Chapter 3: Troubled Waters

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Chapter 3: Troubled Waters

Post by Mosier on Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:56 am

Narcisse closes his eyes, reveling in the presence of the Couronne Solair after being separated from her for far too long. He is utterly unsurprised that Henry Albright resorted to a murder plot in an effort to steal her away from her rightful owner. Any man with beauty in his eye and a song in his soul could not help but love her.

However, Narcisse has discovered that the Couronne Solair's beauty is not the only reason for his treachery. The Englishman is also motivated by greed, and financial rivalry. No sooner had his ship's rudder been released from its chains than Narcisse became inundated with offers for work. It seems Albright has been running something of a monopoly here, and the citizens of St. Kitts are more than willing to direct their business elsewhere. 

Two of the work offers seem particularly promising, though. The French Royal Navy had made the first offer. Commander Alain Depardieux of the French warship Horizon had offered forty doubloons to accompany her, payable upon the death or capture of the Spanish privateer known as Pistol Pedro. It would be an exciting, but dangerous job to take.

The second work offer came from a French merchant named Alfonse Lomaine, who is stranded on St Kitts with five tons of clothing goods from Europe. Albright bribed the captain of the ship Alfonse had hired, to prevent him from leaving. With nowhere to go, and no way to get there, Albright hopes to force Alfonse to sell his goods at less than one tenth their worth. Alfonse will pay Narcisse twenty doubloons to transport him and his cargo to Montego, a six day voyage. 

Narcisse and the others may negotiate with either party, but of course they can only accept one of the two jobs. Albright has stocked the cargo area of the Sun Crown with supplies to last this small crew at least three weeks, true to his contract.

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Re: Chapter 3: Troubled Waters

Post by AClockworkMelon on Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:26 am

Narcisse is at his table in his cabin, where drawn up are three additional seats for Zander, Itz and Travis, the last of whom he treats as liaison for and representative of the ship's newest hands. The Frenchman remains bitter and cold as ice in the wake of his latest humiliations but manages to maintain himself in the presence of his fellows. "I trust you've both," speaking to Itz and Travis, "been briefed by Zander on the details of the jobs themselves." Narcisse pushes away from the table and settles heavily against the back of his chair, the side of his face resting in his right hand. "There isn't time for both and a decision must be made. I'm inclined to take on Mister Lomaine. Safer than testing our sea legs in battle not a week delivered from disaster." That they'd get the chance to stick their dicks in Albright's eye seems to go without saying and is left unmentioned. "The Lord is content to shit on me," he says with a sigh, as if he'd been the one shot and not Zander, "so I'm sure there will be some complication either way."

He looks up and takes in the whole of the group in the breadth of his gaze. "I'll hear your piece of it."
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Re: Chapter 3: Troubled Waters

Post by Rubberneck on Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:57 pm

"You're the boss, I'm partial to the coin involved, don't care much how we earn it. I do agree that the transport job would involve less risk than sailing with the French Navy. Be best if we don't get involved in that. Not to mention I'm still healing from my last bout of stupidity. Only risk is Albright himself coming after us, but I'd figure that as an opportunity to kill that piece of shit."
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Re: Chapter 3: Troubled Waters

Post by Rhubarb77 on Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:55 pm

"I honestly prefer helping transport the unfortunate Lomaine over getting involved with the French Navy.  I do not have the naval skills to be of much use in a battle between ships, and, quite frankly, any job that puts Albright in his place is a job worth doing in my book."
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Re: Chapter 3: Troubled Waters

Post by Mosier on Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:14 pm

Before the end of the day, Alfonse Lomaine is aboard the Couronne Solair, at the invitation of her crew. The French merchant has a desperate, wild look in his eyes as he addresses the group. 

"Twenty doubloons, gentlemen. All I want in return is transportation, and a few days of your time. If you are agreeable, I can have my cargo loaded by morning tide. Do we have a deal, captain?"

Taking this job will profoundly annoy Henry Albright, and might even lead him to take action against the crew. However, the law is now firmly on the side of the Couronne Solair crew, so it's unlikely Albright will do anything too extreme.

