Uncharted Course
an HH Role Playing Game fic

Part 3

Cast

Laura Horatio Hornblower
AJ Archie Kennedy, Miss Cobham
Melissa Mr. Bush, Sir Edward Pellew
Julie Lee Captain Sawyer
Kipperboi Mr. Wellard
Young Snotty Mr. Buckland
Molly Mathews and Styles, Commander Bracegirdle, Mr. Kenyon, Seargent Whiting
Linda Dr. Clive
Heather Olson Mr. Hobbs, Liberty Jack, Randal, Powder Monkeys, Dunti, Lucille , De Vergesse, Bowles, Dr. Alexandre du Bretagne


LOCATION: La Mort (Liberty Jack's 54 gun 'Flagship' )
TIME/DATE: Early evening, Jan 24th, 1802.

 

( La Mort: 2nd Gundeck )

Oldroyd opened his eyes and swung the gun's ram upward with all the desperate strength he could muster. The Overseer's eyes widened impossibly largely as an agonized whimper escaped his mouth. With a crash, the man fell onto the deck, barely missing Oldroyd's still-prone figure.

"I got 'em, Mr. Bowles! Get 'is *keys* so's we can get offa this blighted damn ship!" Oldroyd scrambled to his feet, looking to the lads at the hatch. They were keeping a watch to make sure none of the remaining pirates entered unchecked.

"Oy, lads, take this! " He called, tossing the discarded cat to the man closest to the door. Bowles had the correct key, finally, and was removing shackles as quickly as was humanly possible.

"'Bout bloody time. Now, hows about we go see what alla commotion above is about, lads, eh? " Oldroyd grinned, retrieving his gun-ram once more.

~Oldroyld~

 

 

(La Mort: 2nd gundeak then the Main Deck)

"Patience, Oldroyd." Bowles quickly unchained one of the men in the gun crew to their left. He passed the keys to a young man. "Unchain the rest of the men, Luthor. Freedom awaits. Aye, and not a little vengeance... " He was glad that the gundeck was devoid of further overseers. The rest had gone above decks to see the action. Well... They'd see action in a minute if Master Bowles had anything to say about it.

When Bowles saw that enough were free to put up a good fight, he turned back to Oldroyd's party. They crowded around the stairs leading to the hatch that once open, would grant them freedom. Oldroyd seemed eager for action Bowles thought, and well he should. The man above that hatch, Schmitt, a mercenary, had delighted in menacing the imprisoned British mariners. In particular Oldroyd, who's whimsical nature seemed to rub the German the wrong way. Schmitt was good friends with the Overseers. In particular the man they just felled. At any rate, he was the only one who could unlock the hatch for them. They could try to force it... But that would loose precious time and the advantage of surprise. Bowles tried to imitate the Overseer as best he could and hammered the hatch with his fist. "Argh! Schmitt! That waste of space, Oldroyd is making trouble again."

"Was ist es?! (What is it?!)" Came the gruff reply from above. Bowles could hear the keys in the lock. " Is dat little 'girly man' giving you trouble again, mien friend?" The hatch swung open. "Welche die Holle?( What the hell?)" He gasped upon seeing the horde of Englishmen spoilin' for a brawl.
"Mein Gott! " Is all that escaped the mercenary's lips as the British poured through the hatch pushing him aside. They were out on deck, in the open air. Free Englishmen, fighting for King and country. The mercenary recoverd from his surprize," Bastard, filthy, Englanders! Sie werden auf meiner Uhr nicht entgehen! (You won't escape on my watch!)" Bowles ducked as the enraged German swung at him with his left hand. A young seaman fell to the same blow, blood streaming from his crushed jaw over the deck. The German wore a 'panzerhand' on his left fist. An armoured steel gauntlet. It might be a remnant of another era... But the mercenary used the metal glove effectively to disarm his opponents, as it could safely 'catch' a blade, or to crush their skulls, as the mood took him. The remaining Overseers were reaching for their 'cats' and cutlasses. Bowles grappled with the nearest pair. Through the confusion of battle, Bowles saw that the German had drawn his saber, and was about to engage Oldroyd. "Hold still Englander scum, and I will make this quick! "

"Look out Oldroyd!" Bowels shouted as he cracked the heads of two overseers together.

~Bowles~

 

 

"Allright lads! " Oldroyd held his small group of sailors back, letting Bowles go through with the first group. He noticed the aproaching mercenary."When I says, go. Go for that big bloke commin' for us.. The one whot got that metal glove. He gots whats' coming to him, 'e does!"
The three or four sailors now grouped around Oldroyd nodded entheusicastically. Oldroyd scanned the planking at their feet, looking for somethign that would be of immediate help against the huge German. Grabbing some of the protective netting from the British ship that had been cut down during boarding, he motioned the others to go on ahead of him. Schmitt was preoccupied with Oldroyd's mates, and never saw the blonde man slip in behind him with a sizeable piece of netting.

 

"ERE! Ya bastard, take this! " Oldroyd yelled, tossing his net over the bigger man and diving to the deck, tightening it around the mercenary's ankles. Luthor grabbed Oldroyd's abandoned gun-ram and put it to fast use. The German groaned. Scooping up the German's saber, Oldroyd hefted it, a gleam in his eyes. Then his gaze fell upon the metal gauntlet... Would dat there thingy fit? He pondered. His attention was drawn away from it as a few privateers scrambled over the side of the seventy-four (The Renown) to La Mort. "Eere, lads, I think I see sommat 'o those damned Froggy pirates comin' aboard! Let's see what we can do for 'em! "

~Oldroyd~

 

(Meanwhile... Back aboard the Renown: Main deck near mainmast)

 

"No!" Liberty Jack shouted as he saw Dunti, his loyal man fall to the gunner's blow... And louder still as Hobbs picked up Dunti's sword. "NOOOO!" He roared. "THAT BELONGS TO ME!" Then a sound took his attention for a momment. A muttering, a screaming, a shaking and a pounding against the deck. Lucille du Paix's prisoner was thrashing about in some sort of fit... Liberty Jack stopped for a moment to look. He remembered his brother's letters from the Justinian. "You did your work well there, Jack... For a novice." He muttered to the scythe attached to his right forearm, and it glinted nicely in the moonlight as if in response. "Mere fits are child's play though..." Donovan Simpson smirked... He cocked his head to one side as Kennedy's convulsions intensified. "Yes, child's play... and bloody annoying!" Simpson swung a booted foot around and kicked Kennedy in the shoulder before Lucille could stop him. She pointed her blade at him again. At her own captain! How dare she?!... Donovan Simpson fumed within, then snarled, "Your trying my paitience my dear... Shut him up... Or I will !" Then he turned back to the Captain's little party. The Renowns fought like tigers, and he could see his men were afraid of the gunner and the Captain. They had beaten Dunti and there they were... Hobbs and Sawyer. They were going to die fighting in battle. Bloody fools. Simpson shook his head. He must have them ALIVE, to savor the victory. To break Hobbs. Then he saw Randall... and a smile returned to his lips. Two birds... one big stone. He almost laughed aloud. Then he shouted in a loud clear voice...

"One thousand bars of English gold bouillon for the man, or men who can bring me Hobbs and Sawyer ALIVE !! Not one penny for their worthless corpses!"

Everyone fell silent and stopped dead in their tracks. His Buckers knew he had that kind of wealth hidden on an uncharted Island... They had helped him collect that vast horde, and more. Others that heard, wondered if it were true... The stories told of Liberty Jack claimed it was. Even some of the Renowns let the idea pass through their minds...

"Is that Just for your crew Don!?" Randall shouted.

"The name is Liberty Jack, now my old friend!" Simpson shouted, "And any man can claim the prize!"

 

~Liberty Jack~


"One thousand bars of English gold bouillon for the man, or men who can bring me Hobbs and Sawyer ALIVE!! Not one penny for their worthless corpses!"

 

(Note: Okay...This next scene is one where that PG- 14 rating really comes into play... Violence.)

