The Dread Pirate Sawyer, Part I


ff_cat_icon.gif vf_isabelle_icon.gif wf_lance_icon.gif bf_lynette_icon4.gif ff_namiko_icon.gif vf_ruiz_icon4.gif vf_shaw_icon4.gif wf_walter_icon.gif

Scene Title The Dread Pirate Sawyer, Part I
Synopsis The Travelers reach the edge of the Stormfront on their journey to the Commonwealth.
Date December 23, 2018

Far from the ruined shores of the scoured remnants of the mainland, stinging snow squalls whip through the cold, wintry air.

In the dimming light of evening, beneath a carpet of dense gray sky, flashes of lightning flicker on the dusky northern horizon. The snow squalls have iced over the railing around the deck of Oar Place or Mine and the floodlight at the ship’s prow cuts a steady beacon through the inclement weather. At the helm of the ship, squinting against the cold and bundled up in a heavy winter parka, Walter Trafford is ill at ease.

For the last two days a small fleet of ship, departed from the Manhattan Pelago, have plied choppy ocean surf headed northward toward the ruins of what was once the state of Massachusetts, now known more colloquially as the Commonwealth, a fabled undersea settlement. Mad Eve had led them this far, on a promise of delivering old friends to their home, on a promise of a new world to others, on the promise of being able to drive a wedge through the ranks of the northern pirate armada. Walter isn’t sure he can fulfill any of those promises, but there’s really only one that matters to him. A promise he made to his mother, that he’d be back.

Behind the floodlight at the prow of the ship, Catherine Chesterfield watches the flickering bloom of distant lightning in the clouds and threads a lock of dark, wet hair behind one cold ear. “Walter!” Cat calls back over her shoulder, turning around but keeping one hand on the floodlight. “It’s going to be dark soon, should we stop?” He sits forward at the helm, stands up and leans over the railing.

Woods says we’re almost there!” Walter says with an emphatic motion to the radio. “Let’s keep going!” Much like Rudolph to Santa’s sleigh, Oar Place or Mine is leading the way and setting the pace for the other vessels so that no one is left behind. Out here, being left behind would be a death sentence.

The Stormfront

2 Days North of the Pelago

December 23rd

Sitting against the side, with a lifejacket on (cause safety first as far as he is concerned), Ruiz squints up at the sky. It’s too far away to really feel but he knew somehow that he would be the target of any lightning that moved toward the boat. The way he felt right now he was well sure he would attract it. Which was safest, really. It wouldn’t hurt him at all. “Don’t worry about the lightning,” he says outloud, so they know why he doesn’t look worried about that at least.

Not far away from him sits the little girl with curly hair. The curls are a lot like his, really. The longer they’ve been out at sea, the more his hair became curly. It was the humidity. And she didn’t look worried. He’s starting to believe the girl doesn’t know what fear was. Maybe she didn’t, at that age.

At least he’d gotten used to the movement of the sea by now. That first week on a boat had been horrible. Even the buildings had seemed to sway with it. But bodies adjust. Thankfully.

Lynette sits on the other side of the girl, her fingers petting her hair. Evie isn’t scared, but Lynette is. She can feel the lightning, too, in a strange way. The noise in her head is louder, the power she holds is pushing at her to go ahead and open one. Her soothing gesture in her daughter’s hair is for her, not the girl.

She looks across her to Ruiz. She knows what he’s feeling, too. Hopefully they both have enough practice not to give in to their respective abilities.

“I'm worried we’re going to get an answer to a question I've always had,” Cat says a bit more reservedly, moving over to Ruiz and Lynette. “All this time, Sawyer’s fleet’s been up here. Ever since the purge, really.” She looks out to the darker western horizon, then back to the Ruizes. “But her ships come and go through the Stormfront, where most ships can't survive more than the outskirts.”

“The winds are…” Cat wildly gestures with her hands, “ninety miles per hour around the eye? Something wild like that?” She crosses her arms over her chest, looking out to the distant lights of the Forthright off the aft side of the ship. “Always wondered how Sawyer does it. Really afraid we’ll find out.”

Cat eyes Evie. “I mean— we’ll be safe. I'm sure. Just.” She shuts up.

"Maybe she's got a damn sea monster," Namiko says. She's also got a lifejacket on, but she wears it like it's a normal part of her wardrobe. It isn't, but she feels better about all this mess if she pretends she picked her outfit. "Or a weather manipulator." The storm is why she agreed to come; her own power might not seem like a solution, but she can grow something to keep them protected.

