NPC
Joined: August 1st, 2010, 9:04 am

December 26th, 2010, 10:09 am #11

[align=center]
NEIL DONOVAN[/align]


Neil smiled hearing Sharky’s comments about the press gangs ad the new recruits. The man had a good point.

“You are damn right, Sharky, but the wars have lasted too many years, and the king is always in need of new soldiers and sailors to replace those killed by the enemy. This is why it happens. And mutinies occur only where the officers are too cruel and the weapons not guarded. In the Navy it doesn’t happen often. However, there are several people like me, who didn’t want to serve aboard a ship at first, but got accustomed to it and learnt to love the sea at the same time with learning their job.”

When revealing his own plans for the future, Neil had told Sharky honestly that he would like to have him on the ship he’d buy, as a partner, and the Oriental man’s answer came equally sincere:

"Neru, me no sure if want be on ship. Me only know what Spaniards do on ship... and you is say, English ship people bad as well, has cat and keelhaul. Me no want be on ship like that. Is bad bad thing if treat people, sailor, who is need courage and all like dog. Me no will go now for me no know where go...yet. Me stay and safe money-coin. No know what use for anyway. Now me has harpoon and dagger and cloth, food come from sea, no need buy more. If money enough and you think we can has little ship for live, me is with you. But first man I see with cat in hand that no is purr-cat, is first target harpoon."

Yes, it was a normal reaction from him, and it was Neil’s duty of a good friend to explain him everything:

”Well, I guess on the big ships, even like this one, where there are many people, those who are unruly and disobey the orders get punished when needed. Captain Ashton is not one easily grating his men, but I have seen our armourer flogged for getting drunk on the job and neglecting his duties, because this could endanger all our lives. Anyway, the ship I am dreaming about and I am inviting you to be my partner for, definitely won’t be this way. It will have about six men aboard, all of them skilled and trustful, and no nine-tailed cat. There will be a captain, of course, but all of us will be partners and getting fair shares of the profit.”

When it came to praising his fighting skills, Sharky protested vehemently:

"Me no want kill men, Neru, even no want kill Spaniard men... but me no more slave. And me no want be crew with slave and slaver. Kill slaver is honourable kill, for is like shark. Shark destroy everything... must kill before kill you. Brrr.... damn beast! And some people beast to... and sadly, no matter what flag is on ship. First me think, English better than Spaniard, but me wrong. Merde! Neru, you think... maybe French is be better?" he asked hopefully.

This man knew how to raise the most direct and painful questions, and Neil had to answer them:

”If you don’t want to kill men while you are here aboard, I have told you that it is possible. Nobody has forced you to do it, and you have witnessed at least two successful big battles. Your share of the prize remains a good one if you are one of those who contribute to sailing the ship in a battle. This is one thing extremely needed too. You lose only the boarding prize, which is additional. And who says that there will be any slaves or slave owners ever on my ship? Exactly like here, it won’t be any! As for your statement about men like beasts irrespective of the flag they sail under, it is true. I honestly don’t think French or English or Spanish might be one better than another. A ship captain might be better than another, irrespective of flag. You shouldn’t think about countries, but about men. Don’t tell me that in your country there aren’t good people and bad people alike. There are everywhere. England, France or Spain are no exception. I am sure that even among Spaniards you could find good people, but you didn’t have the luck of meeting them, you met the beasts instead.”

He was an Irishman, and he couldn’t forget that his parents or grandparents had left Ireland due to the British oppression. He had chosen to serve aboard a privateer ship of British allegiance only because he understood that not all British people were thinking the same way.

Sharky added his point, still unsure about the future:

"Me no know about other folks yet... and me no believe Spaniards. Spaniards tell Brethren bad, English bad... me no know before English and me no know Brethren. Me only know little and so much things to know... all very difficult, me think. Not easy choose way."

Actually, besides having the Spanish as enemies because the law of war had dictated it, the Irishman had nothing against them. If thinking about God – and Neil hadn’t for a long time, except brief reminders during too strong storms – the Spaniards were Catholic like him, so they should be closer. And the French… enemies in the previous war, allies in this one; wasn’t it strange in itself, and even stranger to explain it to a foreigner like Sharky?