 

"Any man can claim the prize!" Simpson had shouted. Randall smiled at that. The pirates circled the small band of Renowns muttering to themselves as to which among them would claim the thousand gold bars. He also noticed Hobbs had his blade pointed at him now. He had to regain the gunner's trust..."None of you'll claim that prise, yah bastards!" He shouted to the pirates, then added directly to Hobbs.

"I was just askin'. You know... about the gold... Inquiring minds want to know..." It was a pathetic performance, but with hundreds of greedy, snarling pirates surounding them, Hobbs had little time to do more than shoot him a dirty look brfore turning the giant's scimitar back toward the pirate horde. Well, that would do for now. Randall had to think of a plan... He had to do it quick before the pirates got over their fear... Before someone else claimed that prize. He surveyed the situation. The Renowns stood in a circle. Hobbs was to Randall's right, with Captain Sawyer and then that mouse of a midshipman, Wellard. To Randal's left stood five of his best mates, but they were Hobbs's mates too. Who would they side with? Well, Randall reasoned, If they want to live and win a king's ransom, they'd side with me... If they wanted to die... they'd stick by Hobbs. Ha! An easy choice. These four Renowns completed the circle. The mainmast was behind them, and they were completely and hopelessly surrounded. There was still fighting going on elsewhere on deck... Skirmishes mostly... And though the Renown's seemed to still hold the upper part of the quarterdeck.... It appeared that Sawyer's little band were the center of attention. The promise of that much gold, could make any man ignore his duty. At least the French privateers hung back Randall noted. They didn't truly understanding the situation. That meant they weren't competition either.

Suddenly one of the bolder Pirates lunged forward. Hobbs brought that huge blade around in an arc and took the blighter's hand off. The man screamed and stagged away, clutching the bloody stump. Then an eager group came forward in a rush. The gunner had that scimitar up right quick, nearly cutting an man in two. The Midshipman amazingly held his own. Randall had to parry a blow. He kicked the bugger in a decidedly nasty location. The Captain terrified the pirates, as did Hobbs with that giant sword. For the moment the scurvy lot held back. Not for long...

"Rush em'!" One of the Bucker's shouted, just before he fell in nearly, two pieces on the deck. The gunner, now covered in gore, stood over the body. Randal didn't fancy facing Hobbs... Even a wounded Hobbs, with that giant blade in hand. A third pirate howled as the midshipman's blade struck home. One approached the Captain but screamed and backed away. Randal parried a blow, and punched the man in the throat. His mates behind him fought well... But one fell, knocked to the deck by a blow to the head. Why not a killing blow? Another pirate who could more easily have tried to slash Randal with his cutlass tried instead to hit him in the head with a belaying pin.

"What the hell?" Randal wondered. Then it dawned on him as he slashed that man in the face... He remembered Don's (Donovan Simpson) offer, 'Not one penny for their worthless corpses.' He lip curled in a half smile. Don's own men were handicapped. It was easy to tell who the Captain was by his uniform, but the buggers had no idea which amoung the Renowns was Hobbs... They're goin' out of their way to take us alive... All of us! 'Liberty Jack' had offered a huge prize for Hobbs... Aye, and the Captain too. To betray his own shipmate though... Could he bring himself to do it? One-thousand bars of gold... Hell yes, he could do it! A fifth pirate screamed and leapt forward, but was felled by a lunge from the gunner's sword. Hobbs pulled at the blade... but it's strange serrated edge was stuck fast in the pirate's ribs. Seeing this the pirates aproached... Hobbs, who had been his usual silent, but deadly self during the whole fight, roared at them like some sort of maniac.

"He's got the devil in 'im!" The pirates, cringed back.

"É o Demônio! (He is the devil!)" A Portuguese Bucker argued.

This was Randal's chance and he knew it. Hobbs, his 'shipmate'... his friend... was straining to pull the giant's blade free, his eyes darting from Randal to the pirate horde. Randal looked to his mates. The men looked at him and nodded. Aye, smart lads...

"Don't do it Randall !" Hobbs snarled." Damn you... Don't even think it!" He put his foot on the pirate's corpse and pulled the blade free--- But the move threw him off balance, and it was far too late! Randall smashed his forehead into the gunner's face. It was a great blow, and Randal grinned. He was quite proud of himself. The scimitar went flying to land near the starboard rail, and Hobbs staggered and fell at the Captain's feet, his face a bloody mess.

"That one what went down must be 'Obbs. This 'Ere buggar's trying ta rob us of our prize lads!" A clever Bucker shouted. He came at Randall. Randall parried the man's clumsy blow. He swung his cutlass down on the Bucker's knee. It landed with brutal force on that joint, severing it in two. The man fell with Randall's cutlass in his back before he hit the deck. Randall needed to make an example of that man to keep the others at bay... There was no damned way he was going to let anyone else win that gold... No way in hell! He lopped off the pirate's head and held it up for them all to see.

"S-S-Santa Maria!" A Spanish Bucker stuttered.

"Anyone else want to claim the prize!" Randal threatened. "ANYONE ELSE!" Not a Bucker or a Frenchman responded, or came near. Satisfied, Randall threw the head away and turned his attention to the Captain and the youth. He shouted for his mates, "Lads! Get the Captain, this little snotty's all mine!"

 

~Randal~

LOCATION: Renown
TIME/DATE: Early evening, Jan 24th, 1802.

(Renown: Main deck: Forewards and against the starboard rail.)

(Note: For this post set back the ' way back' clock... then it catches up. You might notice refereces to Jack's last post in this one. That's to connect them, in the timeline... This post is actually a few extremely conected posts between Lucille and Archie that AJ and I wrote... For expediency I edited them into one.)

Lucille tried everything she could think of to stop the English Lieutenant's fit. Her men held him down, while she put her hand over his mouth to stop his moans and shouts. She had seen the impossible... She had seen Dunti fall. She could also hear how furious this had made her Captain. But was shocked to notice he seemed to be more upset by the loss of Dunti's sword then the loss of Dunti himself. She knew why... Jack's entie crew knew why. Out of the blue a boot struck her prisoner in the shoulder. It belonged to her Captain, Liberte' Jacques. She had her sword up in a flash and he gave her a look that chilled her to the bone.

"Your trying my patience my dear... Shut him up or I will !" Jack warned. His voice held only contempt for her and he and turned back to his prey, the Old Renowns.

Frustrated and hurt, she put her sword on the deck. Carefully she cradled the Lieutenant's head. One hand on the back of his head, the other under his chin. She held tightly, lest he bite her. What she did next, she did half out of desperation to keep her charge quiet and half out of defiance to Jack. She kissed the Anglais! Passionately. And for some time... Her men gasped.

*Kennedy had been in his own world, doing all he could to control his thrashing body and his heaving mind. He had felt the kick from Jack but had dismissed it as unimportant. He had felt the hands holding him down and the palm across his mouth but again he had dismissed them. The lips however...well, those did manage to get his attention...*

 

Mon Dieu! She thought. What was I thinking... Her heart skipped a beat. Had he seen? She turned, but Jack saw naught. His back to them... and his attention elsewhere. The muttering and shaking of her prisoner had stopped. Lucille looked back to her young Lieutenant and thought she felt his body relax somewhat...

*A low moan escaped him as his body began to settle, his limbs becoming less rigid and only spasming in broken fits. Archie opened his eyes and found himself staring into the woman pirate's. He prayed it had been her who had kissed him and not one of the hairy-louts standing around her, still pinning his body to the deck*

"Bonsoir, bon amie." (Good evening sweetheart.) Was that a sign of comprehension in his eyes? However she had no time to see the results of efforts. Jack was shouting something about a thousand bars of gold. A thousand bars from an 'East India Man' named 'Foutunate' they had taken a year ago. One thousand gold bars that were meant for the coffers of the Republic of France! They had separated after that great victory. Each ship was to rendezvous with the others back in Bordeaux. When they met again, Liberty Jack had claimed the East Indiaman and her cargo lost in a storm. Damn him! It had to be that prize. It was the only one with such a grand and specific amount. "Damn him!" She said aloud.