She's pretty sure, anyway.

"Don't be so pessimistic, Kitty," she says with a crooked grin in Cat's direction, "maybe it'll be a good surprise."

Coming out of the cabin as the word that they are close reaches her, Isabelle walks out in a loose tank top and dark jeans. Hair blowing wild in the wind, the pyrokinetic crosses her arms as she moves slowly to where the others are gathered. "Shahid can listen further out once it's too dark, can see too." Before it's too dark but her man was useful and she was offering him up.

"Only good that can come from this is getting home and you safe." Looking to Cat but there's a small smile for Namiko, someone she.. didn't expect to end up caring about. The young woman had grown on her immensely, Izzy found herself looking to her like.. no that was stupid. The dark haired woman shakes her head and looks over her shoulder for Shaw.

Despite the words, Evie just looks up at them all and smiles. No, she’s not scared. But it’s very possible she doesn’t understand what’s going on besides, well— that there’s a pretty storm in the sky up ahead. “Maybe someone should take Evie below deck for a while,” Ruiz suggests, looking back out to see. He’d have probably done it, but he has a strong suspicion they’re going to need him when they’re going through the winds. The winds alone were potentially deadly, but the lightning…

He just hoped they managed to avoid the pirates all together. He’d dealt with enough dangerous bands in his days.

That was when Lucy spoke up. “I can take her. My ability won’t be very useful here.” She’d come along because Magnes had requested it of her, really. Both times. For some reason he had really wanted Mala to come with them from Wasteland, but she hadn’t. Though it had been interesting when she saw another Mala on the boat. And a girl she barely remembered from her childhood too. Lucy had been really young when the Lighthouse lost Denisa. Moving over to Evie, she bends down, “Do you want to go downstairs? I can read to you. The Library lady gave me a book to bring along.” The Library had given away a few books. Big heavy things bound instead of the usual cardboard or paperboard, but still a book.

The girl looks at her parents before taking the blond teenager’s hand to go downstairs.

Cat’s expression finally shifts from thoughtful at Namiko’s words. “I imagine that's the power to have, isn't it? Manipulating the weather?” She whistles sharply and looks up at the sky. “Sure could use some seventy degree sunny days right now.” As Cat says that, she's brushing slowly accumulating ice from the squall off of her coat.

Turning her attention to the faint pulse of music reverberating from the Forthright, Cat smiles distantly, something about the thump of bass harkening her back to better times. But when she sees Evie going down below decks, she looks back to Mateo with a thoughtful expression. “Is she doing ok? Not seasick or anything.” While she won't say it, it's clear Cat’s nervous. It's been so quiet the whole journey up. Too smooth.

Walter stays at the wheel, squinting against the snow, watching the prow light of the Featherweight bob up and down in the choppy surf. He drums his hands against the wheel, then brushes his cheek dry with the wrist of his gloved hand, the one part not cold and wet yet.

Bundled in purchased skull cap, heavy wool sweater, life jacket and borrowed overcoat, Shaw emerges from the cabin after Isabelle, dark eyes staring first at the skies then at the more turbulent waters. He’s steady even with the boat rocking beneath him, but hangs on to a rail because that’s just common sense. And physics. “Should I look now? Am I looking for monsters?” he asks, voicing himself louder over the wind.

The only question left unasked, what to do if and when they found them.

Namiko looks over at Cat, a hand moving to her hip. "Now I'm gonna be mad if she's been hoarding the good weather." You know, instead of just being the terror of the former eastern seaboard. Shaw and Isa get her attention and she turns back toward them with a sort of bittersweet smile.


"Monsters, boats, sea witches… whatever's out there," she says, because it is too quiet. And Sawyer is supposed to have an armada out here, if the rumors are to be believed.

Lynette hugs Evie before letting her go below decks. Her hands wring nervously once the girl is out of her sight. It has happened so rarely since they left her world. "She's not seasick. She's not even scared." She might be disappointed no one is letting her sword fight some pirates.

She stands up, wandering over to Walter's side. She puts a hand on his shoulder, just a moment of support before her hands move to her hips.

"Maybe we'll get lucky," she says.