”Yes, this is true. Everybody says about their enemy that he is bad, but they are doing the same things, or worse. I agree with you it isn’t easy to choose your way in this world which is new for you. The best solution is to learn as much as possible about it. I won’t say even that the Brethren are bad,, he added in a whisper, making sure not to be heard by anybody else. ”They are considered bad now, because they are our enemy too. But if thinking better, the only difference is that our captain has a letter from King George allowing him to chase any ship of Brittain’s enemies, while the Brethren attack ships of any countries without choice of the flag. There are former pirates who turned privateers and privateers who turned pirates. And privateers are needed only in war time…”

Of course, this was exactly the reason why he was thinking about owning a small ship for peaceful activities in the peace time which was bound to come some day…


[align=center] This post has been written by ELENA[/align]
Like
Share

Shirai Masaki
Shirai Masaki

December 26th, 2010, 2:50 pm #12

With Neils explanation that there had been a flogging on the "Fates Hand", Masakis usually healthy hue of skin turned sickly pale. He was visibly thunderstruck and blinked several times as if he were trying to wake up.
"Youuu... is do jest, Neru!"
he replied tentatively, eyes huge and frightened.
"Me ever see Captain is has whip man... you is sure is this ship?"
Subconsciously, Sharkys small, sinewy hand tightened around the shaft of the harpoon, ready to defend himself. He didn't understand what an "armourer" was and why it was bad to drink... after all, everybody did it! Well, except of him, beause te alcohol was far too strong for his taste and after getting a hangover twice, he was warned and stopped drinking too much.
"Neru... you is really, really sure, sure to swear on Christ-god and whatnot... Captain Ashutonu is allow use cat?"
The Asians whole lithe body was tensed like a wire, ready to spring into action at the first sign of a red bag. The only thing that was holding him into place was the firm belief... or rather the desperate hope that Neil was joking with him and it wasn't true. He would never stay on a ship that functioned only with the threat of corporal punishment.
"Then, Neru, Captain can go kill people himself and sail ship himself. Dive for barnacles himself and rig mast himself."
He declared solemny.
"Ship like that, me no is stay, rather stay in ocean with shark. From shark me know what expect... but people only look in face. Me thought, this ship better than Spaniard, but is same. Me better go, before log in brigg here, too. You might say, captainhere no do, but if use whip, what else use? Me no trust men who do. First do one thing, then do other thing, when nobody stop."
He regarded Neil for a moment, eyes dark and fathomless.
"But is good me know now, Neru. THank you. Me just go fetch other harpoon head, then me gone. Maybe one day, we meet again, free men, other ship... ship for self, without captain and cat... only purr-cat and good men."
And quickly, Sharky turned around and scurried under deck, intending to fetch what little he owned in this world,to escape from the ship, that he had once thought to be preferable to a spanish one.

NPC
Joined: August 1st, 2010, 9:04 am

December 26th, 2010, 9:07 pm #13

[align=center]
NEIL DONOVAN[/align]


Sharky’s reaction was far stronger than he could envisage. He got frightened and asked in disbelief:

"Youuu... is do jest, Neru! Me ever see Captain is has whip man... you is sure is this ship? Neru... you is really, really sure, sure to swear on Christ-god and whatnot... Captain Ashutonu is allow use cat?"

“I am not joking, and our captain wouldn’t allow it for minor offences. He ordered it when the indiscipline of a man who didn’t do his duty could cost us all lives and the ship to be a prize for the pirates... If the weapons weren’t cleaned this was only one thing which could have affected the outcome of a fight, but this man had got drunk and lost the money he had been entrusted to buy ammunition. What use are we in a fight with no ammunition?”

"Then, Neru, Captain can go kill people himself and sail ship himself. Dive for barnacles himself and rig mast himself," he declared solemny. "Ship like that, me no is stay, rather stay in ocean with shark. From shark me know what expect... but people only look in face. Me thought, this ship better than Spaniard, but is same. Me better go, before log in brigg here, too. You might say, captain here no do, but if use whip, what else use? Me no trust men who do. First do one thing, then do other thing, when nobody stop."

“It isn’t like this, at least not on this ship. Whom have you seen in brig, except the prisoners captured from the Spanish or the pirate ships? If you do your duty, you don’t quarrel with the others and show the needed respect, you are respected in exchange. It doesn’t happen everywhere, but here it does. The cat won’t be for you as long as you behave appropriately, I can guarantee it. It wasn’t for me, and I am aboard the <Fate’s Hand> since it was an ordinary merchant ship, before getting transformed into a privateer, and it wasn’t for most crewmen. But if an officer, the armourer, didn’t do his duty, he had it worse than an ordinary sailor should have, because he had a higher responsibility and a higher share of the prize. No, our captain isn’t how you think. He doesn’t punish the ones who don’t deserve it. So he is better than the Spaniards, who had punished you for no reason.”

It seemed that all Neil’s explanations couldn’t convince Sharky that flogging was only a consequence to criminal indiscipline. He looked strangely at the Irishman, and said on a weird tone:

"But is good me know now, Neru. Thank you. Me just go fetch other harpoon head, then me gone. Maybe one day, we meet again, free men, other ship... ship for self, without captain and cat... only purr-cat and good men."

