"History... little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind. "--- Edward Gibbon
On the beach (still), on one of the Mysterious Islands (still), on Planet X (still). And without the painting (still), or any way to get off this rock (still). But now with Ezbeki. Geoff: <to Ezbeki> "You know, I really love ya man, but when I want help, I'll ask for it. I don't want to have to kill you. You're supposed to be on my side, and it would really bother me if I had to kill you." In spite of this, Ezbeki is allowed to join the group.
Franz, Lt. Kerrie, and Lord Lindsey discuss the search that needs to be mounted, and who's going to stay on the Spaniel. Marguerite is going on the expedition, and no one is going to be able to stop her. Samantha has to come along to look out for Marguerite, because she's the only woman they trust. And she can't go without her ladies maid, Lisette. Marguerite and Kip will be going along with Franz's group. People have assumed that Ezbeki is Geoff's, well, batman or something, which means he has to go.
Geoff takes a few moments to quietly explain the situation to Ezbeki. Geoff: "You can't talk about high tech stuff, and we're from Kanaida." Ezbeki: "But I don't know anything about Kanaida." Geoff: "It's north, and it's cold. Oh, and her <Samantha> grandfather is the Prime Minister." Ezbeki: <confused> "Why are we pretending to be Kanaidians?" Geoff: "Everyone has to be from somewhere." Ezbeki: "All my people are from warm climates." Geoff: "Okay, they immigrated. They wanted to know what it felt like to be cold. Once." Ezbeki decides the less said the better. He just stays quiet and sharpens his knives. And strops them, and polishes them, and...
Robert puts on his antique flying helmet. Samantha: <to Geoff> "You are a pilot, correct?" Geoff: "Yes." Just in case the principal pilot goes completely off his nut, it's good to have backup.
Franz comes over to Geoff and asks if he might borrow the services of Geoff's batman, as Heinrich is out of commission. Geoff: "In Kanaida, people are very self-reliant. He might not be a very good servant." Franz: "But, isn't he your servant?" Geoff: "It's more like a favor thing than a servant thing." Franz: "Oh. Well then, perhaps not." Geoff: "He's good in a fight though, you can trust him with your back." Franz: "Ah, he served with you then? In the Kanaidian Light Infantry?" Yeah. That's it. Kanaida - a bunch of nut cases clinging stubbornly to life on the barely arable land. But politely.
Geoff: <continuing> "We're not walking in the damn jungle, and I'm not smellin' you all over the boat. You need to clean up. Or at the very least, shave." Ezbeki: "Fine. Can I borrow some depil cream and the fresher?" Geoff: "We're on a blanking low tech planet. Okay?" Ezbeki: "Right. Do you have something to shave with?" Geoff: "No, but you have forty-seven things to shave with." Ezbeki: "Those are knives!" Geoff passes him a straight razor, and manages to enforce the use of it as a razor, rather than another edged killing weapon. Ezbeki will sleep on deck any way, as being below decks and hearing the sloshing sounds makes him nervous. And he keeps asking Geoff about carnivorous fish, like sharks. Geoff is still concerned that Ezbeki not mess up the group's cover, such as it is. Geoff: "This is a planet with classes. There are ladies, and you don't mess with ladies. Ever. Leave the upper class to the upper class." Ezbeki: "Isn't that just the way. The officers get the -" Geoff: "Ezbeki..." Ezbeki: "Present company excepted." Geoff: "Now, Marguerite is different. She may even be from off planet, considering how she behaves. However, she's highly independent and likely to break you if you get out of hand."
They supply the boats, the ex-pirate ship and the motor launch, with enough for a couple of days. Okay, more than enough for a couple of days. Robert, along with a couple of crewmen from the Intrepid, will crew the steam boat. Sophie comes over to Geoff, says "Good luck to you, Major" and ties her scarf around his neck under the disapproving glare of her aunt. When Lady Patricia turns away, Sophie takes Geoff's hand in hers, slipping him something. Pat: "Sophie, come along." She looks guilty, and goes to join her aunt.
Geoff: "Franz, you might want to reconsider those boots. They look like something you'd need a batman to help you with, and they'd be like 50 lb. weights if you end up in the water." Franz: "Surely you aren't expecting the boat to go down again?!?" Geoff: "Either it's incredibly bad luck, or some sort of pattern." Franz: "Ah. Then perhaps I should point out that I'm not what you would call a strong swimmer." Geoff: "Then definitely dump the boots."