“She wasn’t even scared when Manuel was taken. She asked for her Zorro costume from Halloween back so she could go after them,” Ruiz responds with a shake of his head. Even Manuel had gotten scared more easily, so he half wondered if just giving her that namesake had made her a little on the crazy side. Not that that was a bad thing. All the Eves he’d met so far had been very different from each other, but very similar at the same time. And all quite touched, too.

But then he gives Lynette a look as she mentions luck and he shakes his head. “Saying that is right up there with saying you have a bad feeling, mi amada.”

One hand on the siderail and the other tucked into a pocket, Cat watches Ruiz with an amused smile. “She sounds like an amazing girl. I think— “

Cat’s attention, everyone’s attention, is caught by the distant sounds of splitting wood coming from a few ships over in the direction of the Sayonara. There's a jolt of tension that runs through Cat’s body, and she looks up to Walter who is already standing up in his seat.

There's a pop, and then the red glow of a flare shooting up from the Sayonara. “Oh fuck,” Walter hisses on seeing the red flare, turning to shout down to the passengers, “everybody brace! Pirates!

Cat bolts for the below decks, looking like she has a predetermined place to be, as Walter turns toward the sound of approaching motors. Rapidly oncoming through the dusk and the blinding squall is a similar sized motorboat with a reinforced prow of welded iron on a collision course.

With so many distractions from all angles, it’s easy to miss the silent arrival of a new addition to the seascape. Far off in the distance, a rusted cargo ship slowly grows larger as it approaches. Not rushing in to join the fray, instead it stops some few thousand yards back, before turning so its starboard side faces the entirety of the fleet making its way through the territory.

Faintly over the sounds of rushing water and roar of motorboats, comes the sound of the cracks and whistle of mortars flying through the air, before the crack of wood somewhere nearby. Three — none hit Oar Place or Mine.


As Lucy heads down below-decks with Lucy, Lance is coming up; handing off the bawling infant in his arms, whose noise only becomes audible once she’s passed off, he draws in a breath. “Keep her safe,” he tells his orphanage-sibling, offering her a tight smile and worried look before slipping past her. He side-steps Cat’s charge smoothly, moving up onto the deck with others.

“How many,” he asks simply, hands sweeping back to drag a weathered hood up to shadow his face and protect his ears from the wet and chill, squinting out at the cargo ship… only to spot the ram-prow cutting through the raging waves in their direction.

“Botswarf—! Brace for impact,” he barks out, grabbing hold of the nearest rail with white knuckles showing beneath fingerless gloves, “Ramboat!”

Lynette takes in a breath when she sees the motorboat heading their way. Ruiz can feel her pulling at the electricity he produces, trying not to cripple their own boat as she opens a portal. It's on the opposite side from the motorboat, but another forms a breath later between them and their attacker. Aiming to have it skip them entirely, as if they weren't there.

"Javi—" she calls for him, sagging against the side of the boat. She has to catch herself, but she pushes herself back to standing. " —they need our help."

Namiko eeps when she sees the boat and immediately forgets what she came here to do. She ducks down in a move that would really only protect her if I can't see you, you can't see me were a true defense.

At the call of pirates, Shaw turns back to reach just inside the cabin door. A ready hand grasps a rifle, slung over his shoulder as he climbs to the bridge of the boat. Taking up a spot on the rail, he steadies himself and focuses his aim down the sights of the gun. Breathing stabilizes, the world’s sound and fury drowning out as he enhances his sight along the barrel for the ram-boat’s driver.

And when the moment seems right, Shaw pulls the trigger.

See. See.

Ruiz had said that she had jinxed it. But he doesn’t say that cause he’s moving to get a closer look. What his wife had planned comes through pretty quickly. He’s worried enough about a little girl below deck that producing the electricity comes without much issue. It charges up in his hands and then spins outward from his hands, almost reminiscent of his original ability. A spinning disk of lightning that flies through the air into the portal that she’d made and out the other side.

It’s nearly impossible to aim through his portals, he knows that, but the spinning flattened disc of lightning explodes after a few feet once it’s through, sending spikes of energy out around it. Most of it might end up in the water.

Pirates, people to threaten her family, Magnes and Elaine were on that ship. "Any and all monsters baby." Almost instantly Izzy moves in time with Shaw, from their home timeline to now they have been taught the experience to be ready at all times. Orange fire sparks into life and crackles along her arms as Lynette opens a portal and Ruiz throws lightning through, rearing back she throws her arm forward fire roaring forward to collide with Mateo's lightning.