Damn who? *Archie peered up at her through his fringe of blonde hair. He looked weak and more to the point innocent - which was good considering he had landed on a dagger (flatly) and was now trying to get it to cut through his ropes*

~Lucille & Kennedy~

 

(Somewhere on the quarterdeck. Jack's lline about the golden prize is mentioned here. Use the ' way back clock' to place this scene just after the giant 'Dunti' has fallen.)

Kenny flew backward. The force of the shot sent him rolling back into the legs of Styles. An ambitious pirate who had decided to lead a charge on the great cabin, fell. The other pirates, who were not quite so bold, retreated. Kenny had no Idea his shot struck home, but he smiled up at Styles. "Sorry, sir."

The other powder monkeys were quite relieved they had not shot their fellow Renowns. They were also happy to have the company of the men and welcomed Whiting and the others heartily. "Huzahh!" They cheered, then apologised. With all the smoke it was hard to see. Suddenly they could all hear the mad pirate captain, Liberty Jack shouting from the deck.

"One thousand bars of gold boulion from my personal treasure for the man or men who can bring me Hobbs and Sawyer ALIVE! Not one penny for their worthless corpses!" Everything hushed at this and the pirates who were about to storm the great cabin (Capain's Cabin) stopped and turned their backs on the little band defending the door. They moved in mass to face the mainmast and the drama taking place there. Some of the boys crept forwards but not too far, to see what was going on. They could not see over the pirate horde and shruged.

"Wot's goin' on?" The biggest boy, Jim wondered.

"What now, sir?" The eldest boy Tom glanced back to the Bosun.

"Lift me up, sir," Little Kenny tugged on Styles' pants' leg."So's I can see for us what's goin' on."

~The Powder Monkeys~

(Mainmast: Use 'way back clock' device here as well. Sawyer's POV Point of view.)

The giant fell with a satisfactory thud mere seconds after Sawyer launched the bullet. A good hit, if he could be so bold as to congratulate himself. But no time for reveling in lucky glorious. Where were his officers! Why were they not forming the men for a counter- attack?

"Mr. Bush, Mr. Hornblower, Mr. Kennedy!" he screamed into the night and din, still leveling a pistol at the seething mass of humanity. "To your stations. NOW!"

Choas reigned still, but above the confusion a voice rang above others. A reference to the captain, a hoarse cry for a golden reward.

And then he saw it, played before his very eyes. The darkest fear that haunted the dreams of every captain. Mutiny. Low-ranking seaman only, but the action, the effect, the same. Randall- he believed was the name- a turncoat for only the promise of money. Sawyer's heart began to beat wildly in his chest. This wasn't the heartbeat echoing the rythms of war. Much deeper it struck. Fear.

A body landing solidly at his feet pulled him back to reality. Hobbs, lying prostrate, face a bloody mess. Yet here was a man loyal enough to place himself in mortal danger to save his ship and his captain. Screaming again in rage, the captain fired randomly into the fray ...

~Sawyer~

(Starboard rail to the Mainmast. Turn off the 'Way back clock' for now... Hobbs has taken his 'fall'.)

Liberty Jack watched the scene play out before him. Hobbs was down after receiving a potent head butt from Randal. Ah, Randal how well he knew him and it looked as though nothing had changed. Sawyer's last defender, a small midshipman fell as Randal grabbed his swordarm and struck him across the face. Jack smiled... He could always count on Randal to help him with the 'Snotties'.

"Ha!Hah! Well done Randall ! " Jack bent down and picked up Dunti's scimitar. Thrilled with Randal's success he rushed forward. He handed the blade to Randal. "Well done old friend." Simpson said in a deep, even tone. He saw the glazed look in Randall's eyes, and smiled. He had seen the same look in the Gunner's eyes several minutes ago. Simpson put an arm under Randall's to support him. In an instant though Randal shook it off.

"Guess Hobbs has a harder head then I thought." Randall grinned, "Good ta 'ave you back, sir." He shook his old lieutenant's hand. Then he looked at the bizarre looking blade Simpson had just thrust into his hand. "What the hell is this thing anyway---?" He began to ask.

"I'll tell you later," Simpson said."Guard that with your life." He glanced back at Lucille and her charge, then continued toward Captain Sawyer. The pirates parted before him like the sea before Moses.

Sawyer seemed to be looking down at the fallen gunner. Jack pondered the situation as he approached. Was Sawyer aware of Randal's four mates about to jump him? And of the Buckers who pressed closer with every passing second? Jack wondered this and more... Would he remember me?... The Captain suddenly leapt into action. This was the Sawyer Jack knew and his heart soared. Eleven years of pain and self piety would now be wiped out. Now he would duel the Captain one on one and restore his own honor. Sawyer screamed, pulled the hammer back on his pistol, aimed at a pirate and--- SNAP! It did not fire. Forgot you already fired that at my loyal Dunti, did you now Captain? Jack mused.

He knew Sawyer would draw his sword now, so Jack pulled his own from it's scabbard. Instead though, Sawyer, still raving like a madman, readied the gun again, aimed at a man and pulled the trigger. SNAP! Jack frowned. What nonsense was this? You don't have a revolver or repeater Captain... He waved his men back with the scythe. Ready your sword you silly bastard, he thought to himself. Sawyer's hands were trembling now. He managed to get the trigger back again... Aimed at Jack's head. SNAP! Something was definitely wrong here... This was not the Captain he served with years ago. This was not the man who later went on to be the Hero of the Nile and the Battle of Cape Saint Vincent. This was a frightened old fool... . Jack drew close to his old Captain. The men around them, though shocked at first, were starting to laugh.

"What is this?!" Jack hissed." What the devil is this?!" SNAP! Sawyer made another useless attempt to shoot him. Furious Jack knocked the pistol aside with his scythe. The laughter of his men grew louder still. He spun around on his heel, "SILENCE!!" Jack roared at them. When he finished the turn he was face to face with his old Captain. "Do you not remember me, sir?!" He put the edge of his scythe against Sawyer's left cheek and the point of his sword at his throat, but did not draw blood... yet. "Do you not remember Donavan Simpson?!

~Liberty Jack~

 

(Total... Scene change: La Mort: Captain's Cabin: Okay, this post is an example of one of those longer posts that we use to introduce new characters... Okay... Okay... I use. Get Ready! Here come De Vergesse, Pellew, Bracegirdle, and Miss Cobham... and a Panther. Ready?)

Colonel Etienne de Vergesse sat in a comfortable chair just inside the door to the great cabin aboard the pirate ship La Mort. He sipped at a glass of fine wine. French, of course. He played with the drink, pretending to watch the remaining crimson liquid swirl about the glass. In truth, he was observing his three charges. They sat at the other end of the cabin, their wrists shackled to chains firmly fixed to the ledge beneath the great cabin's windows. He would have preferred to sit a little closer. However the division was necessary, as he was not alone in the duty of keeping an eye on these prisoners. Attached to a cross beam above was a length of chain. Liberte' Jacques 'pet', a black panther, paced the cabin in a circle that the length of chain allowed. Jack had named the creature Rakshasha after some obscure Indian myth. He had accepted the beast as tribute from an Indian official along with a kings ransom in return for leaving that Official's ships alone. The sounds of battle had calmed now. Cannon fire had subsided. Now the sound of hand to hand combat, punctuated by the sharp retort of musket and pistol could be heard from the Brittish ship. He could see the prisoners examining the room for an opportunity to escape. There was little chance of that. The Captain of La Mort had macabre tastes in interior decoration. Macabre but ingenious. Without outside help, there was no escape for them.

"Comfortable Madame?" De Vergesse asked the woman, his nearly perfect English tainted by the merest French accent. Her name was Miss Katharine Cobham, an actress he had met some years before in a Spanish prison.

