one to let opportunity slip by him.

"Alright! Finn try and hail the two ships. If they're unresponsive then flash the broadsides to both and let them know who's in charge but don't fire. It seems neither schooner can scarcely afford anymore damage."

Buffy aimed to simply gather their attention. If his theory proved correct than these slaves were in desperate need of mentorship under competent sailors amid the Republic. But they would be no good to anyone if they sunk beneath the waves. The Captain would also move to get the crew moving proactively, though they were already likely doing so out of experience alone. They needed to look equally as mean if the slavers were to feel imposed upon.
 

KurtH6355

Your mom (ooooooooooo)
You and your crew move in closer and try to hail the two vessels. Your efforts amount to shouting to them, and Finn uses a semaphore flag to signal at them. Unfortunately, it is unlikely the slaves understand this signalling.

Though it's unlikely you've gone unnoticed, the duelling ships ignore your pleas. One of the ships' masts fall, heaving into the ocean depths.


"Aw, hell. Might as well finish them off," Your Second Mate Boudoin says. your orders were to bring the slaves into the fold, or destroy them if need be.
 

Myxyzptlk

In hoc, signo vinces
Buffy watched to no avail as the slaves failed to communicate with both each other and the crew members of A Series of Unfortunate Events. The crew looked onward despairingly as one of the slave's ships is rendered immobile following the sinking of its mast. Massive planks of wood were scattered across the surface of the water; the majority of the dead were all likely sinking deep toward the trenches of the sea. If by some odd chance any of them knew how to swim they would have to contend with the cannons flying overhead from their rival ships. It was a chaotic ordeal and he wondered how else he would have been expected to tackle the matter short of summarily executing the slaves. Given the current situation Buffy favored whichever ship was not dealing with a shattered mast and would agree half-way with his Second Mate.

"Aye, let's sink the weaker ship. Maybe then the other ship is willing to listen, if it has not sunk too that is."

The Captain would have the order relayed to the gunners aboard A Series of Unfortunate Events. The broadside cannons to have their eyes opened and giving a fatal wink toward the unfortunate slaves. Whatever side of the story they had to tell would most likely all but disappear with them as they became food for the critters that lingered at the very bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The Captain only hoped the gesture would not intimidate the other slaver ship into firing in retaliation but they likely had worse matters to deal with. At any rate they were likely going to have to survive off of floating driftwood.
 

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