Taking a step back the pyro eyes the sky for the first sign of a mortar aimed for their ship, aiming to knock them out of the sky before they land. "Namiko!"

Even through the squall, Shaw is a crack shot. The report of the rifle echoes loudly in the dim light and the snow, there’s a distant sound of shattering glass and focused down the ironsights Shaw can see the captain’s head jerk back and to the side before he falls out of frame, leaving a dark stain on the wall behind him. The boat, however, maintains its ramming speed and careens toward the smaller ship.

The portal large enough to swallow a tugboat, conjured with considerable effort from Lynette, works exactly as intended. The gateway serves as a shortcut to the other side of Oar Place or Mine, forcing the other vessel to careen right toward them and then passes straight through the vortex, emerging on the other side to considerable confusion. Another crew member inside the ship's cabin pulls back on the throttle, and the rear of the tugboat isn't anywhere near as armored as the huge plow on the front is. The pirates on the back, all dressed in ratty and grubby clothes, are caught unawares when a disc of spinning lightning and seething flame comes blasting through the opening.

Several pirates leap into the water to avoid electrocution or severe burns, others catch aflame and plunge into the water to save themselves. The new man handling the controls of the tugboat just slams it into a full reverse and cuts the ship's wheel hard to the right, trying to close the distance again.

Walter!” Cat comes scrambling up from cramped below deck with something long and cloth-wrapped carried under her arms, quite probably a rifle. Walter leans over the railing from his captain’s chair and then sees the other ship barreling down on them. He and Cat make eye contact and she hurls the bundle up in the air. The blanket around it comes unfurled, and as Walter steps up onto the metal railing, he snatches a fucking sword wrapped in violet ties and trimmed with chipped copper from the air.

Walter leaps from the Captain’s chair the moment the iron-prowed tugboat comes back and and rams the side of Oar Place or Mine with its tire-armored aft deck. The force of the impact isn't nearly tremendous as the first ramming maneuver would have been, but it nonetheless rocks the small boat back and away, sending those not bracing themselves are thrown onto the deck. Cat flies to the side, crashing against the wheelhouse and landing on her hands and knees.

Walter, already midair when the collision happened, lands on the other ship and unsheathes his sword in a single fluid motion. The blade gleams through the air as two heavily-dressed pirates with gaff hooks come running up at him. There’s a scream, a flash of steel and blood, and a gaff hook and the hand that was holding it comes crashing to the ground. Walter spins the sword around, sidesteps the other hook then hops forward and steps on the wielder’s foot, then just drives the blade through his chest and forces him backwards and onto one knee.

There’s more!” Walter screams as he withdraws his sword from the fallen pirate and watches as a gang of ten men armed with machetes, chains, hooks, and other simple peasant weapons come marching up the deck. Not a one of them looks to have a gun.

Dazed, Cat struggles to stand, clutching her head with one hand. She looks dumbfounded for a moment. "Holy shit— we're in one piece?"

Suddenly what looks like a grenade clatters on to the deck, a familiar hiss of gas leaking somehow still audible over all of the chaos. White clouds seem to stream from the device, billowing up quickly, making it hard to see, even if it weren’t for the noxious, caustic chemicals that make the eyes and nose and throat burn.

Again, there’s the familiar sound of mortars fired — by now, there’s enough smoke to add to stormy skies that it’s hard to see them arcing through the air, to watch where they might land. This one strikes the water a few yards off the stern, sending the little boat rocking as water churns like an angry charybdis.

The impact nearly drives Lance from his feet, only the bracing that he’d done against the rail keeping him steady— and then he’s letting go of the rail and heading for the side of the boat at a dead run through the stirring gases. He leaps up, one hand planting on the rail that guards the side of the boat and somersaulting over to land on the enemy deck just beside Walter.

As he rises from a crouch in nearly the same fluid movement a hand flicks out, a knife’s metal catching the light in a gleam for a moment before it buries itself in the eye of one of the filthy men, the machete in his hand falling as he staggers back and falls back down the stairs behind him.

Target rich environment say his hands in the quick flash of Lighthouse cant as he rises, a flourish of both of them afterwards ending in a pair of nasty but non-matching combat knives ‘appearing’ in his grasp. He flashes Walter a quick, fierce grin before turning back to the onrushing enemy, shifting his feet into a combat stance.

It’s a moment of intense Deja Vu for the older man.

