The Dread Pirate Sawyer, Part III


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Scene Title The Dread Pirate Sawyer, Part III
Synopsis A celebration aboard the Forthright is cut short by violence.
Date December 23, 2018

Full of ecstasy and fire

A pumping disco drumbeat reverberates through the hull of the Forthright. Amid a dark and choppy sea swirling with a fresh snow squall, the antique yacht belonging to Eve Mas bares steadily down at their destination with no hesitation. Inside the above deck crew cabin, Kain Zarek had the bright idea to bring a CD player boombox he bought for scrap at Lowes and repaired on the side with Aurora’s “help.” He is not deeply regretting this choice.

But he also was the kind of teacher

Crew members of the Forthright have been cooped up for the last two days since they set sail from the Pelago, and now mere hours from their destination — according to Captain Woods on the Featherweight — early celebrations for a safe journey have come to order. Mad Eve isn’t mad enough to break out the booze yet, but festivities are in swing within the largest ship of this migrant fleet. Kain, seated on a bench as far from the radio as he can be, wrings his gloved hands together in anxious anticipation of something he can’t quite describe. A nagging feeling, like something left unsaid coming back around again.

Women would desire

Outside the crew cabin, the music is mostly a bass thump with muffled lyrics. The snow squall that’s started since the sun began going down behind overcasts skies has crusted the deck railing over with a thin sheet of ice. Intermittent flashes of lightning bloom in the distance and the wind has steadily increased so much that the poor Sayonara looks like a sparrow trying to fly in a windstorm, buffeted left and right by sudden gusts.

Ra ra Rasputin lover of the Russian queen

Behind the fogged up panes of glass, the Forthright’s crew celebrates on a nearly finished and safe journey. Those who brave the cold, apart from the music and merriment, see only the cold embrace of old man winter looming on the horizon. Eager and angry.

Silas Mackenzie smiles affably enough, enjoying the warmth and the festivities and even the view - there's something about all of these ships braving the weather on a daring mission to help lost travelers from afar find their way home that inspires even his jaded heart - but he can't quite suppress his misgivings, not even listening to Mad Eve's equally mad music selection.

So he sits quietly, staring out the windows. His satchel - a worn out old bag that looks to be made out of carpet remnants - sits beside him, full of tools, odds and ends, and also a few other things, just in case. He takes another sip of the (not-yet-spiked) punch and takes in the view. The weather's in the process of turning evil, the sea is rolling like a sleeping giant beneath them, and there be pirates in these waters - and not the romantic kind. No, he's heard of the pirates infesting these waters, and even old Captain Silver, that sly sea dog, would have steered well clear.

Which does beg the question of why on Earth he's here… but he's already been thinking on that, for days and days past, and is too tired to get into it again. Why he's here isn't really important anymore, anyway; only the fact that he is matters. He's done all he could to make sure the Forthright was in its best shape for this excursion; now all that's left is for him to rest. Rest… and stand ready in case he needs to fix something else.

Everything's been smooth so far, and Silas is sincerely hoping that it stays that way… but a part of him still can't help but wait for that other shoe to drop.

And who knows whose shoe that will be, with Mad Eve around? It could be anyone’s! But not Miles’, at least for the moment, because when he materializes near the bulkhead in a place where there isn’t a whole lot of traffic, he’s wearing both of his.

He’s not a part of the crew per se — well, okay, he’s not on the crew at all in any way, or anywhere near to it. However, he’s here for whatever reason, looking like a man on the mission. Sort of, anyway. He gets a little distracted once the music hits him. “Come to visit us,” they kept demanding, which is certainly apt in a way, though Russia’s greatest love machine, he is not.

“Hey,” he says once he gets back on track and looks around, gaze falling on Silas. “How you doing?” It still sounds a little bit like there’s something else on his mind, but whatever it is, he’s not sharing it.

Amid the chaos of the revelry and with the Mad One not bearing down on him, Kain is given time to observe the crew he's hidden himself among. Squinting at Silas’ silhouette, Kain can't help but feel he's seen him before somewhere. The man he's talking to, not so much, but the hair on the back of his neck doesn't often stand for no reason.

Glancing around the cabin, Kain finally pushes up from his seat and meanders through the crew members; a hand on the small of a back, a tap to a shoulder, a duck between two conversing people. “Boys,” Kain says over the music as he makes his way over to Silas and Miles.

“Ah’ don't think we've all been properly introduced,” comes easy enough from Kain, though there's no overture of a handshake. Whatever it is about Silas, Kain can't leave well-enough alone. “Kain Zarek,” comes with a once-bright smile that's yellowed a bit between here and the viral apocalypse. “You ride with Crazypants on the regular?”

Silas tilts his head as he first spies the flicker that precedes Miles's appearance; as the teleporter solidifies, his lips curl into a wry grin.

"Boat's still afloat, everything in working order, and I get to be in here instead of out there in that," is Silas's answer to Miles's query, raising his glass of punch towards the window and the ugly weather beyond. He hesitates for a moment, letting his grin slip just a hair to reveal a trace of worry. "So… 'so far, so good', I guess," he chuckles, a bit more quietly.

Of course, Miles being here is interesting in its own right. To be sure, the man had been helpful in getting that filtration system, and Silas had seen him take action to save a hostage at the Sill… but Silas hadn't thought him the sort to sign on for a job like this one. Silas raises a hand to his chin, peering at the teleporter for a moment. "How about you? You holding up?"

Then their resident traveler drops in, and quite literally the first word he's spoken to Silas elicits a raised eyebrow. 'Boys'? he thinks to himself; the other man doesn't look that much older than him.

Still, his nickname for Mad Eve elicits a chuckle. Silas stands up himself, offering a nod - though, like the other man, he offers no overture of a handshake. "Silas Mackenzie," he says, giving the taller man a lopsided smile of his own. "And yeah, I've been with the Captain for awhile. It's my job to keep the Forthright in one piece," he says, chuckling a bit as if to convey to the other that he can guess how hard that particular job can be. Silas studies Kain surreptitiously, though; he has to admit, he's more than a bit curious about these 'travelers from afar'.