Sharky scurried under deck, to comply with what he was saying, but Neil caught him from a few big steps, landing a big, heavy but friendly hand on his shoulder:

“And where do you think to find a better ship for the moment being, to hire you? Perhaps a pirate ship would take you aboard, but don’t think the pirate captains never use the cat against unruly crewmen! Or do you imagine that somewhere on land you’ll find a better life than aboard <Fate’s Hand>, which is one of the best ships from this point of view? Sorry to tear down your sweet dreams, Sharky, but New Providence, where we are now, has slaves and slave owners. And some people might be mistaken by your colour to think that you have Negro blood. From there to considering you a slave because you can’t show them freedom papers, it isn’t much, and who can save you? You are far freer here, and our captain is scarce with punishment. The cat is meant only for those who can’t understand by a normal word. And I can’t say the same about some other ships I have worked on, so you’d better stay here, among your friends.”

Neil met his dark eyes with a sincere and friendly blue gaze. He liked Sharky and he didn’t want the poor dreamer to get into a worse situation. If only he could get him to understand about the big foolish mistake he was about to make!


[align=center] This post has been written by ELENA[/align]
Like
Share

Shirai Masaki
Shirai Masaki

December 26th, 2010, 9:48 pm #14

Sharky frowned and shook his head.
"Neru... friends do no whip friends. Friends do no allow "ANY-FUCKING-BODY* whip friends! IF such people friends... sharks better friends. Eat their own as well."
Sharkys eyes were sparkling with outrage, it was unbelievable to him how anybody could condone such derogations and abuse and call himself a friend then.
"Friend, Neru... is other thing. If anybody try whip you, he eat harpoon and believe me, no whale, no shark can stomach harpoon. No man can. But me no sure, what you do...
And respect? Me no respect people like that, people who know less than clam in ocean, but can use whip. They no deserve respect. Only thing they deserve is harpoon... and that they get from me, on ship or on shore. Me long enough free to know one thing... be free better than be slave. And dead be better than be slave, no matter colour."


Masaki gritted his teeth, ready and willing to defend his new-found freedom to his last breath.
"Me can live on land and on sea. Me can dive long enough for people think me dead. They no catch me again and if do, me is has dagger. Me no need captain or other men save me, me save self. If no can get free with dagger or harpoon, by kill other men, me can kill self... more hoourable than be slave and fear cat. But first me kill as many white men as can."
He took a deep breath, trying to calm down.
"And now, Neru, you better let go."
he stated coolly, glancing towards the paw-like hand on his shoulder.

NPC
Joined: August 1st, 2010, 9:04 am

December 27th, 2010, 5:28 pm #15

[align=center]
NEIL DONOVAN[/align]


Despite Neil’s good faith efforts, Sharky seemed not to understand how the world had been made:

"Neru... friends do no whip friends. Friends do no allow *ANY-FUCKING-BODY* whip friends! IF such people friends... sharks better friends. Eat their own as well. Friend, Neru... is other thing. If anybody try whip you, he eat harpoon and believe me, no whale, no shark can stomach harpoon. No man can. But me no sure, what you do... And respect? Me no respect people like that, people who know less than clam in ocean, but can use whip. They no deserve respect. Only thing they deserve is harpoon... and that they get from me, on ship or on shore. Me long enough free to know one thing... be free better than be slave. And dead be better than be slave, no matter colour."

”First of all, I agree with you that friends don’t whip friends. Nobody said that the bossun’s mate was friend with the armourer, neither that I was friend with him. And sorry, but he had deserved it, he had been warned not to drink when he was out for supplies. It wasn’t the first offence. If he couldn’t understand of word, he understood of pain. If you were to meet an enemy ship without having ammunition because the idiot had drunk and gambled the money for buying it, what would you have said then? He was made an example, and it was a good example, because it was the only case of flogging I had witnessed aboard this ship. You asked me what I would do if you were in danger to be whipped; I would try everything to avoid it!” he stated determinedly.

"Only that your stubbornness would make this damn more difficult than it should be!" he thought, exasperated. After eleven years on seas, both in the Navy and aboard merchantmen, then privateer ships, he had learnt enough discipline to understand how things were going. And unlike on other vessels, here one had to fully deserve the “captain’s daughter” in order to get it. Only that he couldn’t make this obstinate little critter understand that it was his own perdition he was heading to with this attitude.

Neil heard Sharky telling how he thought he could live free on land and on the sea, and his heart wretched. He cared for his friend, irrespectively that Sharky was doubting his friendship, and he wouldn’t like such a dramatic end for him. Why the fate wanted him saved two times, once from drowning and then from slavery, only to push him to another cruel death?

”Have you ever heard about the maroons? I guess this is the community you want to join, the runaway slaves who are hiding in the mountains – however even they are in Jamaica, not here on this island forgotten by God! Killing a few of your chasers before you get killed yourself… yes, it is better than slavery, I agree; but why, when you can have a better life aboard the <Fate’s Hand>, without being a slave and without having to fear the cat? I told you that if you do your duty responsibly, you mustn’t fear flogging. Here only the ones who really deserve it, get it – thing which I can’t tell about certain other ships. Do you want me to show you? I am perfectly aware what you are saying, I have served aboard two ships where a sailor got flogged for minor offences. Look, I wasn’t exempted, I had my share of such <caresses>. So I know very well that here it is different, and I am not lying.”