Robert: "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome on board the Pollywog." Into the Devil's Diamond. Robert: "Do we go all the way around to the end of the skips, or start here?" Geoff: "Well, depends on where you're heading. Franz seems determined to sack the city and hunt down the leader." After some discussion, it's decided to stay between the islands rather than taking to the open water, and risk a further ambush.
At some points it's like travelling through the bayou. One of the engineers from the Intrepid is acting as a servant. Civilized people can have refreshments on the deck. Geoff goes down to help split wood. Ezbeki is below, where the sloshing isn't audible over the sound of the engine. The engineer is having a good chat with Ezbeki, and is showing him his naughty postcards. Ezbeki is about to pull out the latest copy of Playbeing (complete with the holographic, 3-D centerfold) when Geoff pulls him to one side. Geoff: <sotto vocce> "Ezbeki....That might be a bit high tech for the locals..." Ezbeki: "Yes sir." He puts it away. They do swap flasks, and Geoff discovers the still when the engineer refills his.
The scarf Sophie gave Geoff is lightly scented. What she pressed into his hand was an also scented letter. She writes of her admiration, in a formal and stilted manner, and expresses friendship. Sophie: "I hope that sometime in the future, that you might be able to call upon me." Very proper. How sweet. Just what are Geoff's intentions with regards to Sophie?
Robert whistles the Dr. X theme music as they sail. The water here is warm. They are pretty far south, but the water seems unnaturally warm, and the islands are extremely lush. Volcanic activity? Underground/water steam? It's a lovely evening, and Franz suggests an early dinner on deck. (Yes, it's all been cleaned up since the pirates were disposed of.) It's a quiet, peaceful meal, as the ship doesn't sink or blow up. Franz: <to Geoff> "As you are the military expert on board, Major, what do you recommend?" Geoff: "I don't recommend running up on shore. We don't know who's on these islands." Franz: "Our pilot will need a rest." Geoff: "Yes. We can anchor in a bay, go on shore for foraging, but other than that have water around us." Franz: "That would be best done in the daylight hours." Absolutely. They find a likely spot, and Geoff and Franz lead the party. There's no dry wood to speak of, but they are able to get fresh fruit, and water. One of the fruits looks like a huge raspberry, with fist-sized globes that you pluck off. Ezbeki takes a bunch of fruit down below with him, probably to use in the still.
After dinner, the conversation goes on to a discussion about the best types of cheese. Geoff takes the cheese package from a pack of MRE's, kneads it until it's more cheese-like, then gives it to the cook to bake. The cook does, reluctantly, and brings it up with the assorted cheeses he already had. Franz: "It's very interesting. It has a most unusual taste." Marguerite: "It's quite unique! It has a certain... something." No one insults Geoff's cheese. That would be impolite. One of the local cheeses looks like Edam on the outside, but the inside is layered. Ezbeki: "I am not eating that. That is just wrong." Every country on this planet has it's own type of cheese it seems.
People turn in for the night, but two man watches are set. The men will take turns. Samantha has to share a cabin with Marguerite and Lisette, but at least the ladies get to sleep through the night - being all fragile and harmless.
206 - 1123.
Very late, or early as the case may be, the sailor on watch with Geoff quietly comes up to him. Crewman: "Excuse me sir, if you'll come over to the stern? I thought I heard something. Like voices." They go aft. Geoff listens, and can hear voices drifting in - laughter and conversation. A distant kegger? Geoff sends the sailor down to wake the others.
"Sir! Sir!" Shake-shake-shake. Robert: "What!!!" Sailor: "Major Thompson's compliments, sir. He wishes you to join him on deck." Robert grabs his bag and his weapon, and heads up. Geoff is checking things out with his binocs. There does seem to be a flicker on the island, perhaps a league or two away. Franz: "Do you want to change the watch?" Robert: "What do you think?" Geoff: "I don't think it's an immediate problem." Franz: "Perhaps some one should go ashore to investigate." Ezbeki: "I can handle it, sir. They'll never know I'm there." Geoff: "I'll take the skip in and wait with it, in case you have to come running with the natives on your tail with spears and torches." Franz: "Do you think that's a possibility? Should we build up steam?" Geoff: "That would be a good idea." On the other hand, they have no skip, just the actual steam boat. They move in as far as is safe, drop off Geoff and Ezbeki, then pull back and wait.