"I believe she prefers Captain Crazypants." The strange, whispy voice carried on the wind coincides with a coil of smoke rising from somewhere previously unseen and up into the air. Ling Chao has been elusive even in this small space ever since the trip began, and even catching sight of her in her smoke form had been uncommon the last few days. She dares not go outside, though, knowing what the strong winds could do to her and harboring an intense distaste for the cold.

Smoke gathers, forms into the shape of a person before solidifying into the visage of the woman who had boarded with them and been hard to catch sight of afterwards. For the first time in what feels like actually forever, she's dressed in something more than tight vinyl suit she wore back home, the relatively nice and upscale clothes she wore before and after their heist gone awry, or the dirty, worn clothes she had had in the wasteland. This time, she's actually dressed for the weather.

She cocks her head to the side a bit, staring at Miles through round, ruby tinted glasses while she adjusts the collar on a worn but nice jacket. Eyes drift over to Silas. "Kain, your taste in music is dreadful," is noted in a flat tone. She wears a knife at her hip, and a second acquired at the Palisades slipped into a sheath around her other leg. A finger taps against her cheek as smoke rises from it, and then she turns to make her way back to the bench.

"I suppose she isn't the only one, since we're all here."

“It could always be worse,” Miles agrees, and what otherwise might sound dour is kept from being so — at least mostly — by a lopsided grin. He glances out the window as well, and he shivers with an obviously exaggerated chill.

He might have said more, but Kain’s arrival has him turning that way. It’s his turn to squint a little bit, his head tipping to the side as though trying to place the man from…somewhere. Maybe it’s the voice, or maybe he’s just remembered, because after the other man starts speaking, his expression clears. “Oh, yeah,” he says, “I saw you at the Sill the other day.” He doesn’t offers his hand after Silas does, but he does lift it in a sort of vague wave. “Miles.”

There’s a shake of his head at the question, though, as he continues, “Not really.” It’s accompanied by a little huff of amusement, though he does not expand on that, either, just expands that wave to include Ling as she appears. If he’s startled by the suddenness of it, he doesn’t show it, but then, he’s accustomed to sudden appearances. “Come on,” he says instead, “this is a classic. Who needs Russian Lit 101 when you have Boney M?”

“Yeah,” Kain agrees vaguely to Miles, seeming momentarily distracted by firing a scathing look at Ling. After which, he slowly looks over to Miles again and shakes his head. “You ever been t’New Orleans? You look familiar in a way that usually makes me think Ah’ owe somebody money.” Though it's said in jest, there's a real tension in Kain's voice, though it's hard to tell whether it really has anything to do with Miles, or just the music, or the situation in general.

“Oh and Smiley,” Kain either already forgot Silas’ name or very swiftly came up with a nickname for him. “You a mechanic too? Like… all professional style or self-made man? Known a lot more of the latter than the former, and gotta say they know their way around a good jury-rigging.”

Ling knows that look all too well - "stow it", or something approximating that. Her lips thin, but she does as requested by implication. She returns her own curious look towards Kain, particularly after his question to Miles. With no similar feeling of recognition, she's left to wonder what's on his mind. She doesn't dwell on it, though, instead looking to Silas.

"Ah, yes," she starts, quirking an eyebrow from behind her glasses. "I was curious, I have to admit, at the very least how the both of you met our… esteemed Captain. I imagine there's not much choice in a place such as this, admittedly."

Ling's entrance draws his attention - of course it does. He's not seen the woman more than once or twice over the past three days, and hasn't ever had the opportunity to speak to her. And then there's the fact she literally apparates out of smoke, which is pretty impressive in its own right.

Kain's choice of nickname elicits a brief flicker in Silas's grin; it's just a hair too close to Asi's nickname for him, which makes him wonder how she's doing, which in turn stirs that worry that he's feeling. Bah. She's fine. Probably kicking the teeth out of some Sentinel Brute Squad right now.

He brings his attention back to the present… but it occurs to him now that Kain's ratio of questions to smalltalk is rather high; it makes Silas a little uneasy. He's never been one to show that easily, though, so he just chuckles. "Self-made, yep. Gotta work with what ya got, right?"

At Ling's question, his smile widens. "Don't believe we've ever been formally introduced, miss; the name's Silas. As to how I wound up in this crew… not much of a story there. The Captain needed someone to keep her boat workin', and I was in a slow stretch. You know what they say about idle hands," he says, his smile looking genuine for a moment.

He widens his gaze a bit to include Kain. "Anyway. Dunno about Miles here, but me? I'm just about the most average Joe ever to sail the seast," Silas says offhandedly, swirling his glass of punch. "Now you? You're the interesting ones. We're headin' into the Storm cause Eve thinks gettin' you lot outta here is important, that it ranks up there with an incoming Sentinel purge; that's pretty impressive, in my book," he says; his grin remains, but his gaze is intent as he studies both of them. "So how about it! Have some punch, tell us a bit about yourselves!" Silas says jovially.

A howl of laughter can be heard from inside the cabin below and soon enough Mad Eve herself bumps through the door, waving her staff in the air, a dark hood covering most of her grizzled gray hair, "Almost, almost mmmmm? Ahh." Tipping her head back to the sky and taking a deep breath in, "I love the smell of adventure in the morning,"

"It's evening old lady." Poppy whispers into her ear a bit loudly, platinum blonde hair a bit longer than before, her bronze skin shines in the light of the boat as she crosses her arms with a smirk. "Don't sass your elders, ahh haaaa." Spotting Kain among the others and she begins to slide over. The women of the Forthright chatter and move to the music, they are no strangers to celebration. The all female crew save for Silas and Atticus was a wild type and it showed in how they operated. A wild efficiency comes to mind with the way they seem to "celebrate" as well as keep their eyes on their surroundings. Long they had to acclimate to Mad Eve's vicious mood swings, celebrations and good times can and have ground to a halt on many an occasion.