Yeah, that’s a hiss he knows. Ruiz may not have some people’s military experience, but he knew a smoke grenade when he heard one. His immediate reflex to get rid of it is met with a sudden backlash of electricity that rolls off his hand and snaps in air. Normally, he would have opened a hole in the air to disperse it, he had enough control to do that much and close it before risking to destroy the boat. He did not think his wife did.

Pulling his shirt up to cover his mouth, he looked around, tears welling up in his eyes as he tried to find something. “We need to get rid of that!” he says, hoarsely, trying to form the words without coughing. It doesn’t work out very well.

But he knew if they couldn’t see the mortars coming there was no way they were going to be able to stop them. If they got close enough to their target.

Lynette is rocked to her knees, too. The portals slam shut in a flash of white light, and with them gone, Lynette has an easier time getting back to her feet. She does not try opening a portal to get rid of the grenade. Instead, she comes over to help steady Cat. "For now," she says, "but are we still seaworthy? We need to keep moving." Instead of letting the mortars find them. When she looks over and sees Ruiz cover his face, she follows his lead.

"I'm okay," Namiko says from her spot against the side of the boat, calling out toward Isa. "Why did I come here," she adds, but that's more to herself. Ruiz's words get her attention— so does the smoke, and she reaches a hand out toward grenade. Normally, the deck of a ship isn't great for plants to take root in, but a patch of ivy grows out from it all the same. Like watching a time-elapsed video, they grow under the grenade, then continues to grow in a tangle toward the side— away from her— dragging it along toward the ocean.

Isa is rocked to the ground as the boat rocks and they are boarded. The smoke grenade being taken care of by Namiko has Isa throwing her hand in the air, "That's right Nami!" The pyro herself pulls herself forward towards Walter and Lance and bends forward, orange flames lick around her hand as she stares across at a man with a chain in his hand, squinting her eyes to ignite his hands in flame as she charges forward wielding fire in her hands. The deep well of anger she has to pull from isn't nearly emptied as she roars.

The recurring nightmare sits heavy on her mind as the fight brews, pulling harder on her energy to compensate for the biting winter cold. Snow. She hated it. So did her fire.

As soon as he sees the enemy captain’s head fall back, Shaw is settling back and letting his power ease off. The recovery time is spent watching wide-eyed as the ramming prow of the boat passed through the portal and out the other side. Then, watching in minute horror as the boat turns for another go. He braces for impact against the rail, steadying and keeping on his feet.

But then he’s watching Walter and Lance ninja-flip to the other boat, smoke grenade clattering on deck, and seeing as he’s the closest to the wheel at the moment, hurries over to take it. They do have to move, or else be mortar bait. “Hang on!” He calls out in warning to those still on the Oar Place, and starts turning the wheel hard to maneuver the boat away from the other and make it harder to target with the mortars.

As Shaw takes control of the boat there's a thunderous sound of a massive explosion from the direction of the Sayonara. The storm is too thick to see the vessel’s full damage, but with the colossal plume of water thrown into the air it looks as though whatever blast hit the boat came from underwater, possibly a sea mine. There’s fire on multiple ships, the staccato chop of machine gun fire coming from the Forthright, and chaos all around.

Lance!” Walter calls out from the pirate ship, watching as one of the pirates is set ablaze by Isabelle and throws himself into the water. “Isolation chamber!” It's a code word call, something he'd say to the older Lance, and for a moment Walter forgets how old he is, forgets where he is, forgets—

Ahh!” Walter’s scream erupts from the opposing vessel as he takes a hatchet blade to the back. The ginger swordsman wheels around, swinging in an upward arc with his sword and dismembering the man behind him, sending the bloodied axe clattering to the deck of the ship. Walter then collapses onto one knee, looking up at the other pirates. A blast of flame roars past Walter, and Isabelle comes dashing in, incinerating two more of the pirates and sending them screaming down into the waters.

The noise of Oar Place’s engines sounds different, and as Isabelle turns she sees Shaw piloting the boat away, just as a mortar comes crashing down into the water between them. There’s a plume of sea spray that blasts into the air, raining down on Walter, Isabelle, and Lance; sizzling off of Isabelle like a hot skillet.

“We shouldn’t have come here,” Cat says through panicked breaths, “nobody’s ever— survived something like this. I shouldn’t have— Nobody can stop Sawyer, we— we shouldn’t have— ” Hands trembling, Cat looks up to Lynette and then screams in momentary fright as someone manifests out of thin air on the deck of Oar Place or Mine.