Ezbeki and Geoff get branches and the necessary sneaking through the jungle bits. Once into the woods, Ezbeki disappears, as per usual. He's good at that. A few minutes later there's a whisper from the bushes. Ezbeki: "Geoff." A few seconds later a figure rolls onto the ground. It's no one Geoff recognizes. Ezbeki emerges from the brush. Ezbeki: "As I approached the camp this guy came out to take a leak. They won't miss him for quiet a while, judging from all the noise they're making. Sounds like quite the party." Geoff examines the very dead man. He looks like an ill kempt person, wearing clothing that looks like each piece was taken off a different person. Brocade vest (probably a females), double knit stretch Navy blue polyon pants. Oh-oh. The pants have a care instruction label on them; definitely not from around here. The dead guy has a poorly made knife, and an older, single action revolver. He also is wearing a high tech chronograph like a bracelet. The watch isn't functional, but it's also not from around here. The man has a few escudos, some small silver coins, a lump of gold, some other odds and ends. Geoff gives the money to Ezbeki, who has no local currency. Ezbeki: "I didn't get all the way to the camp, I ran into this guy. But I did get close enough to get a bit of a look. And sir? They've set up a tent with an awning - it's orange." Geoff: "Like a survival tent?" Ezbeki: "Or a parachute. I thought you might want to check it out yourself, sir." He helps Geoff adjust the foliage, then they stealth forward.
As they get closer, they find thick chunks of glass, like something was heated up enough to fuse sand. Like something hot from re-entry. It's made a "natural" clearing in the jungle. There's a crater that has water in it, with men and women splashing in it. There's a big grey rock sticking up from the ground, and a ways away something Geoff recognizes as part of a ship. There are pirates in various states of inebriation (mostly very) and consciousness (mostly semi or un), and a man and woman tied up to poles, near the fire. One of the guys lights his cigar and touches it, lit, to the thigh of the man. Ezbeki: "We're going to need some more people." There are some unpleasant noises coming from what is probably a cargo container. Geoff and Ezbeki leave, before Geoff sees something that makes him do something stupid.
They make their way to the shore, and signal for the boat, which Robert pulls forward. Geoff and Ezbeki wade out, board the boat. Geoff: "We need to get everyone up." The ship's been moving, and the others are mostly awake any way. Robert has the engineer bring it up to full steam. Geoff gathers everyone together.
Geoff: "Here's the deal. About twenty to thirty pirates, and the remnants of what we're looking for. They have two survivors that we could see, maybe more. And they're torturing them." Kip: "They have captives and you came back here?" Geoff: "There were thirty of them, and if I'd stopped to do something, they would have had four of us on a stick, and no one to come get you. Do you understand? Boy?!" Geoff gets in his face. Kip, wisely for a change, does nothing provocative. Franz: "No doubt after they're drunken revelry they'll retire." Kaeth: "Yes, but they have the advantage in numbers, and I doubt they're unarmed." Geoff: "From what we've seen they do have firearms, they may have limited ammo. We took out one man, and he had a revolver and a primitive knife." Franz: "Some one will have to remain here to guard the women." Geoff: "No. We can't divide the group, we can't afford to leave anyone behind." Kaeth: "I think Lisette and the engineers should stand off shore." Geoff: "If we're all killed, what are they supposed to do?" Robert: "Do we go inland, or take the boat closer?" Geoff: "Inland I think is best." Franz: "Very well, if we can't leave adequate protection for the ladies, we will have to bring them along, but keep them to the rear." Geoff: "We need to make sure they have the means to defend themselves." Marguerite has a pistol and a rifle, Samantha has a pistol. Lisette has never fired a gun before.