"Hey there my bearded buddy boy," leaning in close to Kain and chuckling with a wheeze. Her cough had gotten worse through the course of the evening but any concern was waved off, a flask of some sort of concoction that Eve said helped but was rank held in her free hand, old black robe flails lightly in the wind. "Almost. Alllllmost. Are you ready to be on your way?" Eyeing Kain with a glint in her eyes, she looks over at Miles and Silas as she tips her flask back and gulps down a few swallows before screwing the top back on and shoving it in her pocket.

Men on the boat that aren't the ones that they are use too is a treat and whether they live or die Mad Eve has blessed her crew with a glorious feast of eye candy. A trio of the women eye Miles while whispering among themselves, a stray voice can be heard. “ …the wolves.. Mad Eve said. Enticing." A whistle in the man's direction as she leers in his direction. The women of the Forthright are anything but shy. The music hums through the space as they near their destination, it seems Mad Eve hasn't steered them wrong again, the look in her eyes said she knew better. That was the fun bit though.

Monica comes down to the celebration from above, shedding a few layers once she's in the warmth of the party. "Still clear up top," she says, mostly to Eve, but anyone can hear since she has to raise her voice above the music. She can't help a dance in her steps as she makes her way over to the others. Never let music go to waste, that's her policy. Probably in any timeline. "When do we bust out the moonshine, Captain? Or are we saving it in case they decide to join us?" Join us, as if Sawyer and her crew could be enticed by booze and good music.

Miles meets Kain’s look, his head tipping to the side curiously as he studies him for some other sort of recognition besides ‘that guy at the Sill.’ “Not that I know of,” he finally says, either giving up or leaving it for now. “But I’ll take some if you’re giving it away.” He grins though there’s still something slightly distracted — or perhaps wary — as his gaze shifts to Ling. “Oh, she and I go way back,” he continues. “But she knows everyone around here, so that’s not saying much.”

It’s then that the woman in question makes her appearance, and he turns that way, that wariness intensifying. It’s a subtle shift in posture, or maybe in expression, but it’s enough to be noticeable, at least to anyone who might be paying attention. Whatever ‘way back’ means, it may not be that great. There’s a nod of greeting that’s polite, though, if not precisely warm.

“Eve,” he says, before his attention is caught by the trio looking his way. If anything, that makes him seem less wary, the grin sitting a little easier on his face as his eyebrows raise and he lifts a hand to wave at them. What he says though, is, “How about right now?” In response to Monica and the moonshine, that is. Hey, he invited himself this far, what’s a little bit more?

Kain had spent much of this journey along what was left of America’s east coast avoiding talking about the why of their journey, let alone the who. But in such close confines and with danger seemingly far off, he finds himself hard-pressed not to relinquish something.

“It's a long story,” Kain starts to explain, looking over at Eve with a tension in his shoulders and back again to Silas. “A real long story. But the short side of it is that we ain't from around here, an’ the only folks who can get us home are apparently living in some kinda’ Sealab.” At that, Kain shrugs. “Honestly, Ah’m not entirely clear on the specifics of that either. Ah’ just appreciate the ride.”

Kain glances over to Ling, then to Monica with a slowly raising brow. He fires a look over to Miles, quietly. “Who’s she agai— ”

Flare!” A crew member screams from outside the cabin. Bursting through one of the doors to the deck, a crew member frantically points toward the starboard side. “Flare! Flare!” Several crew members work to try and stop the music, and through the fogged up windows a violent red light can be seen burning in the distance through the squall.

One red flare, a ship in danger. It's coming from the direction of the Sayonara.

Fuck,” Kain says with a roll of his eyes, reaching for a handgun tucked down the back of his pants. “They're attacking us in the middle of a snowstorm!?

As if to give a silent affirmative to Kain’s query, slowly creeping into view out of the horizon is a rusted cargo ship. There’s nothing too ominous in its look — no Jolly Roger flags, nor whalers strung up like piñatas like the arrival of the pirates at the Palisades Sill.

The behemoth of a ship hangs back, thousands of yards, appearing to be no more than a rusty child’s toy from this distance. But any glances through binoculars or spy glasses reveal three mortars on deck, being loaded, before the too-familiar sound of shells popping from the mortar and whistling through the air can be heard — and another moment felt.

It’s a miss, hitting just off the stern, but it’s enough to send the Forthright rocking and not to “Ra Ra Rasputin.”

A second later, before there is much time to react, what looks like a grenade crashes through the windows. There’s no explosion but a hiss as gas begins to leak, and billowy clouds of tear gas begin to fill the cabin.

"Your way home is the teeny tiny hole that expands like this maybe the science faeries can give you the knowledge you seek to make them work," Eve demonstrates and makes a screeching sound as she grins over at Kain, "I've seen a Hole or four." She was about to go on but the flare has all merriment draining from Mad Eve's eyes and she puts her fingers to her lips and whistles wildly.

"Too late." In reply to Miles' how about now. "Sorry Bunny I'm gonna have to drink you under the table some other time soon."

Looking over to Poppy and Monica before making her way towards the center of the vessel, "Alright ladies you know the drill, all hands on deck," She //loves saying that. Wheeeee. "Bunny, prepare to hop hop on over, bring someone with you if you can!" Whirling past the teleporter with a sharp clap to his shoulder before judging Silas with her hip as she moves past, "Come on Siguy, help an old lady grab something." Grinning softly to herself she makes her way towards the cabin and below the deck. "Man the torpedoes!!" The women aboard the boat working quickly as they shout their agreement with their captain.

The Forthright had no torpedos but thanks to Queen Lowelowe, they had large guns mounted on the sides. "Fire at will when ready!" Muttering to herself she looks at Silas with a wild look in her eyes, "Well come on you goose!"

"Mary Jane! Lucifer! Betty! With me!!" the three cats had ran down below awhile ago.