"I dare say I'm bloody not!" She answered indignantly. He laughed quietly at that. She was still playing at being a Duchess so Liberty Jack would think her worthwhile to keep alive for ransom. He saw no reason to reveal her deception. He enjoyed her company. She was amusing and enchanting at the same time. Though he was now more certain than ever that she was an English spy. Especially due to the company she now kept.

"This is intolerable !" The gentleman to her right tried to pull his chains out of the ledge. Rakshasha, upset by the sound roared, and rushed the prisoner, only to be stopped short by the length of his leash. Miss Cobham pulled her feet up onto the edge of her seat. No mean feat considering the bulk of the material in the gown she wore. Concerned for a moment, the Colonel checked to make sure that the whip used to control Jack's pet was behind him on the hook on the wall. It was. He saw the great cat back away from the captives and alowed himself to relax again.

"Sir Edward, you must have a care not to make any sudden movements." De Vergesse took a sip of his wine." I really can't be held accountable should you persist."

"Colonel, how can you treat fellow officers, and her Grace, in this outrageous manner?" Commander Bracegirdle the third prisoner protested. He sat to Miss Cobham's left. He had been Captain of the supply ship Captain Jack had captured days ago. The same ship which carried such interesting passengers. Obviously something suspicious was afoot, for an officer of Sir. Edward Pellew's influence and rank to be aboard such a small ship, and with a woman they believed to be a Duchess no less. Suspicious indeed.

"Indeed, Commander, I protest." The Colonel smiled. "It is not I who have placed you in such a position. You are, 'Guests', of Captain Liberte' Jacques. I am merely here as a representative of the Republic of France. My official capacity is that of observer." He shrugged and drained the last sip from his glass,"I am merely observing."

"That man is a lunatic. Why in heavens name did you ever give him command of a ship." Pellew's eyes locked onto De Vergesse's and he knew the Commodore was aware that the Colonel was slightly more involved than he claimed.

"Well, if you insist, I will tell you." He answered smoothly, " Mr. Simpson is a... shall we say... A very, succesful lunatic. He has captured many prizes for France. Harrased English shipping. This year alone he has captured three English frigates, and the East Indiaman 'Fourtunate'. In in a very few minutes will add the capture of the Renown to his list of victories..." Then he added with a smirk," And he has captured you, Sir Edward, a Commodore of the Royal Navy. The man who acted as judge, jury and executioner of his brother. I'm surprised he hasn't killed you yet, sir... He is showing a great deal of restraint."

"I judge a man by what I see him do, sir." Sir. Edward spoke earnestly now. " His brother was a scoundrel, and Donavan Simpson, this 'Liberty Jack', as you call him is an even worse menace. He is bent on revenge this night Colonel. Not to mention being the most unstable man I've ever met in my entire life, sir. Will he capture the Rnown for you or destroy her? How long till he turns against you?" The Colonel did not answer." Shall I tell you when? When you and your countrymen are no longer useful to him. Or perhaps the moment you cross him... Or when he perceives you have. You are partners with a Madman, sir, poised on the edge of oblivion. Sooner or latter, sir, he will fall and drag you into the abyss with him."

"You exaggerate the situation Commodore." De Vergesse dismissed Pellew's comments.

"Exaggerate!" Miss Cobham was letting her opinion be known."Exaggerate!! How can he bloody exagerate the situation!? The crazy buggar talks to his... his...," Hunting for the desired word she held up her right hand as far as the chain would allow, then bent her fingers and wist to create the desired shape.

"Scythe?.." Bracegirdle offered.

"Oh yes!" She patted his leg." You'd be a fine fellow to 'ave on ones team in a game of charades Mr. Bracegirdle." The movement upset the panther again. Snarling, Rakshasha turned his attention to Mr. Bracegirdle. De Vergesse snatched the whip from the wall. Bracegirdle had his feet up to try to fend off the beast. The great cat swiped at him, but only connected with his left shoe. It slipped off his foot, snagged by the cat's claws. Rakshasha pounced on this 'prize' and proceeded to tear it appart in the center of the cabin.

"Are you alright, Mr. Bracegirdle?!" Pellew's voice was full of concern.

"Aye, sir..." Bracegirdle checked his foot for damage. "I think so..." De Vergesse could see from his position no harm was done and he hung the whip back on he wall.
The three prisoners breathed a sigh of relief as the beast demolished only the commander's shoe.

RIP! TEAR! SNARL! SHRED! SHRED! RIP! SNARL!

"Ooo," Miss Cobham remarked, "It's like a big kitty, isn't it?" Her fellow captives merely stared at her. De Vergesse smiled and shook his head. Suddenly there was a great noise from outside. A battle? On La Mort's deck? It cannot be... He drew his sword. (Bowles and Oldroyd's 'Rebelion' is in full swing.)

"You will excuse me for a moment," The Colonel began, "I must see what is the matter." He made to open the door, but stopped short. "Merde! That was close." He turned to the captives, "Had I opened this door it would have released the secret catch and the chain holding the 'Kitty' would have fallen from it's latch." He pushed open the 'secret door' next to the 'main' one."Jack's ship is full of tricks for the unwary. Adieu." He smiled and left them to their own thoughts. As the door closed behind him he thought he heard Miss Cobham whisper.

"We'd be out of here right quick Sir. Edward, if you still had your Mr. 'Atch."

 

~Colonel Etienne de Vergesse~

LOCATION: La Mort (Liberty Jack's 54 gun 'Flagship'. It is still coupled to the Renown by the lines used during the boarding.)
TIME/DATE: Early evening, Jan 24th, 1802.

(La Mort: Main deck.)

Seeing the main deck more or less in the hands of former slaves, with Mr. Bowles directing things, Oldroyd turned back to his bunch of lads. "Ere. " Tying off the netting around Schmitt's ankles, Oldroyd grabbed the panzerhand (Metal gauntlet). "Let's throw this rotter over th' side. 'E's no use to no one, 'e ain't." With a splash, the unconscious German sank below the water.

 

"Say 'allo to Davy Jones! " Peter, a stout, brown skinned, fellow called cheerfully to the bubbles now rising to the surface.

"Oy, lads, let's go see what all these Bucker bastards is got below! "Oldroyd grinned, heading for La Mort's waist. Down they went. It was dark, quiet as the grave... and not a little unnerving.

"Oldroyd, it's too bloody quiet down 'ere. " Peter commented.

"Alla bloody pirates is over on the English ship, man. I figger there was near twenty we took up above, they more'n likely wouldn't leave more 'n that behind." Oldroyd guessed... Hoped.

"Figurer there's treasure?..." Luthor asked aloud, what they were all thinking.

"Shhhsh!"

Peering cautiously around a corner, Oldroyd flattened himself to the wall, motioning his mates to do the same. "Bloody 'ell, a Froggy officer." He whispered, listening to booted feet coming ever closer. Oldroyd flexed the panzerhand, gripping his solid, German saber, heart pounding.

~Oldroyd~

(Scene change: Back to the Renown... Maindeck... I think. Bloody battle scenes! Read: Mild fustration. Arn't they fun though? Woo-hoo!)

(Note: Okay... I the next couple of posts you have Hornblower and Bush trying to get the Captain's attention. These were posted rather late in the posting's and Sawyer never responded to them. Can you blame him... Jack's right in his face. At any rate... I suggest using the 'way back clock' to well before the giant Dunti's fall, and Randall's betrayal. Just assume that Sawyer ignored them. "No! No! Leave me be, I want to fight them!" Sort of thing... That's all I can offer really.)

Yes, Mr. Hornblower, yes. I think you're quite right. *Bush pulled out his pistol in preparation.* Let's make our way to the main deck... well, more
precisely- to the Captain...*He added, as he heard Sawyer screaming orders to his Lieutenants. Stepping out into the fray, Bush fired a shot and
moments later was at Sawyer's side.*

~Bush~

 

 

Horatio nodded, hearing Sawyer's voice bellowing down the chaos enveluped ship. "Aye Aye, sir," Hornblower shouted, in an attempt to make his voice heard over the noise. Horatio followed closely behind Bush, pushing his way up to the Captain. As soon as they arrived, Hornblower quickly touched his hat and addressed Sawyer. "Sir, we await your orders!"