Now it's time for the real planning. Geoff: "Let's try and come in..." He draws a map, showing where the camp was, approximately where the innocents are. Geoff: "I suggest we initiate the attack from the start. Right now, they have a two to one advantage, and are used to acting in a group. If I can get a grenade into the middle of them and take out a group at once, that may help give us the advantage." Franz: "But grenades are notoriously unreliable." Geoff: "The Kanaidian grenades are very reliable." Kaeth: "Yes, we use them on our whales." Samantha: "And I wish you'd stop. It's such a mess." Geoff will be using a RAM grenade, although he doesn't explain this. Franz: "And what about you, Mr. Shelzie?" Robert: "I'm afraid my training did not lead that much into the arms of war." Franz: "You have only two shots." With the shotgun, yes, but that's why Robert has a 12mm auto. They load up their weapons.
Samantha decides to pass on some important information before they go running into the one place that might have what they came here for. She motions Ezbeki off to one side. Ezbeki: "Yes, your highness?" Geoff did warn him to be polite... Ezbeki bends low. Samantha: "Right. Okay, we're looking for something that might have been on that ship. It's a small painting that may or may not still be in a metal tube." Ezbeki: <trying to look innocent> "Oh no, there wasn't a ship, that would be something high tech, and there's nothing high tech here, your worshipfulness." Argh. Ezbeki asks Geoff sotto vocce about "some picture?" Geoff: "Yeah, we need that. Don't set fire to anything. We may not have a chance to search right away, so be careful."
Marguerite is concerned about Samantha's attire. Marguerite: "You aren't going to go tramping through the jungle in that are you?" She lends Samantha a pair of jodhpurs. Much more practical! And comfy. There is the clearing of the throats by the men. They're not looking, except that they are. Franz: "After you, Major. This is your show."
Geoff leads the way. Not too much distance between the party members, and Kip and Franz have both hunted. Given the amount of noise the pirates are making, they won't notice much. The party reaches the edge of the clearing without any unpleasantness. Geoff spreads people out in the appropriate positions, then fires the RAM grenade. It hits a pirate's hand, there's a yell, but no bang. Damn!
Geoff fires off a burst as Franz and Kip charge into the fray, towards the captives (to effect a rescue). Marguerite takes shots at people with her lever action rifle, without charging in because she's a woman and doesn't have to be sportsmanlike. Samantha's beginning to like her.
And the fight is on. Charging and slashing from some, firing from the side by others. Most of the pirates are not even awake and aware yet. Geoff: "Go for the cargo pod - they may have hostages." For a little guy, he's fast, but Kaeth is right after him. Shots are fired. Robert shoots, and hits his target (inadvertently) in the groin. Robert: "Sorry!"
Thanks to the consumption of alcohol, the pirates are still mostly not reacting. The most alert one of the bunch is the guy with the cigar, near the captives. Franz and Kip should be able to take care of him, so Geoff shifts to the larger group, hitting another two with his three round burst. Robert misses, but people are falling all over the place, and it's hard to tell.
Ezbeki makes it to the cargo pod first, there's the sound of a long spray of bullets and Geoff worries since he told Ezbeki there were hostages. Kaeth is right behind him, and sees all the bullets hit one man, who drops. This was apparently used as the "recreation room". Several men are still a threat. One stands up and suddenly finds a woman on his back, screaming and trying to claw his eyes out. The other man reaches for a rifle, but Kaeth shoots him in the hand.
Franz comes up against the man with the firebrand. The pirate brandishes the burning stick, Franz lunges, and the blade goes through the man and out the back. Lunge - stick - remove - glorch. Blood everywhere. Kip is cutting down the prisoners. The remaining pirates run for it. Franz: "Don't let them get away!" Geoff takes one's leg out from under him. Robert hits with his next shot. Robert: "Sorry!!" He's aiming a bit low....
In the pod, Ezbeki has drawn his knife. Kaeth sees a figure crawling for the door, but just a silhouette. It has long hair and loose clothing. Discretion being the better part of valor, Kaeth fires, hits in the shoulder. The figure falls.
Samantha fires on one of the fleeing pirates, following Robert's lead - only she doesn't apologize. Just like a woman. Franz charges after the pirates, but Kip stays to do the rescuing.
Ezbeki says something under his breathe about the man's parentage, steps in and slices him open. Then he spits on him. Then he goes over to help the woman, taking his coat off for her. There are a couple of people chained up. Kaeth checks on the crawling man, and it's one of the pirates, whimpering. Ezbeki approaches, his knife still out, then goes back to the woman, who's still sobbing.