Silas smirks a bit as he catches the whispers of the Forthright crew, sees them eying Miles from the corner of his eye; Mad Eve's crew does enjoy their partying, oh yes. But as much fun as it might to dwell on memories of happy nights, it's the travelers who occupy the majority of his attention.

As Kain speaks, Silas listens carefully. Eve's given him a little of the story - albeit couched in her usual baffling language - and while Kain's explanation doesn't reveal much, it doesn't seem like he's being deliberately evasive. He nods slowly. At Mad Eve's interjections he remains carefully deadpan, although he has to admit a certain admiration for how that woman manages to spin an innuendo or something generally filthy out of pretty much anything. He opens his mouth to chime in…

…just as the flare is announced. Like many others in the cabin, his eyes snap to the source of the shouting - and sure enough, the light of a flare can be seen off to starboard.

"Fucking mother of Christ," Silas mutters, in agreement with Kain. "Been fun, but it looks like I'm about to get busy," he says, offering a nod to the travelers. Sure enough, Eve seems to have plans for him.

"Aye aye, Cap'n!" he exclaims, draining his punch and tossing the cup in the general direction of the punchbowl. There's not a hell of a lot he can do at this range to add to the fight, anyway. The sound of a near miss encourages him to move after Mad Eve at high speed, just moments ahead of the sound of shattering glass and hissing gas.

Well, that’s unfortunate. Just as Miles was going to answer Kain, whether accurately or not, the yell goes up, and the windows start to glow. “Fuck,” he echoes, though more quietly as he turns to start…well, somewhere. Let’s be honest, he may be in the process of getting the hell out of there as quick as he can, which is quite a bit quicker than most.

Eve’s words, and the clap on the shoulder, stop him from just disappearing, though his expression looks a little pained as he sticks in place instead of winking out of existence like he clearly wants to be doing. And not onto the ship, either, but in fact as far away from this as he can. It’s hard to convey all that in a momentary look, but somehow he manages to do so. “You know I can,” is what he says in reply, his tone long-suffering and coupled with a sigh as though she’s asked him to take out the trash for the fifth time, and not to teleport himself and possibly someone else onto a clearly hostile ship.

Crack. Crack. Crack. The sound, somehow still audible in the distance, means three more mortar shells are flying above head and coming their way, sent from the rusted cargo ship looming in the distance. At this point, there’s too much smoke and tear gas to see the shells arcing through the sky; praying that one doesn’t hit the Forthright might mean it simply hits another of the boats in the traveler’s armada. One ship’s good luck is another’s bad.

This time, it’s not a miss for the Forthright, as one of the shells rips through the main mast and mast head light, sending the cross-like structure crashing onto the cabin’s roof below, along with a shower of sparks and shrapnel.

Monica ends up sliding into place at Miles' side, drawing one machete and one dagger from her belt. "Get me over there?" she asks, rather than demands. She's not any help standing here, but on an enemy ship, she can do a lot more damage.

She looks up as the mortars fire again, watching as they hit their mark. She pulls Miles away from the burst of shrapnel— reflexive but also, he's very important. "Oh, I am gonna fuck someone up for that," she says. She's taking it personally.

Ling is quick to scramble up to her feat as it becomes apparent that they are under attack, but for a moment seems at a loss for what to do. At least, until she hears the hiss of tear gas, eyes quickly falling on the source. There's a moment of calculating thought, before she suddenly explodes into smoke and gas herself.

She doesn't run up to the deck or immediately follow the others like might be expected, nor does she find herself running away. Instead, she does something she's sure she's going to regret - she tries to help.

Despite her ability, she has no real knowledge of how smoke works on deeper scientific level, nor any real ability to control it beyond what wafts on her own form. Still, the smoke form of Ling quickly blends into the gas that pours into the room, attempting to collect it into her form and drag it from where it can incapacitate anyone in the room further than it already has.

Yes, she tells herself again. She is going to regret this.

Remarkably, friction is an amazing thing. While Ling is unable to generate any appreciable airflow with her smoke form, the particles of whatever it is she is made out of are enough when moving on their own to stir the smoke from the gas canisters as well. Her own internal consistency seems unaffected — for now — by the additional vapor, and like a tiny tornado she is able to start siphoning the gas toward herself by pulling it inward.

Kain, thankful for Ling’s presence, looks shocked by the sudden eruption of violence. Still standing in a hunched posture from when the main mast collapsed onto the roof, he’s looking with a wide-eyed panic while everyone scrambles to positions. “Don’t get yer ass shot off!” Kain shouts at Ling as he goes to do that, instead.

Bursting out onto the main deck, Kain squints against the whipping wind and driving sleet, watching Eve’s crew sidling up to hardpoint mounts on the ship’s railing where old Army surplus M60D machine guns are mounted. Though ammunition is low, the crew looks prepared to bring them to bear on the enemy. Kain looks around for another spot opening, then turns to where he last saw Eve, trying to figure out where to be and how to help. But when he hears the noise of an approaching ship’s engine cutting through the water, he turns a shocked look back to the squall bearing down on the Forthright.

Machine guns begin to open fire, but Kain can’t see what they’re shooting at. He takes a few scrambling steps backwards, shielding his face with one hand as the noisy report of the automatic weapons fills the air. There’s screams, too, they’re hitting something. It isn’t clear until a chain comes up from over the side of the ship that they were shooting down into the water. One of the gunners is yanked from his post by a nail-threaded chain, crashing into the churning surf below. The gunners can’t seem to get a perfect angle on whatever they’re shooting at, as screams of “Boarders!” soon fills the air.

Several men, sopping wet and likely hypothermic, climb up from what must have been motorized rafts that came alongside the Forthright. They’re dressed in ramshackle clothing, threadbare jackets, old knit hats and brandishing axes, machetes, chains, and other handmade weapons for close combat. None of them seem to have a gun between them.

The report of a handgun means Kain discovered their shortcoming. One of the boarding pirates flips over the handrail, struck in the chest by his shot. But as steam starts to rise off of their clothes and the ambient temperature on the port side of the ship rises, Kain begins to wonder the logic behind his choice.