But when Cat recognizes Miles, crewmate of Mad Eve, fear turns to shock and confusion. As Miles appears on the deck of the boat, his balance is momentarily thrown off by the fact that the ship is moving steadily away from a steel-prowed tugboat where half their crew is currently engaged in a pitched battle.

There’s a little shimmer in the air as Miles winks into existence, and as often happens when he goes anywhere (for anyone around who is familiar with his habits), his voice can be heard almost immediately — really almost before he’s fully come into focus. “Lynelle?” he’s saying. “Lynae? Linda? What the hell was her name?” None of those things, Miles. Not any of them. Though maybe he’ll be forgiven for forgetting considering the present circumstances.

He gives up then, and calls out, “Lyn-something! I need to take you to Captain Sawyer’s ship, right now!” He starts looking around then, presumably to see who turns around to the name, ‘Lyn-something.’ Hopefully someone. Anyone?

"Lynette," she comments, because he clearly needs a little help. She straightens, because what he's saying settles in a moment too late for her to pretend not to be herself. "Am I a hostage?" She doesn't think so, or else doesn't seem to be afraid of the notion. "Who are you?"

That's the real question.

She looks for Ruiz, because she isn't going anywhere without telling him.

“That’s funny, I was just about to suggest we do that exact same thing,” Ruiz responds with a soft cough, to the teleporter, still trying to get what smoke grenade he inhaled out of his lungs as he moves toward his wife. A glance is made toward the cabin, where their daughter should be downstairs with the young blonde girl from the previous world and the even younger child that had come along with them. He didn’t hear crying, but that could have been drowned out by everything else.

Without waiting, he reaches to take his wife’s hand, though he’s not sure how this will work. The man appearing out on nowhere seemed to imply it. He hadn’t been sure his wife had the portals as well under control as to take them to the boat, but he had been considering it. “We do need to silence those cannons.”

Mortars, cannons, same difference. And these were pirates.

Charging forward she looks from Lance to Walter the the men turning to ash and the man sizzling in the water, sizzling herself she squints her eyes and blinks, ah fuck. Too far. Isabelle takes Walter by the shoulder and looks him in the eye. "This is gonna hurt, call me all the bitches and motherfuckers you want. Ready? Alright." She doesn't wait for him to give permission, who the hell would want her brand of help. It was the best option they had currently though.

Slamming her hand on his back over his wound and blood, the palm warms and a tiny flame on Izzy's index finger pops into life as she drags it down the open wound with a grimace.

Shaw’s handling of the Oar Place isn’t the smoothest, but he seems to know what he’s doing. Enough that he’s turning the wheel again, circling the boat back towards the other tugboat and the other half of the boat crew fighting his way through pirates, along with Lance and his fiance. The focus of the moment is not to leave their boat a sitting duck in the water but a moving target.

Cat’s scream makes him jump, but it’s the sudden appearance of a teleporter that truly alarms Shaw. His hand reaches back to pull out a Desert Eagle pistol, brandishing it at Miles but not yet firing. Given that neither of the Ruizes seem panicked about Miles’ sudden appearance, he semi-stands down. But he does call over to Namiko, saying to the agrokinetic, “We need to go back and help.”

“He's from Eve’s crew!” Cat shouts over the carnage, looking back over her shoulder to Miles. “If Eve went him here— oh my god I can't believe I'm about to say this— we have to trust her!” Cat scrambled up to the helm where Shaw is seated, perching at his side.

“Bring is around to their side if you can,” Cat says with a motion of one hand, “maybe we can— you!” She shouts over at Namiko. “Can you grow a net? Like rigging? Off the side of the boat?” Cat brandishes her hands down the aft side. “Bring us around, they can maybe jump over and grab a hold.”

On the pirate vessel, Walter lets loose a howl from the searing hot cauterization of his injury. He stumbles forward, legs weak and knees buckling before he collapses down from the pain. On his knees, Walter looks over behind Isabelle as one of the last pirates on the ship who hadn't caught aflame smashes her across the back with a chain-wrapped baseball bat. A rib cracks under the impact, sending a shooting pain up and down her side and knocking her breath out.

Walter staggers to his feet, only to see a pair of knives erupt from the man’s chest, thrust in from behind. When he's pushed aside, Walter sees Lance standing there with blood on his face and the other pirate dead behind him. The ship is clear now, no more pirate boarders but it sounds like some of the other ships may still be under attack.