~Horatio~

 

(Note: As noted above these last two posts were made long after all the previous stuff had been written. Eventually the players (Melissa and Laura) for these two characters gave up their 'catch up' attempt and just plain skipped ahead to the 'current' time. Now back to the 'Present' . This next post is two posts put together for continuity. Molly Snags one of the 'Unknown' Midshipmen here for a character she wanted...)

 

(Scene change... Somewhere on the quarterdeck.)

Styles put his hands under Kenny's arms and lifted the boy up.

~Mathews/Styles~

(Note: We last left Matty & Styles with the Powder Monkeys in front of the captain's cabin, with whiting and a Midshipman. Use your imagination now to place them somewhere on the quarterdeck, a little farther from the action at the mainmast.)

 

Kenny gasped slightly as Mr. Styles carefully hefted him into the air. He rubbed his eyes and squinted through the gloom and the dark.
"Ooo.." He began," I can see over them, sir." Kenny reported the situation as he saw it. "Mr. Mathews, sir... I can see the Captain and Randal by the main
mast... Oh! An Mister Hobbs, sir. he must have beaten that giant, he's got is sword!"

"Huzzah!" The other powder monkeys cheered, except their leader Tom. He shushed the others.

"Keep you voice down, lads..." He cautioned. "The enemy is all around..."This was true... And only the promise of one thousand bars of gold had them distracted enough to ignore the Renowns and the boys.

"Sorry, Tom." One lad whispered.

"Here, I have a thought." Tom stooped down to the body of one of the Buckers and took a white band of cloth from his left arm and a red scarf from his forehead. "Notice these men are wearing all sorts of uniforms and clothing, unlike the French privateers who boarded first. Some of them even look like British deserters... See that man," And he pointed." Used to be a marine. He's even still wearing his red coat." He held up the red scarf, "I think most of us could blend..." Tom noticed the Midshipman perk at this and rolled his eyes. Tom was somewhat annoyed that he had to mention something their current 'commanding officer' should have.You should have thought of this yourself...

"Yes..." The Midshipman jumped on the opportunity, "Each man is to disguise himself immediately." He removed his hat and replaced it with a red scarf form one of the many dead pirates nearby. Sergeant Whiting and the others followed suit. Technically the Midshipman was their commanding officer now. Then he looked up to Kenny. "What else boy... Can you see any of the Lieutenants?"

"No, to many pirates... Can't even see through to the deck... I can't see Mr. Kennedy... But I see that froggy officer what's got im. Cor!.. Mr. Hobbs is cuttin' the dogs down. He must have got the big man... The pirates are scared of him...Oh-oh his sword's stuck!... Mr. Randal will cover him though."

"Shore 'ee will." Jim, the biggest lad had always idolized Randal. But his face turned from confidence to disbelief as they all heard the voice of Mr. Hobbs shout.

"Don't do it Randal! Damn you... Don't even think it!"

"Ahhhgh!" Kenny yelped," No, no, no..." He muttered. He couldn't look anymore. ... He turned his head and caught Mr. Styles worried gaze. "They've captured the Captain, sir... An... And Randal's gone an killed Mr. Hobbs..." He couldn't hold back the tears. They streamed down his cheeks, but he didn't wail or anything unmanly like that. Not in front of Mr. Styles."He's killed... him, sir..." Kenny sniffed, and put his arms around Mr. Styles neck. He clung there for a moment... and gained a little
strength. "You can put me down now, sir. Sniff... I'll be alright..." That was a lie... And he knew it.

~The Powder Monkeys~

Styles placed Kenny on his feet, and Kenny joined the rest of the powder monkeys.

"What do you think of that, Styles?" Matthews asked.

"I don't like it at all."

"There there..." Styles said, shrugging his shoulders he looked at Matthews. He backed away from Kenny and looked around. The men standing around looked almost unrecognizable in their disguises. "Mr. Kenyon, shouldn't we go look for Mister Bush?" The midshipman shrugged, and Styles lead the group above decks in search of the second leftenant. They moved easily through the melee, occasionally having to fend off friendly fire. Any Renown that came at the group was "captured" and told briefly of what was going on. "I can't see Mr. Bush, sah!" Styles called out to Mr. Kenyon. "Do you, sah?".
Before he could respond, and figuring no one could hear him over the commotion on the deck anyway, Styles shouted for Bush.

~ Styles~

Matthews shrugged back at Styles, not knowing what else to do either. Styles said something to Mr. Kenyon, and he and his men went off when the midshipman gave his affirmative. Matthews took a moment to thank Tom for the excellent idea of the disguises, and had the vague feeling that he'd experienced something like this before. In a way, he could see a little bit of Mister Hornblower in Tom.

"Best we get moving, eh boys?" Matthews asked. He and Tom lead the small band up on deck, Seargeant Whiting bringing up the back. Matthews immediately fended off a couple of swords and cutlasses held by Renowns. Matthews had forgotten he was wearing the pirate disguise. When he had a break from the action, Matthews looked around for Mr. Hornblower. When he spotted him, he began to move in his direction. "Come on, boys!" Mathews ordered. He came up behind Mister Hornblower and tapped him on the shoulder.
"Mistah 'Ornblower, sah?" he shouted above the din.

 

~ Matthews~

LOCATION: La Mort (Liberty Jack's 54 gun 'Flagship' )
TIME/DATE: Early evening, Jan 24th, 1802.

(La Mort: Quarterdeck, then Main deck, then into the bowels of the ship.)

Colonel Etienne de Vergesse left behind his prisoners in the great cabin. He had gone out on deck, only to find the deck falling into the hands of the erstwhile Slave gun crews. He had told Liberty Jack that he thought it a tactical error to keep the Englishmen who had refused the offer to sail on 'Account'. And he had been right. Now the ship was swarming with Englishmen, battling the twenty or so Buckers left aboard to manage the ship. Most of the crew were aboard the Renown. No doubt in control there... But here... it was chaos. True, La Mort sat lower in the water than the seventy-four gun Renown. However you would think someone would look down over the rail from time to time! Mon Dieu! What in the world was going on up there to distract them so. The Colonel shouted to the Renown for reinforcements. Some of Jack's men were sniping at the English from the Yards above. The English were well lead, by an elder and obviously experienced Non Commissioned Officer. (Bowles) It didn't take long for the English to overwhelm them and pick off the wasps above. A few Frenchmen had come over the side to his aid when he shouted, but not nearly enough. They fought bravely, but it was clear thei cause was lost. There was no chance for them to climb over to the Renown... Without being picked off by the English. Those that still lived were at his side when he ran below decks. He lost one man to one of La Mort's many traps... The man stepped on the wrong spot, and a blade shot out of nowhere. He was dead before he hit the deck. The Colonel cursed himself for bringing these men down here. The French privateers had never been aboard La Mort, and knew not what signs to look for. This was the domain of Jack and his Bloody Buckers... Woe to the uninvited.

They were halfway to the sick bay when the English jumped them. A metal glove smashed the face of the corporal who had taken point. Poor fellow, but the Colonel had no time for such thoughts. The English were lead by a maniac that had somehow mannaged to win Schmitt's sword and armoured gauntlet. It was a good thing he did not seem to know how to use the sword's special features but he put the panzerhand to good use. Three of the Colonel's men fell as he slashed one Anglais accross the face and thrust his blade through another's stomache. A pistol fired and took out his last remaining man. Damn! Not even an officer amounst this lot!