Joining the other pirates is a dark-haired man in an open winter coat that is rapidly drying. Beneath which he wears no shirt and seems unaffected by the cold. Kain doesn’t recognize the man in front of him, but he recognizes the sudden manifestation of roaring flames as a sign that he is woefully outmatched. “Ho— shit!” Kain throws himself to the deck as a roiling blast of fire spreads in an arc from the pirate’s hands, catching two of the machine gunners aflame and sending them screaming into the ocean to put out the conflagration.

Eve recognizes the man viewed through the large windows of the cabin. An old acquaintance of hers who disappeared in the Stormfront three years ago. A pyrokinetic by the name of Cameron Spalding. Of all the times, now, when she has somewhere else to be.

A loud crash can be heard within the cabin, "There we go Siguy! Shiver me sugar tits BINGO!!" Mad Eve's voice can be heard shrieking and echoing through the place outside to the deck, "Wait, wait. Waitttt, we need…" Suddenly over the loudspeaker of the Forthright, a guitar riff wails and the vibrations collide with the rumbles of battle above deck and around the ship.

Ahh! Ahh!

We come from the land of the ice and snow

From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow

"Awww yea!! C'mon Si!"

It isn't long before the wild older woman is bursting out of the doors of the cabin holding an RPG, the other gifted to Silas. It was a dual set she got on clearance during a "flea market." She stole them.

Silas just shakes his head. Of course she'd have the music on remote. Of course. The majority of his attention is focused on the rocket launcher he's lugging along in Mad Eve's wake, though. Do I even wanna know where she gets ahold of these things? he wonders, shifting a bit so as to keep his grip on his carpetbag of tools and dirty tricks and not drop the rocket launcher. Probably not, he decides a moment later.

Still, there is definitely something comforting about having a rocket launcher. More than comfort, in fact - in his heart of hearts, he can't deny a certain feeling of giddy schoolboy glee, After all, he's about to shoot pirates with a rocket launcher, which ticks the checkboxes for at least a dozen childhood playground fantasies. It's hard to find something to feel about in a case like that…

That is, until the gunfire starts on the deck. Silas grimaces as he hears cries of 'boarders' go up… and other cries, too. Cries of pain, familiar and otherwise. Shit!

Mad Eve's eyes look to the left and then to the right, the crash of the mast above making her flinch back brown eyes wide as they land on Cameron. "Holy.. snickey." She hesitates and steps back into the doorway of the cabin, a hand on Silas' arm, "Hide us. I.." She slings the launcher over her shoulder and leans on staff. "Follow me.. if I can get to Bunny.. but.." Worry of her ship is on her mind but the pyrokinetic makes her eyebrows raise.

The hammer of the gods

Will drive our ships to new lands

Mad Eve's sudden step back throws Silas for a loop - she seems almost shaken, which is not a state Silas has ever seen her in. Her request for him to hide them, though, makes him grimace. "You don't ask much do you," he murmurs… but there really isn't enough time to complain, he can still hear shit going on out there - he can catch glimpses of the 90s Dumpster Shopping Gang fighting with the Forthright's crew, out there in the storm.

"Fine," he says, focusing, reaching out, letting his will flow out. Don't pay any attention to us. We're not important. Nothing threatening here. Just part of the ship. Don't pay any attention at all, he thinks, and then lets those thoughts wash over the invaders on the Forthright's deck, settling over parts of their minds like a thick, smothering smog. "Jesus, they brought a full fucking football team of dumpster divers," he murmurs, sucking down a shaky breath - jamming this many people is doable for him, but it's outside his comfort zone. "You're clear, Cap'n."

To fight the horde

Sing and cry

Valhalla, I am coming

With a look over her shoulder, "Don't shoot the presents til we get to the mothership. Mmmm? Once I clockhim," pointing towards Cameron, "You know where to go. Full speed ahead. You got this Siguy!" Whispering before she tiptoes around the wreckage and fighting, covering her mouth as she goes. Her eyes locked on Cameron's form the whole time. A hand reaches into her bag and she tiptoes to behind Cameron, feeling that familiar warmth she takes her staff and almost shuts her eyes, "Sorry babe." She whispers. Clock. The older woman slams the staff on the top of Cameron's head in an effort to knock him out and throws herself backwards to the ground, "BUNNY GET TO LADY ZEU— LYNETTE! PARLAY WITH RONNIE!!" Pointing to the man that can see her to Oar Mine.

Tear gar is not fun to mess with, no matter how you may encounter it. As the gas commingles with the smoke that composes Ling, a strange sensation passes over her - like a burning, as much as she can in this form. Like an indelible heat that permeates her form, stinging and biting at nonexistent flesh.

The gas moves with her, funneled out at least of the immediate vicinity. It's barely gone before she suddenly coalesques back into a more tangible form, eyes bloodshot and red as she abruptly starts coughing up the last bits of tear gas. And oh my does it burn.

Knuckles drag across the floor, fingers curling into a fist. Teeth grit and she lets out a ragged, painful breath as she stumbles up to her feet and unsheathes the knife at her hip - larger than the other . It's questionable if she would even be worth a damn after that, but it doesn't matter. There's assholes to kill, and there's few things she's relished more ever since she lived in the sewers below New York in the Hub.

Miles gets pulled down by Monica, and it’s probably for the best, since it would probably put a damper on things if he got shot or burned up or riddled with shrapnel. …Well, maybe not for him, since he wouldn’t know. But probably someone somewhere would be disappointed, even if she they didn’t exactly know why.

He reaches for Monica’s arm then as though he’s going to do what she asks, but that’s when all hell breaks loose. The machine guns rain bullets down on them, and then the pirates start surging over the sides of the boat. It gives him enough pause that he’s still there when Eve gives her directive, and his eyes widen incredulously. “Who?!” he exclaims, his head jerking toward the boat she points at. There’s just a moment’s hesitation with a pained look on his face, before he lets out a little frustrated groan and the air around him starts to shimmer, whether to do what she’s asked or to get the hell out of Dodge.