The pirate Kaeth shot in the hand decides to see if he can make himself a deal. Pirate: "Hey! Hey, I can help you man." Kaeth: "You better be very useful." Pirate: "Hey that one, the one you shot in the shoulder? That's the captain." Man: "Bela, you're a dead man. Shut up."
The jungle gets thicker. Geoff and Samantha have holstered their handguns. Geoff has drawn his cutlass, Samantha is barehanded. They can't see each other, or Franz in this stuff, and are following the disturbed foliage, rather than their targets. Geoff comes out to run into two pirates, one with a club and one with a machete. Geoff goes for the man with the machete, and neatly lops the man's left arm almost off with one blow of his high tech, Marine cutlass. The large, almost one armed man swings and hits Geoff in the ribs with the razor sharp machete. Good thing Geoff is wearing armor. The man with the club has decided to run. Geoff evades the man fountaining blood and swinging the blade. The dying pirate takes a parting shot to Geoff's head, hitting him. And not with the flat of the blade. oh, ow.
To Samantha's left, she hears blades. Then gets that funny feeling and wheels around to see a man with a raised short, curved sword. Nice solid side kick, leading with the stout, wooden, slightly pointed heel. The force of the kick is spread out over a couple of inches, directly over his heart. He looks surprised, briefly. Then falls over. Samantha follows the sound of swordplay, and finds a sweaty, beady eyed man with a cutlass, trying to keep up with Franz's sabre. The pirate is getting very tired. Samantha draws her pistol, watching for an unexpected third party. The pirate lunges for Franz, who deftly skewers him through the heart. The pirate's mouth is moving, but no sound comes out. Franz removes his blade, allowing the man to fall, then turns to see Samantha. Franz: "I'm terribly sorry, I hope you didn't see that." He takes the handkerchief out of his pocket, wipes off his blade. Samantha: "I haven't seen Geoff." Franz: "You'd better stay with me." If he wants to protect her, that's fine.
Kip has decided to play heroic rescue guy, and take the captives to the boat. Robert is helping him with the victims. Robert: "Why are we heading for the beach?" Kip: "They should be coming back soon. In case the pirates come back, we've got to get these people out of here. You're the pilot, shouldn't you get ready to go? We have to protect these people." Robert: "Alright. I'll help you get them to the ship."
Back in the cargo container. Bela: "Look! Look, I know things. I can help you out. I know my way around the islands." Kaeth: "Let's separate them." Ezbeki: "These guys are both garbage. Let's kill them and be done with it." Captain: "Look, Bela's just a no account seaman. I can be of much more use to you." Bela: "He'll kill you as soon as your back is turned; don't trust him." Captain: "Yes, but I know where some of the treasure's hidden, and Bela doesn't. I could make you rich." Kaeth: <to Ezbeki> "It is a recovery mission." Ezbeki: "Let's kill 'em. We haven't go time for this." Kaeth turns and shoots Bela right in the head. The captain jumps. Kaeth walks over to him. Kaeth: "You're going to be very helpful.
Franz and Samantha return to camp. Franz: "Have you seen Geoff?" Kaeth: "No. Marguerite, Samantha, help out here." He's concerned about the three females they found. Kip comes trotting up. Kip: "Robert has gone to see to the ship. We've got the prisoners on board." That would mean Kip needs to find some more attractive females to save.
Kaeth: "Samantha? The captain here may know where some of the objects are." Franz and Ezbeki come back carrying Geoff, who's wounded, but alive. Franz: "This is serious, I think the doctor should see him." Kaeth comes over. Franz: "Ah that's right, we have a medic. My apologies." Geoff is mostly conscious, if not entirely coherent, and he has a concussion. It's amazing how strong the skull is, especially on a Marine.
Samantha goes over to where the captain is sitting in chains, first sending Lisette to help Marguerite. The captain has the sullen and resigned look. He's keeping his head down. Samantha: "I'm told you may have some information that might interest me." Captain: "Who are you?" Franz has the sailors dragging off bodies. Samantha: "I'm the person asking the questions. If you can't answer them..." Captain: "I want to talk to the Vargr. We have an arrangement." Samantha: "You'll talk to me." Captain: "I don't want to hurt your ears with what I have to say. Although I admit you're not bad looking. Looks like you've got a nice ass under there." After all, she's just a female.