"Etienne de Vergesse shall not be taken by some miserable Rating! Jamais! (Never!)" He shouted. He stepped back a pace and twisted the pommel of his sword. The reaction was almost immediate. Choking yellow gas spewed forth from a metal tube that ran the length of the 'blood grove' on the Colonel's blade. Once the tube had expelled it's putrid smelling, stinging plume of smoke the Colonel grinned, and raced off into in to the dark. The fools would live... but their eyes would sting for an hour or so till they thought to rinse with water... The smell... Now that was another matter... That would linger a while. It could have been worse for them... It could have been Jack or Lucille's sword. At least the Colonel's blade did not have a leathal trick. He would have to be careful, he only had one spare charge for the device. He pulled on a rope that Captain Jack had shown him. A section of the deck above came down. De Vergesse climbed up the little ladder on the section's reverse side, pulled the section back up... And disappeared into the crawl-spaces... the secret passages between the decks on Jack's bizarre ship.

 

~Colonel Etienne de Vergesse~

 

 

(Note: This next post uses the 'Way back clock' all the way to the morning before the night-attack even began. So, we are talking hours here. Think of it as a flashback... It brings in Dr. Clive and a 'Guest'. It's also pretty long, but it's fun and kinda creepy.... Be warned... The inclusion of this 'guest' character changes the entire face of the adventure... Yes Sarah this is character I mentioned to you in Chat. I had no Idea how the others would take to this... But they did, and I think they are enjoying it. I hope you do too.)

(La Mort: Sick bay)

"That was fine work you did earlier my friend." Doctor Alexandre du Bretagne chose his words carefully... He always did. He was a small man, with keen, blue eyes and a thin goatee. His dark hair was greying and he wore a wig to cover his thining scalp. He had lost his right leg, and now walked with the assistance of a cane and a cleverly crafted articulated, prosthetic leg of his own design. The years and events of his life had been unkind there, but physically he had the energy and vigor of a much younger man. The French Doctor had a comforting voice, with the slightest hint of a accent. The object of his praise, Doctor Edmund Clive sat in a chair and merely nodded. Apparently beyond the reach of comforting words. Clive took a gulp from his glass.

"If you say..." Clive said with half a heart.

"Truly, your surgical gifts must stem from the divine." The French doctor continued," I could not have possibly have done so well. It was an honor to assist you, sir." Alexandre was referring to the good doctor's amputation of the right arm of one of La Mort's crewmen earlier today. The fellow was one of the captured British sailors who had angered one of Liberty Jack's lieutenants, the German mercenary, Schmitt. Schmitt had responded with more than his usual fury and had concentrated blow after blow from his 'armored' fist upon the sailor's arm. The young man was nearly dead from shock and blood loss when the overseers had brought him to the sick berth. So drastic was the damage, that the two captive doctor's had agreed that there was only one course to be taken. Amputation. The man, out of danger for now, lay on a hammock moaning quietly every now and then, slipping in and out of sleep. The laudanum at least, was helping. Whatever else that maniac, Liberty Jack did, at least he allowed the doctor's complete mastery of the sick berth. Nearly complete control. He remembered the two burley guards who served double duty as 'Loblolly's' standing watch just inside the door.

Alexandre sat down in the chair opposite Dr. Clive. He did so carefully, not wishing to trip over the chain that bound his 'good' leg to a heavy Iron ball. He saw Dr. Clive's head drop into his hands and heard the man inhale sharply. Almost a sob.He leaned forward and put his hand on his friend's shoulder. "That young man owes you his life..." He tried to sound hopeful, though they both knew the man's chances were slim. He tried to find something positive to cheer Doctor Clive's heart. "At least it has provided us with another somewhat, successful application of the nitrous oxide. I'm certain his pain was less... Though our supply ran out much too quickly." He became angry with himself at the thought. "It is simple enough science to create the 'airs' but I have yet to perfect the means of storing them... Far too much still escapes the containers despite my best engineering. Hurmmph! Perhaps If we were given more of the equipment I have asked for! ?... Ah, it is of no use. Our Captain's only interest in my work is it's more 'amusing' effects... That great Fool !!" He put his hand to his head and removed his wig and slapped it onto the table. "What does any of it matter !? While trapped here my work is lost to the world! No benefit to mankind..." He rose to his feet and sighed," Humanity will have to rely on the efforts of my old mentor, Thomas Beddoes for any success in the matter." Leaning heavily on his cane stepped over to the ramshackle apparatus he had created for the administration of the 'airs', and stared at it. "You did say he and his assistant Humphrey Davy were still conducting their research?" To this Doctor Clive replied in the affirmative and Alexandre calmed himself, "At least the work goes on..."

To this statement, Doctor Clive agreed, " The work will go on." Raised his glass and drained a bit more from it's contents.

"Yes, it will go on." Alexandre smiled at his colleague and raised his own cup, "But without me..." He did not drink, and placed his cup back on the table.

"Come, sir! You did not volunteer to be here!" Clive attempted to cheer him. His own chains rattled as he rose to his feet and he added," Any more than the rest of us."

"Quite true."Alexandre smiled. The French doctor had been the only physician aboard La Mort for some time. Alone. Then a several days ago Liberty Jack's crew had captured a British supply ship. Aboard that ship were some interesting individuals. He had met each of the important ones. The Captain always insisted that prisoners who were worth a decent ransom be given the 'best' of care. Doctor Clive had been a passenger aboard that ship. His company and assistance had been a God-send for Alexandre. Though he was certain if he expressed this view to the good Doctor, his friend would have some comment about the Almighty's method of providing him with that company... But he could dare say the English Doctor had been glad of his company too. He limped back to the chair.

"One day we will be free of that Madman !" Doctor Clive shook his fist. A few drops from the glass he held in that hand spilled out, "Even if it is only in death..." Clive trailed off here and sunk back into his seat. Alexandre saw his friend in despair... That would never do.

"Yes, we will be free of him, sir." Alexandre whispered as he sat down again. He shot a glance over to the guards at the door. They did not move. Good. "But not in death, If it can be helped." He added and leaned closer to Doctor Clive. "There may be an opportunity tonight. Captain Jack- sorry. Donovan... I keep forgetting to use his real name. Too long have I called that butcher by the name Liberty Jack. Though I am glad that you told me his true identity." Clive nodded and asked him to go on. Alexandre continued, "Donovan's small fleet is on the prowl for your ship, the Renown." This seemed to surprise Doctor Clive. "My information is from a reliable source... Well as reliable as a man addicted to some of our more interesting prescriptions can be. It seems Mr. Donovan Simpson has acquired a copy of the Renown's current orders and the list of her ship's company. By unscrupulous means, no doubt. But, he has them. Simpson's ships are spread out in a search pattern over Renown's projected course. They have a sighting of her from a French pinnace that escaped her notice in the morning fog. We may come upon the Renown at any time."

"What then?" Doctor Clive refilled his empty glass from the decanter on the table."We will still be prisoners doctor... I don't understand." He drank from his glass again and was about to add something more but his colleague held up his left hand.

"This will free us." Alexandre gave Doctor Clive a quick view of the small glass phial he held his palm. Careful to keep the back of his hand facing their captors.

"What the Devil is that?" Clive sputtered as the French Physician, palmed the container and placed it in his pocket.

"The Alchemists called it strong water." Alexandre's lip curled in a half smile. "Aqua Fortis."

"Nitric Acid!" Clive blurted out. "Are you mad!" Alexandre nearly cringed at the volume of Clive's outburst. He saw the guards interest perk somewhat. That was there job of course. He would need to think quickly.

"I am quite right in the matter! The Alchemists used Nitric and Sulfuric acid to produce what they called Aqua Regia. The solution capable of dissolving the 'noble' metals. Not Sulfuric acid and water... That combination if not done properly will cause a dangerous explosion. Really, sir. Where did you study?" He smiled. The guards laughed and leaned back against the door frame. Alexander breathed a sigh of relief and hoped the doctor would understand. Doctor Clive looked as though he was going to continue his protest but then realized his error in nearly revealing their possession of such a potent weapon, and slumped back in his chair. He reached for his glass. Alexandre pushed it away.