He raised his shirt to show him the scars on his back. One more reason to hate the damn Navy… Nevertheless, Sharky seemed unmoved in his determination to leave for an obvious suicide:

"And now, Neru, you better let go."

”Yes, I let you go, because nobody can force you to accept a good advice. But I’d suggest you think better about all the opportunities you have. And understand, once and forever, that aboard this ship, unlike certain others I have served on, you don’t have to fear the cat if you do your duty and you don’t brawl with your crew mates. Here the ones who understand a word – and you do - don’t need to be made to understand by pain. Cat is only for unruly men. And I can’t get it why would you want to go seek your death when you can have a good life here until the war ends, and a better life afterwards.”

Neil shook his head, unable to understand this stance. Indeed, nobody could get wiser by force. If that was his friend’s destiny, then he couldn’t do anything more. At least he tried to convince him, to show him the truth. Maybe in his far away country, beyond the Cape Horn, things were different, but in the Caribbean they were better than in Europe, still exactly how he had described them to Sharky. And he should try to adapt and live, not go find his death.


[align=center] This post has been written by ELENA[/align]
Last edited by NPC on December 27th, 2010, 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Like
Share

Shirai Masaki
Shirai Masaki

December 27th, 2010, 8:19 pm #16

Frowning and teeth bared, like a cornered stray dog, Sharky had listened to the explanations of a man he once thought might have been his friend. But he became more and more aware of the fact, that he would never find friends amongst these round-eyed beings. They looked like humans, yeah but they behaved... differently. Oh, not that the samurai of his homeland were that much more humane, but.... they were samurai. Something like officers perhaps.
An he loathed both factions.
"....without being a slave and without having to fear the cat?"
Masakis eyes narrowed and he glared at Neil, unaware for the moment that the man meant well.

"Fear?"
he spat.
"Fear one day died under cat. Now only rage and hate... and revenge."

He glanced at Neils scars, snorting.
"Me no understand you think is right whip. You know how is... can never be right."
But after a moment, a feral grin spread over his features, maybe bordering on madness...
"Aye, Neru..."
he practically purred.
"Me is stay... for one purpose. Me hope is soon. But first me need... much wood. And whetstone. For good many harpoon... many target around..."
He did not name the targets, of course, but his grin should have been explanation enough.
Last edited by Shirai Masaki on December 29th, 2010, 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

NPC
Joined: August 1st, 2010, 9:04 am

December 28th, 2010, 10:42 am #17

[align=center]
NEIL DONOVAN[/align]


To Neil, it seemed that all his efforts to make Sharky understand the realities of life – perhaps radically different from the ones where he was born, but still realities of the places he was living now – were in vain, and he even took his words wrongly:

"Fear? Fear one day died under cat. Now only rage and hate... and revenge."

This was understandable. Neil smiled sadly and nodded affirmatively:

”Yes, I know you hate the Spaniards, and you want your revenge. You’ll have it seeing how many .And if you change your mind and want to fight too, you’ll get the boarding share too, it means more money for making a better life at the end of the war.”

He didn’t doubt Sharky would comply with what he had said before, and that if somebody tried to whip him again, the “revenge” would target a British privateer too. He only hoped not to be the case. When he showed his scars to Sharky, his friend snorted:

"Me no understand you think is right whip. You know how is... can never be right."

”I don’t think it is right; it is only common occurrence. I understood, in eleven years at sea, that there are some things I can’t change… on a big ship with many people. And I hate the Navy boatswain who had done it to me, too. This is why I am now with the privateers and not with the Navy. At least here nobody gets flogged without a really big reason. And on the fishing ship I’ll have some day, there will be no cat at all!” he added on a resolute tone.

It seemed these words sank finally in Sharky’s mind. He smiled strangely and said:

"Aye, Neru... Me is stay... for one purpose. Me hope is soon. But first me need... much wood. And whetstone. For good many harpoon... many target around..."

”If revenge against the Spanish is why you are staying on this ship, then you made a good choice, my friend! And we are here to fight by your side,” Neil answered with a friendly smile.

He wasn’t as stupid as to not understand the other hidden possibility. But he hoped that Sharky would never be in the position to know first-hand the British discipline system. He was a good guy, even if a little bit odd, and doing well his job. But he didn’t doubt that Sharky’s harpoons might turn into the spear of destiny for any human target wielding a nine-tailed cat in his direction.

[align=center] - THE END - [/align]


[align=center] This post has been written by ELENA[/align]
Last edited by NPC on December 28th, 2010, 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Like
Share