Anyone may attempt to negotiate with Lomaine, but if anyone fails their negotiation test, Lomaine will not budge from his offer. Choose the negotiator(s) wisely!

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Re: Chapter 3: Troubled Waters

Post by AClockworkMelon on Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:19 am

Narcisse's face is a congenial mask in the presence of their client. "You can calm yourself, Mister Lomaine. That English pig will no longer have you as a plaything once you are under our protection." Perhaps the merchant is exchanging one monster for another. "Of course, if there are complications we will need to charge an additional..." Narcisse decides on five doubloons, "ten escudos. It's unlikely there will be any," he lies evenly, "but this way everything is in the open."
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Re: Chapter 3: Troubled Waters

Post by Rubberneck on Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:04 pm

Zander does not say a word. He is simply at his captain's side at all times during negotiations.
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Re: Chapter 3: Troubled Waters

Post by Mosier on Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:24 pm

Alfonse seems to be a bit annoyed by the negotiation, but he agrees. 

"Fine, then. An extra five doubloons, for physical security. Seems a fair price for dealing with Albright, I suppose. I'll pay ten now, and the rest upon arrival. I'll see you gentlemen in the morning."

Alfonse drops a small bag of coins on the table, tips his hat, and makes his way off the ship.

"Better off fightin' pirates, says I," Bart offers, breaking the silence awkwardly. "Least they're honest about their thievery, unlike these damned merchants."

"Quiet," Ndugu reprimands. "When you're captain of your own ship, then your boisterous opinions will matter."

Ndugu catches Itz' eye as he speaks, and they exchange a glance that Itz plainly recognizes as confrontational. The black man with the French accent is sizing him up, like a rival. Or prey. 

The two have only known each other less than a day, but there's something about the Negro he doesn't like. There's more to Ndugu than he's letting on.

The crew spends the rest of the afternoon checking the ship, especially where it had been damaged. Narcisse is happy to see that Henry Albright did not cut any corners when repairing the Couronne Solair. She vibrates with energy, nearly singing with the anticipation of setting sail. She has five guns, and ammunition to fire dozens of volleys. With her speed and handling, she will be a tremendous adversary, even against a warship.

The only thing preventing Narcisse from setting the Carribean aflame is the lack of crew. Sure, he has enough to sail efficiently, but not nearly enough to take another ship by force or coercion. 

The Sun Crown will sail tomorrow morning, if all goes well...

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Re: Chapter 3: Troubled Waters

Post by AClockworkMelon on Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:52 pm

Narcisse gathers the others in the doorway of his cabin before retiring. He is in his waistcoat, blond hair let down to his shoulders for the night. He swirls the dregs of some liquor in a cup in his hand as he speaks, "I expect trouble. I hope I am wrong, but if Albright or anyone else makes trouble for us, half a share to the man who makes the most trouble for them." Ten shares are easier to divide than nine and a half, he thinks to himself. Nodding to Zander, "Mister Eldridge, I leave determining the watch order to you. Gentlemen," he raises his cup to them before turning and disappearing into his cabin, the door closing quietly behind him.
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Re: Chapter 3: Troubled Waters

Post by Rubberneck on Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:50 pm

Zander nods his head. "Travis first watch, ill take the middle shift, Bart you have the last shift. Let me remind you, if I catch you sleeping on the job, you'll wake up at the pearly gates. Hope I made myself clear." Zander will retire to his bunk for a few hours of sleep and after 3 hours relieve Travis and stand watch.
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Re: Chapter 3: Troubled Waters

Post by Lunaticlucas on Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:53 am

Itz heads off to bed and will try to get up early enough to help with the latest watch with Bart.
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Re: Chapter 3: Troubled Waters

Post by Rhubarb77 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:50 pm

Travis proceeds to take his post and begins his shift. While the likelihood of an attack during his watch was minimal, Travis aims to do his level best to stay alert to avoid an untimely demise, whether at the hands of an attack from Albright or the strangling of a disgruntled Zander.
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Re: Chapter 3: Troubled Waters

Post by Mosier on Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:24 am

Morning comes after an unusually quiet night. And true to his word, Alfonse has arranged for his cargo to be loaded even as the sun has not yet completely emerged past the horizon.