"I need you to be alert tonight, my friend." He looked sternly at Doctor Clive, but not without compassion. "You do need to relax. But not with that." He nodded to the glass. "That will not make you ready for the work we must do this night." Clive looked up from the glass to the firm gaze of his friend."We will do as we have done these last few nights." Clive started to say something, but Betagne reminded him," You always awake well rested and in good spirits, do you not?" Clive nodded, but hesitantly. He did... But something seemed... ' Wrong'... about it. "Come, sir. You know there is nothing to be afraid of. We are both men of science." Again Clive nodded nodded. This time with more confidence. Of course there was nthing to worry about. What foolish thoughts to have. He was a man of science after all. "Very good then.
Drink this," Alexandre Bretagne handed Doctor Clive a small glass with cloudy liquid in it. Out of nowhere, it would seem, so skilled was Alexandre at prestigitation. He took the glass after his companion had drained it. Doctor Clive trusted him... That was good, and also necessary. "Sit back please. Relax. We shall begin."

(("You can close your eyes now... And begin breathing deeply and slowly... Before you let go completely, and fall into a deep trance. Just let yourself listen carefully to everything I say to you... Everything I say.")) Doctor Alexandre du Bretagne's voice retained it's calming effect, but now held a firm, commanding tone as well.

(("It's going to happen automatically... So you don't need to think about that now... And you will have no conscious control over what happens... ")) He touched his companion gently on the forehead, just above the bridge of his nose.

(("The muscles in and around your eyes will relax all by themselves as you continue breathing... Easily and freely... ")) Good, Alexandre thought, Clive was an excellent subject indeed.

(("Without thinking about it, you will soon enter a deep, peaceful, trance, without any effort... There is nothing important for your conscious mind to do..."))Almost as good as that Bracegirdle fellow in fact, and Miss Cobham. Alexandre had needed to be a little more cunning in how he put those two under the first time. The word 'experiment', would surely have frightened them... And he needed them in a relaxed state. The 'Imagination Exercise' used on unwilling and or unaware individuals had proven to be the key to their minds... Without them even knowing. He smiled and continued.

(("There is nothing important except the activities of your subconscious mind... And that can be just as automatic as dreaming... And you know how easily you can forget your dreams when you awaken...")) He frowned as he thought of Commodore Pellew, but did not let it interfere with the task at hand.

(("You are responding very well. Without noticing it, you have already altered your rate of breathing... You are breathing much more easily and freely... And you are revealing signs that indicate you are beginning to drift into a deep trance...")) Yes, he mused, Sir Edward had appreciated Alexandre's treatment of his physical wound, a minor head wound received in the battle for the supply ship... But the man had simply refused to partake in any relaxation exercises. Poppycock and nonsense, he had said. Alexandre wondered if the man was even capable of relaxing... Ever.

(("You will relax more and more, and your subconscious mind will listen to each word I say... And it is becoming less and less important for you to consciously listen to my voice... ")) He touched his subject on the forehead again. Ever so gently...

(("Your subconscious mind can hear me even if I whisper...")) To emphasize this his voice became more quiet, but retained it's calm commanding tone.

(("You are continuing to drift into a more detached state as you examine privately in your own mind... Secrets, feelings, sensations, and behavior you didn't know you had... At the same time, letting go completely... Your own mind is solving that problem... At your own pace.., Just as rapidly as it feels you are ready... ")) He studied the response in his subject... Poppycock and nonsense eh? I think not. Ah, Franz Mesmer, my old tutor... They should never have dismissed your work with such closed minds... They might have learned something. You only touched the surface though... I... I have mastered the human mind. Almost... He thought of Pellew again. That would need to be corrected.

(("You continue becoming more and more relaxed and comfortable as you sit there with your eyes closed... As you experience that deepening comfort you don't have to move, talk, or let anything bother you.")) The Doctor paused here as there was a snicker from one of the guards at the door. He glanced at the fellow and gave him a sour look.

(("Your own inner mind can respond automatically to everything I tell you... And you will be pleasantly surprised with your continued progress... You are getting much closer to a truly deep trance... You realize that you are not afraid to fall into a deep trance... It seems natural... To include this experience in your future...")) Alexandre paused, again a noise from the man at the door. That would never do at this critical juncture. He looked back to Dr. Clive. He was nearly there. Any disturbance now and it might fail.

(("Every time I put you into a trance it becomes more enjoyable, and every time you will continue to experience more benefits... You will enjoy having me put you into a trance... You will want to have me hypnotize you...")) He touched the Good doctor on the forehead again, and looked up to see the same man about to loose his composure. The man was new, but this was really inexcusable. He glared at the other guard and drew his index finger across his throat. The guard took his meaning, drew his knife, covered his merry companion's mouth and slashed him across the throat before the man knew what hit him. The guard held the dying man against the wall. Slowly and quietly he let the man sink to the floor. The doctor nodded to the killer, then turned back to his subject.

(("You will be quite happy that you decided to let me hypnotize you as you continue to experience progressive understanding on your part... You are learning something about yourself... You are developing your own techniques of therapy... Without knowing, you are developing them... You can have these skills as a surprise sooner or later... A very pleasant surprise...")) He noticed Doctor Clive's eyes begin to flutter beneath his eyelids. Excellent. He touched the Doctor's forehead again and this time left his middle and index finger there.

(("Now, I want you to imagine you are standing on the deck of your ship... It's a calm night... A beautiful night. The deck rolls gently beneath your feet. A full moon is overhead. Keep your eyes closed and your head straight, and look up at the moon with your eyes only.")) He reinforced the pressure on his subjects forehead... Ever so gently. (("Yes that's it. Look up at the moon. Can you see it Doctor?"))

"Yes..." Came the quiet, passive response. Pleased, Alexandre removed his fingers from Clive's forehead, and opened one of his subjects eyelids ever so carefully. Only the white was showing. Perfect.

(("Very good Doctor Clive. Keep looking at the moon. I'm going to give you some instructions now. You will hear nothing but my voice, and only when I address you by name.")) Alexandre dropped a book to the floor. The guard flinched but Clive did not. "Can you hear me?" he asked. There was no response. He motioned to his more experienced and only remaining guard.

"Can you hear me, sir? The man asked. Still no response.

(("Edmund Clive, can you hear me?")) Alexandre said slowly.

"Yes..."

(("Good, Doctor Clive, very good.")) Alexandre continued. (("Edmund clive, you will feel no pain in this relaxed state ever. No pain at all.")) At this he produced a pin and thrust it into Clive's left arm.(("Edmund, do you feel anything?"))

"Only the roll of the of the ship beneath me..."

(("Very good Edmund.")) He removed the pin as he said.(("Enjoy yourself here in this place for a now. After a while I will wake you and you will feel very rested and refreshed... A new man.")) Alexandre stood up, and yawned. He was tired, but there was much to be done. The guard bent down and unlocked the ball and chain from the leg of the ship's doctor... Doctor Alexandre du Bretagne. "Very good. You may let Schmitt in now." The guard moved to the door to comply. "Well, don't leave that here." He pointed to the corpse by the door, and the guard picked the body up and opened the door. "Find a replacement for him, we have some work to do while our guest rests." Schmitt entered as the guard left. He saluted smartly and his heels clicked together in the standard German manner. Annoying man thought Alexandre as he picked up his cane and made his way to his desk. The German saw that his salute was not being returned, and stood at ease.

"Ah, good aufter-noon, doktor." He said with his thick accent which Alexandre found irritating. He was one of Jack's officers though, and quite skilled at his duties. So skilled in fact, Captain Jack had wanted to reward him. He had asked Alexandre to produce another of his 'special' blades. It was his duty to make a 'signatue' blade for each of Jack's lieutenants. He lovingly called the swords, his 'Enigma' blades. Each one had a trick or two activated by a secret method or switch incorporated into the hilt, crafted by Alexandre's skill and intellect. Everyone of them was different. Dunti's sword, held the greatest secret of them all. He enjoyed the work and imagined it was to him what a painter must feel at his canvas, or a sculptor with chisel and stone in hand. He pulled some papers off the desk, and lifted a sword into the air. It was a saber, long, slightly curved and heavy just as the German had wanted. And it was beautiful..."It is finished then?" Schmitt asked.