Kaeth is worried about Robert being alone on the ship with the two wounded people. Kaeth sends the sailors back, asking Kip to escort the ladies and go with them. Kip: "Yes, excellent idea." Kaeth: Get the non-combatants out of the way. Ezbeki also goes, along with the female he rescued. Marguerite wants to stay and "see this whole show through. What do you make of this?" She's pointing out a chunk of hull metal. Marguerite: "This doesn't look like any rock I've seen." Kaeth feigns ignorance. Marguerite: "Just out of curiosity, Mr. Kaeth, what are you interested in? It's certainly not pirates." Kaeth: "Excuse me?" Marguerite: "I saw the way you looked at this metal structure here, and this other one. You must understand, I've travelled more extensively than most humans in Vargr states." She lowers her voice, conspiratorially. Marguerite: "Who do you work for? Is it the Sultanate?" Kaeth: "I'm working for Samantha." Marguerite: "Someone else who's not what she appears to be. I happen to know that Kanaida is ruled by a hereditary duke. My uncle, actually. I haven't said anything to the others. Your secret is safe with me, for now."
The captain is trying to frighten Samantha with his scary pirateness. She's seen scarier things than him in her breakfast cereal. They're quite in the open, and Franz is nearby making notes about the pirates, looking at their fingertips, etc. Identifying marks, jewelry, and mumbling about wishing he had his photographic material.
Samantha: "I don't really have a lot of time to waste. If you can't help, you can't help." Captain: "I have to know who I'm speaking to." Samantha: "To me." Captain: "It's an exchange. Something for something. You're not the average muddled headed female who reads escapist material." Samantha: "And?" Captain: "We can come to some sort of arrangement." Samantha: "If you have something to say, say it. If it's of value, then we'll see." Captain: "The worst you can do is kill me, and I'm already expecting that. I know what's awaiting me." Samantha: "The worst thing that can happen to you is not dying." Captain: "You don't scare me, because you and me, we're the same." Samantha: "I'm not the one in chains." Captain: "That can change." Samantha: "Everything changes." Captain: "Tell me what you want, I'll tell you if I can help you get it." Samantha: "I'm looking for something that came off that ship." She describes the tube, contents. Captain: "Lot of stuff came off this ship. The Mustache has it. I could help you find him. A man like that is hard to find if you don't know where to look." Samantha: "If you're helping us to find him, then we'd need you alive and well." Captain: "Exactly. Like I said, you seem like a reasonable person. You can reason with the count over there, and the others. Keep me alive and well." Samantha: "I could do that. I'll go send Kaeth back to take a look at your arm." Captain: "I wouldn't want to get an infection..." Samantha: "No, that would bad."
Franz: "Well, ladies and gentlemen, is what we want to accomplish here done? Good. Back to the ship then." Samantha: "Count?" Franz: "Yes, Lady Telford?" Samantha: "That rather distasteful individual seems to be willing to help you find the man you're looking for." Franz: "In this case, if he chooses to help out, I'll see that he gets a quick drop from the rope, and not a slow dangle. <awkward pause as Franz averts his eyes> But we must get you back to the ship so you can attire yourself properly again." Samantha: "I'm sorry, but running through the jungle in a dress wasn't exactly practical." Franz: "I understand, I was not thinking of myself, but your modesty. These people are of a frail moral character...." True.
Everyone makes it back to the ship. In more or less one piece. Kip throws up over the stern. Samantha gets Kaeth off to one side. Samantha: "He's willing to help, but he's very slick. I'd suggest you check his dressing and sedate the bejesus out of him." Kaeth: "All right. Oh, and by the way, there is no prime minister of Kanaida. It's a Grand Duke; Marguerite's great-uncle." Samantha: "Ah."
The engineers will take shifts, so there's some steam. The hostages were upper middle class, travelling from a plantation to Albion. Two of the girls are the plantation owner's daughters, who were being sent to Albion to be presented in society. They're maid was the one Ezbeki rescued. She threw herself out as the first plaything of the pirates in order to at least postpone them getting to the young women. The girls' governess was the woman staked out.