It’s very hard to tell which one of those he’s actually doing, considering the last thing that can be heard from him before he vanishes is, “Crazy bitch!”

Boarders work just as well. Monica leaves the long ranged weapons to the other ladies while she rushes the pirates. She doesn't seem to mind that there are more of them than her, either. That's how she likes it.

Dropping into a slide, Monica aims herself to knock the first she meets off their feet. Her machete swings out to slice into their thigh in the same moment. Hit or miss, she rolls up onto her feet to stab her dagger toward another, with hopes of gutting them like a fish.

She's had a lot of practice with that. On fish and boarders.

On we sweep with threshing oar

Our only goal will be the western shore

A severed leg cut off at the knee drops to the deck, an eviscerated man stumbles backwards and falls back into the water. Another’s arm is cleaved from his body at the elbow, spinning through the air and striking the railing before falling into the sea. Monica, blood on her face and running down her neck, stands in a circle of three dismembered pirates.

Ahh! Ahh!

Ahh! Ahh!

When Cameron is struck in the side of the head by Eve’s staff the psychic glamour that concealed her from the rest of the crew drops. Cameron staggers to the side, clutching his head and the others of his boarding crew begin to fan out and divide their attention between Monica and Eve. Silas is still a phantom to them, concealed by his psychic veil.

Teeth gnashed together, Cameron lunges at Eve and launches a blast of fire and rolls up her robe and down one of her arms. Flesh bubbles and fabric burns, some of her hair catches alight and the thermal wind knocks her hat from her head. “I won't let you kill them!” Cameron screams, jets of flame blasting from each palm.

We come from the land of the ice and snow

From the midnight sun where the hot springs flow

The remaining five boarders see Cameron focusing on Eve and pivot to circle Monica. Chains spin on the air, spears jab, and no one wants to be the first one in on Monica after what she did to the others. Then, one of them is shot square in the back. He collapses and behind his silhouette Monica sees Kain standing with handgun outstretched. The pirates jolt at the shot, leaping in to attack.

How soft your fields so green

Can whisper tales of gore

A man with a bat swings high and Monica ducks beneath it. Another with a chain lashes at her legs and she performs an aerial, leaping over the length of metal. A third thrusts in with a hooked spear and she slides beneath the haft, then parries a firmly swung gaff hook with her machete in a ballet of martial arts.

Of how we calmed the tides of war

We are your overlords

Jumping back to her feet, Monica shifts she weight to one foot and kicks one of the pirates square in the chest, to topple him over the side. When she turns, it's blade-first and fast, slicing at the next boarder before she jams her dagger into a pirate coming up behind her. She uses the flat of her machete to push him off her blade and turns back to the other to throw it into their chest. Pinging back and forth like the deadliest game of pinball, Monica hacks away at their numbers. Kain is clearly on her radar, as any of those left that get too close to him are the first to go.

To save on bullets.

//On we sweep with threshing oar

Our only goal will be the western shore

She doesn't spare a look for Eve, not yet, although feeling the heat of a fire gives her a clue on how it's going. Cameron's words are noted, with a confused furrow of her brow before she turns her attention to the last one standing. She brings her machete to their neck, but stops just short of drawing blood.

"What is he talking about?" she asks, demands, really. "Kill who?"

So now you'd better stop and rebuild all your ruins

A howl of pain is timed with the beginning of the chorus as Eve throws her head back, flames lapping at her arm and neck, the strands of hair that catch fire whip and leave burns across her wrinkled face. The robe is thrown off and Mad Eve is left in a white shift, the fabric flailing in the wind. Smoke rising from her body, the flesh of her arm already an angry red and black.

For peace and trust can win the day despite of all your losing

"Cameron please!" Throwing herself to the side the old woman heaves and scurries to keep the flames away. She hadn't seen him in so long.. "I appreciate the charbroil but I promise I'm already well done!!" Nervously, Eve reaches inside the cabin and pulls out a fire extinguisher. "Kill WHO?"

Some of the women of the Forthright leap onto the motorized raft with rope to tie it to their vessel, "Finders Keepers!" At that moment Eve shoots the fire extinguisher towards Cameron, "Don't be crazy!"

Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh

Silas's eyes widen as Mad Eve's attack fails to drop the pyrokinetic menace; he feels the veil he's holding over the two of them slip and falter, a dull throb shooting through his head as the pirates suddenly reconsider Mad Eve as a potential threat. He scrambles, struggling to obscure Eve again… but it's too late. They see her, and whatever it is that draws Mad Eve to the pyrokinetic is clearly not reciprocal, judging from the blast of fire he unleashes.

Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh

This keeps up and he's gonna burn the whole boat to a crisp! Silas thinks. That's admittedly not very likely, of course. Far more likely that he'll just roast the crew of the Forthright — a thought that makes Silas's lips curl into a snarl, his fingers twitching as he eyes the pyrokinetic. He draws a long, thin knife from his belt, eying the pyrokinetic for a brief moment. Cutting the throat won't do — the fire-slinger might still be able to throw a fireball or two before he bleeds out, might even be able to cauterize the wound and keep himself moving long enough to roast the rest of the crew. No… to do the job right, he'll have to shove the knife straight into the pyrokinetic's brain. Silas isn't nearly as good as Monica at knife-fu, but he thinks he can pull it off; he has practice slicing and dicing things that don't try to fight back, and someone that doesn't see him coming is essentially the same thing.

Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh

He takes a step forward.. then hesitates. Despite being lightly roasted, Eve's not out of tricks yet, it seems, and Monica's more than up to the fistful of goons she's up against. And Kain… Kain looks to be a pretty good shot with that gun of his, worst comes to worst. He hesitates a moment more, torn between wanting to end the pyrokinetic menace before any more of the Forthright's crew gets hurt, and the orders Eve had given him…

Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh

"Dammit," he mutters. Eve had planned for them to take the Forthright forward to go after the mortar boat… but Silas doubts he'd be able to keep the pyrokinetic from noticing that and drive the boat in a straight line at the same time. And if the pyrokinetic notices… well, it's awfully hard to drive a boat when you're on fire. He eyes the deck; there are fewer hostiles out there now, at leastthanks Monicaso it isn't as hard to keep the wool over the eyes of the boarders.

Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh

Of course, there is that newly captured raft over there. It wouldn't be too hard to slip away with the raft and make for the mortar boat; Eve could follow with the Forthright once the pyrokinetic's been taken care of. Alright then. No plan survives contact with the enemy; time for Plan B. Still cloaked by his ability, he moves, slipping across the deck and hopping down to the raft. "Make ready, ladies; we're goin' for a ride!" he calls, brandishing his new rocket launcher with a species of glee that can only be called maniacal.

Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh

He gives it a beat… then, as the ladies start casting off lines, he strides to the controls and settles into place. It only takes him a moment to figure them out, and with a twist of the wheel and a flick of the acceleration lever, the raft starts to move. "Back at the helm by unpopular demand," he chuckles grimly to himself.

All the innocent people you're leading the Sentinel to!” Cameron shouts at the exact moment that the music drops, at the same moment fire-suppressing foam is sprayed across his body. His shout is loud enough to be a gunshot and punctuated by the splash of one of his boarders — the last of them other than the one Monica has at knife-point — falling into the dark and frigid ocean.

Cameron wipes at his face and collides with the wall of the cabin, steam rising off of his body and flames — at least momentarily — snuffed out. He gasps, chest heaving, and in that silence there's screams echoing from a distant glow of fire that was the Sayonara. The boarder at Monica’s mercy says nothing, though the steely yet terrified look in the eyes of what she now sees is a teenage boy tells another tale.

“We know you're fleeing the Sentinel! But you're leading them right to us!” Cameron howls, blinded more effectively than fire-suppressed. “We have a ship full of non-combatants, most of them survived the first purge because they hid with us! More than a hundred people like us, and if you sail your ship into our storm do you think the Sentinel will stop with you!? We don't have a choice!

“We— ” Cameron’s words a drowned out by a sudden thump of bass reverberating from somewhere in the storm. Like a single drum strike sounded underwater, so deep and so powerful that it's felt in the sternum more than in the ears. Silas and the people on his boat feel it just a little more, and what comes next is breathtaking.

There is an explosion out in the water, among their ships but too far away in the storm to tell where; not the Sayonara, though. The explosion sends a pillar of water hundreds of feet into the air, and it for a moment feels like the whole of the ocean just blew up. A shockwave in the form of a sea surge comes crashing out from the blast, and the wave strike Silas’ raft like the angry fist of Poseidon, flipping the tiny vessel over and hurling he and all his passengers into the dark of the ocean. When the wave hits the Forthright it slams into the large ship, sending it pitching toward its port side. The entire vessel nearly capsizes, sending Cameron crashing into the ship's railing.

Kain loses his footing and starts to slip and fall, grabbing onto Monica as he does to try and steady himself. The pirate Monica has held at bay falls back into the wall of the cabin, then collapses onto his ass as seawater rushes over the deck.

A moment later, a that water blasted into the air begins to rain back down like a torrential downpour.

"We're not leading the Sentinel anywhere," Monica says, glancing toward Cameron for just a moment before she turns back to the young pirate she has captive at the moment. "We're keeping them busy and far from here." She sounds more confident on that matter than she is. With these ships off on an escort mission, they have no way of knowing how successful the force in the Pelago is. The fact that the pirates have non-combatants comes as a surprise and Monica takes a moment to really look at the pirate in front of her. It's just a moment before she sheaths her weapons. "We're on the same side when it comes to the Sentinel. We won't let them find your people, will we, Eve?" Eve instead of Granny or Old Woman or Ancient One means that Monica is serious.

Further chatter is cut off, though, when the ocean explodes. Monica is quick to grab onto the railing before she has a chance to slide into the water. When Kain grabs on, she proves to be steady even when the ship isn't, and she grips onto his arm to keep him out of the water as well. "Gotcha, pretty boy, don't worry," she says, playful tone shaken as she looks out over the water to try to see what in the world just happened. And if it's going to happen again.

"Monica is right." It's a universal Eve sign that things are serious and in this reality where the Forthright women are as close to Eve that you can get. "There is a force behind keeping them busy, they aren't chasing us," waving a hand around to indicate the multiple crews in the sea. "They are coming for us," pointing at herself, Monica and Cameron. "Their Cleansing is not done. I will not sit by and watch it, don't you remember from before?" The fire extinguisher still in her hands she comes closer hobbling over the use of her body leading to the aches that begin to bloom in her bones. A bruise forming on her temple, she's not as young as she use to be.

"As we speak, friends of mine are speaking to your captain, pleading our case. I only wish to get these Travelers to where they must go," her words desperate but Cameron and Monica and all the others of the crew know what that tone means, when she believes what she's saying with her whole being. "And then we The Forthright will return to stand with our brothers and sisters. To finally put the Wolves to rest DEEP BELOW THE WATERY DEPTHS!" Slamming her foot on the deck of the ship, a chorus of screams from the women echo their captain's sentiments, "Stand with us Cameron, tell the rest the time when we hid from the monsters that ruined our world is over."

Sagging, the old woman's shoulders hunch over and she chuckles, "Or we can continue, you know I love a good tousle, I promise I'm just as flexible as when—"

"Eve!" Poppy shuffles forward and clasps the woman's shoulder.

"Ah yes right hmm."

"Oh ffff—" is all Silas gets out as the raft first lurches and then flips… pitching Silas, his bag of tools, and Eve's rocket launcher into the ocean.

The cold water is enough to stun Silas for a moment, the waves clawing at him and seeming to try to drag him under. No! he screams inside his mind, less a thought and more a soul-deep scream of denial. The sea has already drowned his parents and everything he remembers from his childhood. You don't get me, you murderous bitch! Not without a fight!