"Yes," Alexandre was loathe to part with it, but he knew he must. He would have to show the brute how it worked. "Show me you glove." Schmitt handed his armored panzer-hand to the doctor who slipped it onto his left hand. "Now, observe the secret of the first trick." He put his index finger into a special loop worked into the hilt... and pulled. SPANG! The blade split apart in a Vee shape, rather like a pair of shears. Schmitt, though a trained soldier, jumped back.

"Mien Gott!" He swore. "The wound such a device could make!..."

"Indeed..." Continued the Doctor... " It has a bit of a kick to it when the spring is activated. You must be ready for it, or it may do yourself some injury. You will need your metal glove to reset it. Thus." He put one edge of the sword against the table and pressed on the other with the panzer-hand. The two blades met again as one with a reassuring Click! "This," He turned the blade about so that the sharp pommel of the hilt pointed away from him, " Is the coup de gras." He held the blade with the metal glove and twisted the hilt with his right hand. A steel dart sprang from the hilt and flew across the room. Thunk! It imbedded itself neatly in a portrait of Napoleon that hung upon the wall. He handed the blade and the glove to the German.

"There. You may retrieve the dart on your way out. Simply use your glove to push it back in till you hear it reset." Schmitt's heels clicked together again and he bowed. He gave his thanks, plucked the dart from the forehead of L' Empereur and left Alexandre to his own devices. The Doctor sighed and sunk into the chair at his desk. He tapped his fingers on the desk top. What to do?... What to do?... He could put the chains back on, and play the poor prisoner for the captives in the Captain's cabin. He wanted to make another attempt to put the Commodore under. But that may have to wait till after Renown was taken. He could deliver extra food to the slave crews... That had made the 'captive' Doctor a favorete amounst the English... they called him, "The Good Frog." A moan escaped from the English sailor, the one the Doctor's had worked on that morning. "Ah yes..." He said aloud and got his knives ready. (("Edmund Clive...You will open your eyes so that you may learn from this demonstration... You will see and hear only with your uncounsious mind.")) Clive's eyelids flipped open, and his pupils slowly came down to stare forward, and apparently blankly. Dr. Bretagne knew better. Now his student would learn from his example... His uncouncious mind would soak it all in, without the distractions caused by concious thought. Many of Bretagne's collogues would call him mad. He knew better. Betagne smiled. (("Excellent Dr. Clive... Now... Where are our Loblollys? Never around when there's work to be done... are they?"))


~Dr. Alexandre du Bretagne~

(Note:Originally any 'Hypno-speech [for lack of a btter term] was portrayed in bold print to separate it from 'normal' speech. Bold print does not make it though hhfic, so to compensate I have put double brackets around all such 'conversation'. I hope it's not too confusing...)

 

 

(Back to the Renown... Main deck: Starboard rail.)

Lucille du Paix starred in disbelief. What in the world was Jack thinking? They hadn't even secured the quarterdeck yet and he was already concentrating more on his vendetta than his duty... And there was the small matter of One thousand bars of gold that should be in the coffers of the Republic of France instead of being offered as a bounty that was now distracting his crew... and her crew from their duties. The Frenchmen were now thoroughly distracted too, since the translation of Jack's offer had worked it's way around. She would deal with his treachery later... For now she must make up for his tactical errors. She rose up and saw Colonel de Vergesse on the deck of La Mort. About to be overtaken! "Jacque!" She shouted. "Jacque! They are taking your ship!" Her Captain did not hear her... Or did not want to hear. She quickly ordered as many of her men over as would go... Many of them were attracted by the offer of gold too, and flatly refused. She was tempted to go over herself to help the brave Colonel... But if she did.... Who would keep a level head here? Certainly not Jack. "Bon chance, Colonel." She said quietly, though she knew he could not hear.

Lucille turned back to her duty. Jack must be made to understand or they may loose their advantage. "Jack! We must take the quarterdeck, and finish this!"

"By all means my dear. Take your men and capture the quarterdeck! I must tend to my business." Jack's voice was cold as ice as he held the white haired Captain against the mast. Is that what Jack was willing to risk all for? To torment this sad, old man.

"Jack! I have just sent all the men I could to save you ship!" She shouted." Vous ets fou!" (You are crazy!)

"Cela est assez de vous la femme! (That is enough from you woman!) I have business with Captain Sawyer." He snarled," Let that be the end of it Lucille... Or you'll feel my scythe across that pretty face of yours."

"Ma foi, il est fou a lier..." (My faith, he belongs in a straight jacket.) She whispered to her men holding the English Lieutenant (Kennedy). She saw the young lieutenant working at his bonds, "Dieu! Are you determined to die?!" She pulled him up by his coat just enough to take the dagger away from him. She starred at him for a moment with her bright, green eyes before letting him down again. The wind picked up somewhat. They had expected a storm tonight... but much latter than this. The attack would end in disaster, if it did not end quickly. "Je ne sais plus a' quoi mien tenir. (I no longer know what to believe.) She looked up to the night sky, but there were no stars tonight... Only the clouds, dark and forbidding. A single rain drop fell and struck her face, "Dieu, Je vois." (God, I see.)

Lucille looked down again to her charge and her men. She ordered the men to let go of the lieutenant. She leaned close to him. "I am Lucille du Paix. I am your only hope of getting out of this alive. You must trust me... Or we will not live to see another day. If I set you free, do I have your parole as a officer and a gentleman that you will not try to escape from me?"

~Lucille~

 

(La Mort: Sick Bay: Back to the two Doctor's )

(("Edmund Clive,")) Doctor Alexandre du Bretagne began, ((" I'm going to give you the signal to come out of hypnosis. Do you understand?"))

"Yes..." Came the reply.

(("Doctor Clive, I'm going to count from one to three. At the count of three you will open your eyes. You will be awake, and fully rested. ONE... TWO... THREE!"))

"Doctor Clive!" Alexandre saw his colleague snap back into consciousness. He knelt by his chair, and held the English Doctor's shoulder left shoulder to support him. "Are you alright, my friend?"

Doctor Clive shook his head, then surveyed the situation. The sound of many men racing about on deck could be heard, the occasional outbreak of gunfire, and a great deal of shouting. Two men lay dead at the door, their faces stained yellow and partially eaten away. Blood flowed from lacerations caused by the cuts of a sharp sword across their chest and midsection. Furniture was overturned, and broken. The wounded English sailor was no longer present. His friend and colleague Alexandre du Bretagne was beside him. Blood trickled from a wound on Alexandre's right cheek and he held a blood stained sword in his left hand. A sword... No. The hilt matched the handle of his cane. A secret blade. Their irons had been removed from their ankles and the key was on the table. Doctor Clive took this all in within a moment. A level of consciousness he hadn't felt in years... Perhaps, he had never felt it, until now....

"Are you alright, sir?!" Alexandre repeated his question. He cast a worried look to the door as men began to pound on it from outside. Then a frightened look at Doctor Clive. "What shall we do now, sir?"

~Dr. Alexandre du Bretagne~

 

(Meanwhile... Aboard the Renown: At the Mainmast)

The sudden and bellowing appearance of the man before him was sufficient to jog Sawyer back to the reality at hand. An arrogant and self-possessed man stood before him. With a start, he realized the trigger he was pulling at was doing little damage, hollow, pinging sounds of just flint and steel. He threw the weapon aside, as his hand twitched to the sword hanging at his waist. But his hand did not pull at the hilt just yet. Something about that face, the face of the man before him. It was familiar, tweeking at the back of his memory. Ridiculous. Sawyer chided himself. It was merely one of those pirates. Then the man spoke. Donovan Simpson he said. Donovon Simpson! With a reflex of lightning, Sawyer jumped to the side and whipped his sword from it's scabbard in a flash, holding to before him in a now rock-steady fist.

"You will not have my ship," he spoke lowly, menacingly ...

~Sawyer~