Kaeth: "when was the last time you were wounded?" Captain: "Oh, I've been wounded lots of times. This, it's nothing - through and through. Either it'll be fine, or you'll have to cut it off." Kaeth: "I'm going to give you something for the pain. Don't worry, it's not, uh, poppy." Captain: "Poppy's fine. I wouldn't turn down a draft of laudanum." He pops some kind of red raisin thing, probably something local, to aid healing.
People get about 4 hours sleep. Kaeth makes sure he gets a "preventative" for the maid, in addition to the other meds he's given her. She rather matter of factly assures him that it's not the first time she's been "ill-used" - a long way from civilization, a master away from his wife.... It's a rough world.
They're going to have to take the additional passengers to the Spaniel, as several of them should see the doctor, especially the very seriously beaten captain. Marguerite objects, and wants to inspect the camp before the pirates come back. Robert: Plus, if we shoot off the Vary Pistol, we're going to attract attention."
Samantha goes forward to speak to their "guest". He's up in the rope room. Captain: "Good morning. Sam, isn't it? I've heard the crew - Samantha or Sam?" Samantha: "Either is fine." Captain: "What brings you here to my humble abode? You already need my help, don't you?" Samantha: "I have a few questions for you." Captain: "Ask away. I'm not going anywhere." Samantha: "Where is your ship? You couldn't have gotten to the beach without one." Captain: "You almost found it yourselves. You only had to go another 1/4 mile, and you would have been on the beach on the other side of the island." Samantha: "Are there men on the ship still?" Captain: "Hey, somebody sharp like you, you should be able to figure that out." Samantha: "Did you leave men guarding the ship, or not?" Captain: "What? Don't you trust me?" Samantha: "As much as you trust me." Captain: "Well, yeah, but if we were partners, that would be a different situation, wouldn't it?" Samantha: "Of course." Captain: "You may look like a woman of substance, but I think your origins are a bit more modest. But hey, I'm sure whatever scam you've got going will net you quite a little profit. I understand your boat has quite an interesting passenger list." Samantha: "Which boat?" A legitimate question, given how many have sunk, blown up... Captain: "The Spaniel. If you were to arrange for that ship to be in a certain spot in a certain time. Lindsey, father rich, prince's ransom to get him back even if they don't get along. He alone is worth 50,000 pounds. For a split of 50,000 you wouldn't have to pretend to be a lady." Samantha: "How nice. But I'm here working for some one. I need to retrieve something that may have been on that ship, and may be in the hands of this Mustache person the Count is so eager to find." Captain: "Hey, I'm not married to the Mustache." Samantha: "Good. Because the man I work for doesn't like to be disappointed." Captain: "Oh, does he throw hissy fits?" Samantha: "No...I can honestly say I've never seen him throw a fit. But he is not a man to trifle with. I wouldn't want him angry with me." Captain: "Is this the Black Syndicate we're talking about?" Tempting... Samantha: "I don't ask with whom he associates." Captain: "I understand. If you don't want to know, I don't want to know. Back to business. You think your people could take out the Mustache, given the right information?" Samantha: "Given the right information." Captain: "And if something were to happen to the Mustache, and a person were there to fill that void, that person might hold off the other pirates long enough to, oh, take a look at the Mustache's safe, see what's in there." Samantha: "If you were to help me, I'd naturally feel obligated to help you." Captain: "Naturally." Samantha: "I think we understand each other." Captain: "I think so." Samantha: "Tell me, were you expecting anyone to join you on your beach?" Captain: "As a gesture of friendship, no. Not today, but tomorrow. This was an unauthorized stop over. The men were looking for time for some R and R, after acquiring some new toys. Some people just have no taste. But what could I do? The position of captain is as much a popularly elected leader as the ruler of the ship." Samantha: "I understand. Well, I should be going." Captain: "Do you think you could arrange for some food? And while you're there, could you ask about..." He rattles his chains. Samantha: "Of course." Captain: "Thanks Sam." Samantha: "You have me at a disadvantage." Captain: "Ulrich. My friends call me Rick." He takes her hand, holding it for just a bit longer than necessary, she lets him, then smiles and relaxes. Samantha leaves.
Various people milling around. Everyone is busy as bees, except for the Count and Kip. The latter is still under the weather. He is trying to contribute it seems. Robert, mean time, wants to climb the mast and take a look around with his spyglass. We leave him in his lofty perch.