“I’m the guy who’s going to take you to hopefully stop us all from getting blown up,” Miles replies, very helpfully, as Cat gives more pertinent and probably useful details. He shoots her a grateful look, before catching sight of Namiko as well. Despite being in the midst of what has fast become a war zone, he smiles, about equal parts happy recognition of a friend, and relief for the appearance of another character witness.

“Hey,” he says, lifting a hand in greeting — though it’s stopped about midway up by Shaw’s gun. He tips his head just slightly toward Ruiz to indicate agreement and also not make too many more sudden movements, just in case. His gaze shifts back to Lynette then, “Let’s get going, yeah? The sooner the better. Things aren’t great on the Forthright, either, and I’m guessing they aren’t on the others.” He looks from her to Ruiz, including the other man as well, since he’s gleaned that he’s already implicitly included by his actual target. “I promise Captain Sawyer’s not a cannibal.” He pauses, then amends, “Probably. I’m, like…ninety percent sure. I only stayed for dinner that one time.” Though come to think of it, anything anyone calls pork nowadays should be treated with at least a modicum of suspicion.

Oh well. Whatever it was, it was delicious.

Very little more has to be said than Eve's name, really. Lynette has trusted that woman through timelines, over and over. Named her daughter after her. "Alright," she says, gripping onto Ruiz's hand, "let's go then." She looks over at Mateo, giving him a nod. "I think I can talk to her. If Eve is asking for me to go, she thinks there's a chance."

Because this Lynette doesn't run in guns blazing. She tries another way first.

Miles gets another look, though, her eyebrow lifting. "Very reassuring," she calls over the noise of the battle. "What did Eve say? Her exact words." Whatever they are, she's going, so at least there's that.

"Um," Namiko looks over at Cat, then over to the boat where Isa is fighting. "Yeah, of course," she says with more confidence than she feels. Which is odd for her, she's usually bursting with it. There is a stray thought that she hopes her playlist is still looping, she would hate to leave the Pelago with silence during all this.

But it's just a moment's delay before her ivy changes direction. Vines twist together, making for stronger 'rope' as it ties together into wide rigging along the side of the boat.

If anything went wrong, that’s why Ruiz would be insisting on going with her. He knows the ship should be able to put up with a little lightning, but he thinks he could manage to cripple at least the big guns before they fled back to the boat. That would give them a chance. “You did say you knew her,” he agreed with his wife on the possibility, looking back at the destruction around him now that the smoke that had burned his eyes had mostly cleared. This had been a disaster, but they had known sailing in it might have gone this way.

“Take care of our daughter, Cat!” he yells at the woman, even though she’s not the one currently caring for either of the young girls on the ship. It’s that girl below deck. The only one who might be able to get them back to the Pelago if the worst starts to happen. Which he hopes does not.

Lowering his gun down to his side once varied faces and names are offered up, Shaw swallows down his suspicion. After watching the exchange between Miles and Lynette and Ruiz, he’s more confident that this teleporter isn’t here to kill them all. Maybe.

Shaw nods to Cat and turns the wheel while watching where Namiko’s vines are growing to direct the boat in the right direction, bringing it alongside the tugboat. Then, despite the carnage visible on the other boat, he turns to Cat with a thought, “Maybe we should take the other boat, too. The pirates would stop hitting themselves. Right?”

Not until he’s close enough again to actually see the progress of the battle on the other boat, and Isa’s flames, does he push the boat into full steam ahead with urgency to rejoin the others.

Eyes bulge out as she is struck with the chained bat in the side and she feels the crack of her rib, "Hnnnngh motherfucker," doubling over the pyrokinetic's flames roar with life fueled by her rage but before she can turn to strike back, the kid has him down and she glares at the corpse of the man on the floor. Hazel eyes reflecting orange flames, she leans forward and grips the man's chest, flames coursing over her body as she shakes. Release… Isabelle winces with pain as she pushes the flaming corpse into the water after its charred a bit.

Otherwise her face is set in an impenetrable wall of an expression, eyes dead save for flickering flames.

“Not sure what that meant, so I improvised,” Lance replies with a fierce smile as he steps back, sweeping his knives to either side in a motion that sprays droplets of blood across the deck, “You two look like shit, take a breath. I’m gonna see if we can catch up with the Oar Place.”