Silas swims, arms and legs violently lashing at the water around him, frantically driving him towards the surface; the fall into the violent waves has thrown his equilibrium into chaos, but he's not so blind that he can't follow the bubbles.

He breaks the surface and sucks down a deep breath before the waves again pull him under, but this time it doesn't take him long to find the surface again. He can spot the bulk of the overturned raft nearby… but the Forthright is closer still, and, miracle of miracles, some of the boarding lines still lodged in the yacht's railings.

…which is good, because the cold and the violent roiling of the waters are taking a toll on his strength, and Silas is not the sort of exceptional swimmer who can long endure these sorts of conditions. Again the waves take him, the sea dragging him below, and again he strives for the surface, and again he reaches it. The rope is close, just a few feet away, but the waves and the cold are slowing him down and dammit all he's got blood in one of his eyes now, too, as if he needed another problem; something probably bashed him in the head when the raft went topsy turvy.

He puts that out of his mind and redoubles his efforts to swim for the boarding line… but the waves are stronger than he is, and again they try to drag him under. He makes one last effort, striking out with an arm that feels heavy as lead in the moment before the sea can draw him into its depths—

—and his hand closes on a knot.

He clenches his fist around that knot with all of his strength, pulling himself forward and onto the line… but he knows he can't rest. Not yet. The sea still wants him, still wants to drown him like it's drowned damn near everything else. Out of the eye that isn't blinded by blood, he can see ghastly white hands reaching out of the water—

Not real! a small part of his mind thinks, but the surge of fear that those grasping dead hands bring gives him the strength to drag himself further up the line, finally getting himself clear of the waves.

"Hey! Someone… wanna give me a hand?!" he wheezes, dragging himself another few inches up towards the railing. He hopes that it's someone who likes him—Eve, for example. Maybe Monica.

Monica… you know, maybe that hot tub wasn't such a bad idea after all. Might do some good for the cold, he thinks dizzily… and as if on cue, he feels himself start to shake. It's all he can do to cling to the rope, for now. Hope some of the others made it… he thinks blearily; they're all better swimmers, at least, so maybe they've got a chance.

"HELP!" he calls once more, with as much force as he can.

Silas’ cry for help is just barely audible over the sound of the whipping wind. Other desperate cries from the direction of his capsized boat chime in, but aboard the Forthright there is a tense stand-off. The steam rising from Cameron’s body soon turns to smoke as the flame suppressant chemicals sublimate into the air, his eyes flick from Monica to Eve and back again.

Captain Sawyer won't— ” Cameron is cut off by the blast of a mortar being launched from the pirate flagship. He looks up, bracing, but there's nothing.

No whistle, no bang. Just, belatedly, a soft pop and a bloom of green light from a signal flare. Cameron's eyes widen, his brows raise, and as he turns to swiftly look at the blood smeared across the deck and then back to Monica there's confusion in his eyes. Everyone knows what a green flare means.

Cease Fire. Withdraw.

Impossible.” Cameron gasps, taking one step back, gaze transfixed on the flare.

A plume of smoke rises, washing over a small part of the deck before it rises, and coalesces into Ling Chao. Seemingly recovered from her poorly thought out attempt to clear out the tear gas, her knife is next to form into slidity, flipped backwards in her palm as she stares down Cameron and the other boarders.

At least, until that blast of green light fills the air. She stops, looking around the deck to the others - whatever this may mean escapes her, but Cameron's remark gives her pause regardless.

She has mere moments to decide if she cares about whatever's happened, knife held tight in her grip as her eyes narrow.

"Hey," Monica shouts in Ling's direction, "smoke lady. Take this one," she says, turning Kain in that direction to pass him off. It's possible this is more to give Ling something else to do than think about where to put her knife.

"Stand down," she calls out to the rest of the crew, then she leans over the rails to grab for Silas. "You got a little soggy, there, Lassie," she says as she pulls him back toward the ship. Eve will have to handle Cameron and his disbelief, since Monica has her hands full.

Oh shit it's the Tommyknockers, Silas thinks blearily as green light washes over everything. Tommyknockers? Really? a part of his brain that is somehow still lucid despite his surprise swim in the middle of a pirate engagement asks, distantly incredulous. Somehow that possibility still seems more likely than the other potential meaning behind that green light, though… which should probably be cause for worry, honestly. Oh well.

The steady upward motion isn't something he's entirely sure is real, either… not until Monica pulls him up and over the railing and onto the deck. Not until she calls him by that nickname. That's when he knows for sure; he chuckles despite himself. "Sight for s-sore eyes, Zorra," he says, still shaking fiercely. "G-guess when you drive a boat you're s-supposed to keep the topside above the water. W-who'da thunk it?"

"Probly oughta get belowdecks. Turn on the heaters, see if I can g-get that bilgetub fired up so it'll b-be good and warm for l-later. I t-take back everything bad I ever s-said about that one, by the way," he says. "Got more crew out there. Gotta get em in and warm em up… then m-maybe a soak to get the chill out."

Despite this, he doesn't try to start shambling in that direction on his own. For one thing he's not entirely sure of his ability to make it on his own without falling, given how shaky he is at the moment… and he doesn't intend to go swimming again today if he can help it. Even if he had been steadier on his feet, though… there's still the matter of the Sizzler in their midst. Cease fire or no, he isn't sure enough of the situation to potentially offer himself up as a target of opportunity.

Closing his eyes and swallowing awkwardly, Cameron Spalding slowly raises his hands and lets his head hang. Drawing in a deep breath, he offers a slow shake of his head and then opens his eyes to look at the blood spilled across the deck, his jaw sets in anger and frustration. But then, there is just a look of certainty and coldness behind what would otherwise fiery eyes. "I surrender," is not what anyone involved in this confrontation expected to hear, and as Cameron eases down onto his knees and laces his hands behind his head, he looks up at that burning, green flare hanging high over the Prospero and wonders aloud:

"I hope you know what you're doing, Captain."

"I hope these deaths were worth it."

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