Zander is sure the crew has not heard the last from Albright or Bastien, and he takes care to personally inspect every crate loaded into the Couronne Solair. The cargo load-in is also uneventful, however. What could Albright be planning?

During the hours that Alfonse's cargo loading requires, Narcisse is on the deck, gazing over the vastness of the unusually calm waters. If there is any concern for possible retribution from his new enemies, it doesn't show on his face.

Bart is completely inept socially, Narcisse has come to realize. But what the humongous, disgusting Englishman lacks in grace, he makes up with knowledge of sailing. Bart has been spending his time examining the Couronne Solair, but not the same way Narcisse has been. Where Narcisse pauses to admire areas of particular beauty, Bart's primary concern has been to test every rope, every inch of sail, and every point of articulation, for defects or damage.

Narcisse had caught the man removing a nail from a joist in the cargo area. To the captain's eye, there was nothing wrong. He briefly considered intervening, until he saw Bart pull a fresh, longer nail from a pocket and re-secure the beam. "Damned slaves," Bart muttered to himself, still unaware of the captain's presence. "Might as well let a pack'a monkeys carry hammers, fer all they're worth. Prob'ly shit on the floor less, even." As his curse ended, the joist was secured and even Narcisse could not help but admit the area looked better than before.

It was at that moment Bart noticed his captain watching him. Bart gave a half-nod to Narcisse, with only a muttered, "Captain," as acknowledgment as he gathered his tools and departed.

Logic would have predicted Narcisse would hate that man, but somehow Narcisse wasn't sure. It might be useful to have such an awkward, but sincere imbecile on board.

-

At last the crew and cargo are all aboard, and Alfonse Lomaine stands in the ship, his carefully packed luggage beside him. "Where are my quarters?" he asks.

Bart laughs in response. "Ain't got none," he mutters.

Ndugu tries to be more diplomatic. "As you will see, there is only a single private room aboard this ship," he says. "That is the captain's quarters. You'll be where the rest of the crew sleeps, near your cargo."

"You want me to sleep in the cargo hold?" he says incredulously. He looks around, and sees each of the crew giving him the same, blank gaze. Finally he sighs, and drags his luggage to the cargo hold. "C'est la vie," he says to nobody in particular. "Anywhere's better than this God damned island, I suppose."

Soon later, Zander and Bart are leading the others to prepare the ship to sail. The preparations go flawlessly, and Narcisse is pleased to see Bart appears to be at least as competent as his second in command.

It isn't long before the Couronne Solair is back where she belongs, cutting the wind in a west/north-west heading. It has been far too long since Narcisse has felt this emotion, the eager excitement of sailing toward the horizon. His crew works all around him, the nexus, while he himself is still and calm.

-

Zander and Bart are sitting at a table together, each eating an apple. Every time Zander sees the man, he is amazed anew at the sheer size of him. He secretly wonders how long it will take for the novelty to wear off.

"So, the captain," Bart says with his mouth full.

"What about him?" Zander says.

"You tell me," Bart replies. "Don't know him, but you do. Seems you two'd be at each others' throats, seein' as how you're a proud Englishman. Me? I don't give a damn about England, or any other nation for that matter. Doesn't hurt my feelings not one bit when he insults my heritage. But you? You're different. Can see it in your face, I can. You don't like that kind of talk one bit, do ya? So...why d'ya stay, then?"

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Re: Chapter 3: Troubled Waters

Post by Rubberneck on Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:50 am

"He's my Captain, saved my life plenty. He may insult my heritage but he respects me as a man, and that's all that matters. Give him time and don't fire back insults even if you feel it necessary, and you'll be fine. He's quick and his rage is nothing to be trifled with. We are similar in that way, as long as we are shown respect, there will not be any issues. Cross him, and you'll find yourself the latest test subject for the Doc. Any other questions?"
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Re: Chapter 3: Troubled Waters

Post by AClockworkMelon on Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:09 pm

Narcisse checks in briefly with each man, his visits long enough to ensure there aren't problems. Other than these short meetings he leaves his fellows to their work.
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