Turning on his heel, he heads for the tug’s bridge. He’s never piloted a boat before, but how hard can it be, right? He saw people do it a few times. And he saw movies when he was a kid…

“…but hey, uh, which one of these is the gas pedal?” is soon called back.

Walter, wheezing and clutching his side where he'd been struck by a knife somewhere in the melee, staggers and looks over at Lance as the young man moves to the helm of the pirate tug. “Oh heck no,” he rasps to himself, flailing a swatting hand at Isabelle. “When we catch up go— go get— get to safety. I'll make— ” he winces, lumbering toward the pirate tug’s helm, “sure Lance doesn't sink us.”

Back on Oar Place or Mine, Cat is halfway up the steps to the helm where Shaw is seated, looking out at the pirate tugboat turning around and making a return course. “Shaw, can you bring us around parallel? We’ve got some easy-grab rigging now.” She nods to the side of the boat where he verdant plant life grows wild, then looks past that to where Miles is gathering Lynette and Mateo. “I think we’re about to become a duet.” Though in spite of her uncertainty, she's giving a certain thumbs-up to Mateo. It was a huge request but one made of a noble risk he was about to take. She'd be insane to do anything other than reassure him, even if she herself is in doubt.

“She said to take Lynette,” Miles replies, emphasizing the name as though that will make up for him getting it spectacularly wrong earlier, “and parlay with Ronnie. But I wouldn’t necessarily call Captain Sawyer that if I were you. Just a suggestion. You know. Take it with a grain of salt.” Because apparently he just can’t resist a quip, even when they’re all about to die. Just kidding, Lance, you’re doing great.

He doesn’t waste too much more time, though, thankfully, and instead reaches forward toward Lynette and Ruiz and offers them each a hand. “You need to be holding on,” he says. “Don’t worry about breaking my hand holding on or anything. I’m pretty sure you can’t let go during the trip. At least, that’s never happened.” He does eye Ruiz just a little bit skeptically for a second or two, squinting as though he’s doing some mental calculations, before he shakes his head quickly. “Nah, it’s fine. You’re not that big.”

And on that extremely polite note and assuming no one objects, he starts to shimmer out of existence with his precious cargo. Leaving them ample time to get in quips of their own before they disappear, of course. Fair’s fair.

"Don't worry," Lynette says to Miles, "I'm allowed to call her that." Although, whether or not she will depends on a lot of factors. But she takes the teleporter's hand, using the other to put on her hip. "Excuse me," she adds, taken aback and pretty sure she should be offended, "I have had two children and I look amazing." Gosh, Miles. But the insult doesn't stop her going, at least.

Rigging crafted, Namiko rushes over to that side of the boat, ready to help when the others jump over. "Isa!" she calls, just hoping to be heard above all the other noise. She does know how to be loud, but there's a lot to contend with. "Isa!" She looks back over at Cat and then Shaw, worry evident. It's not a usual expression for her. Or feeling, for that matter. "She better get her butt back over here," she mutters, mostly to herself, but not exactly quietly, "or I'll make a flippin' lasso. Don't make me make a lasso, Isa!"

Amid the chaos of trying to ensure that all of the crew of Oar Place or Mine are well, everything is interrupted by a deep, bass-filled note of sound that cuts across the water and through the storm, followed by a tremendous explosion that — while distant — sends a shockwave through the ocean, bringing both Oar Place or Mine and the pirate tugboat crashing together, gnashing like a pair of teeth in a hungry jaw. The collision jostles the crew of each ship onto their backsides and is followed by a downpour of seawater falling from the sky like rain.

Walter, laying on his back on the deck of the pirate tugboat, clutches his side and sits up slowly. He looks over to Isabelle and Shaw, the falling seawater running in rivulets down his face. As he rolls onto his side, exhaling a sharp breath, there is an unusual silence that comes over the water. No screams, no sounds of gunfire of combat, just the patter of rain hitting the ocean.

Then, as Cat turns to look at the tugboat, wet hair plastered to her face, she hears what everyone else does. The pop of a single mortar firing. Bracing for impact, Cat hunches her shoulders forward and…


There’s a soft pop in the air, and as Cat turns her attention toward the noise, there is just a green flare hanging in the sky over the pirate flagship. Her eyes grow wide, confusion first, then disbelief.

“Is that…” Walter starts to say, but Cat confirms before he can finish his sentence.

It is.

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