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Corrandion, Corridane
I am JT, Ringer, nutjob, and archer, in that order. I like animated films, epic films, book films, movie music, folk music, and the occasional random other thing. I make friends by accident and like it that way...

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31 May 2010

Chapter Eight

This chapter took me all week to finish properly.

Chapter VIII

At that particular moment, “The Admiral”, having taken his ship into an entirely different area of the ocean, had already met with a British frigate. Having sent the men to the men to the mess, he had gotten the cable sprung and the deck cleared for action. When this was finished, he gave the order to stand off and wait for the British to come to them.
Watching through the glass he had borrowed from the mate, Anthony saw that the British did not appear to intend to offer battle. Instead, they appeared content to stand off and wait for him to make the first move, just as he was doing to them. With a cry of disgust, Anthony exclaimed “We’ll wait around all day like this! What do you suppose their firepower is?”
“No less than ours, Sir.” Replied the mate “They’re testing their range now. As soon as they strike a hit, they’ll give us the full broadside.”
“But we’re not the men to squander our time exchanging fire with Brits. We’ll finish them and be done with it. Load the chasers.”
Saluting, the mate left the quarterdeck to have the order executed. Anthony then called to the Master. “Holmes! Bring her around to allow or chasers to bear!”
“Aye, Sir!” Acknowledging the order, Holmes turned the wheel until the ship had completed a ninety degree turn. This position had Anthony facing a full broadside with nothing but his chasers, two long twelves, and fully spread sails.
Testing the wind, Anthony called out “The wind’s coming in a point too far north. We’d best reef our sails for tacking way.” Accordingly, the crew, whom Anthony had spent the previous weeks drilling for nearly every situation, and so knew what was needed for tacking way (for they had learned the ship nearly as well as their Admiral had), swarmed up the ropes to comply with the orders. Meanwhile, the chasers had been brought to bear and fired. The report on the success of the shots was one word. “Unknown.”
“Unknown! What is that supposed to mean to me! You hit them or you didn’t, and I won’t stand to hear any ‘far’s or ‘short’s either! They’re Brits! And they want me dead or alive! You’re to do your utmost to sink that bloody ship!”
The effect of this outburst was to cause the Mate to leave the quarter-deck looking rather annoyed. Anthony could hear him telling the Master “Turn her back around for the full broadside. We’ll never gain any prize-money this way.”
From the quarter-deck, Anthony called “This is fair warning! Overruling my orders again will land you in the brig with no hope of prize-money!” Directing his orders at the Master, he continued “Bring us down under their bow! We’ll run out the guns!”
As he was speaking, his words a broadside aimed a t their original position came whistling by. Fortunately, the Master had already begun to execute his orders, and the balls did little material damage, being necessarily off target on account of their sudden movement. Anthony laughed at the sight. “What is wrong with them, if it takes ‘em five minutes to center their broadside?! Soon they’ll learn the power of firing at will! Test our chasers’ range again! With chain!”
In compliance with Anthony’s orders, the chasers were reloaded, this time with chain shot. As the ship was bearing closer to the foe every minute, the gunners were ordered to hold their fire until the word was given. The word they were all waiting for was given when Anthony’s ship had come within twenty feet of crossing the Briton’s bow. There was an awful crashing sound as the chain shot flew through the side and on through the deck of the English ship. As the chaser gunners began to cheer their success, Anthony gave the order the rest had been waiting for. “Starboard Battery! Ready your guns! We’re coming under them now! Wait for the word!” The deck fell silent, waiting on the Admiral’s word, though the crew remained so tense that Anthony felt he could almost feel the strain the anticipation placed upon them.
Anthony allowed one second, which felt like an eternity to his excited crew, elapse before he released everyone by shouting “Fire!” Only a second later, the whole Starboard battery had fired simultaneously. The men watched in delight as their broadside succeeded in nearly blowing apart the front end of the English ship. “Bring us alongside to board!”
Within minutes, the Master had brought the ship alongside their battered foe. Anthony himself was in the forefront as his crew stormed across. As soon as his feet had touched the deck, Anthony’s blades were out, dealing death indiscriminately to the British marines lined up to oppose them. Having made his way through the marines, Anthony continued, making for the quarterdeck, where he was bound to find the English Captain. He had judged correctly.
As he came charging up the steps to the quarterdeck, the English Captain leveled a pistol at him and fired. In one swift moment, Anthony felt the ball hit him, noted the position of his enemy, and also noted the position of the rope which supported the flag. In the next moment, as he fell, he launched one of his swords at the English Captain and the other at the rope on which hung the flag. In the following moment, both Captains fell to the deck, as the British colors came whistling down to lay draped over the side of the ship.
The dueling crews, who to this point had been too preoccupied with their own fighting to notice what had happened on the quarter-deck, now turned their contest toward that place in efforts to save their captains. After a few minutes of furious fighting, a handful of men from Anthony’s crew reached the spot where he lay prostrate on the quarterdeck. As they knelt down around him, wanting to know where he had been hurt.
“Get off me! Leave me and gather the prisoners! Do you think I’ve been hit! Save your worry for when I really have been hurt! Don’t you worry; I won’t face such a bad shot every time!”
Complying with the orders, Anthony’s crew hauled in the British colors and began disarming the gloomy crew. Retrieving their Admiral’s sword from the body of his slain English counterpart, they lifted the body and unceremoniously tipped it into the ocean.
In the hour which followed, Anthony set his crew to the task of repairing the damage which the British had managed to inflict upon his own ship. As he waited for a report concerning the progress of the ongoing repairs to a shot-hole which had been found below decks after most of the British prisoners had been transferred to Anthony’s ship. After some time on the deck alone, Anthony called “Pass the word for Michael. Tell him I have words for him.”
The crew complied, and a few minutes later, Michael came striding across the deck, marching evenly across to Anthony’s position.
As he watched his son come toward him, Anthony thought to himself “He’s a born seaman, and he’s also the independent type. It’s about time I began teaching him the finer points of seamanship, to put him on the line to post rank.” By the time he had finished with these thoughts, Michael was standing beside him, waiting politely for his father to tell him why he had been called.
“I’m proud of you, my son.” Anthony began. Seeing that Michael did not appear to know what to make of this, he continued. “You’ve shown yourself to be a fine seaman, deserving of a higher rank. I know’ you will say it is favoritism, coming from me, but to tell you the truth, few of the midshipmen I have seen were better seaman. One of the privileges bestowed upon midshipmen, though, is the command of prizes. Let me see you take command of the crew repairing that ship we captured today. Tell them I ordered you to take command.”
“Aye, Sir.”
As Michael strode away, Anthony caught sight of two shining knives in his belt. Surprised, Anthony called after his son “When did you get those?”
“Looted ‘em off a man I killed in fair combat. Didn’t take anything else from anyone.”
“Reflexes and luck. You’ve had no training in combat yet. Train yourself with those and they’ll save your life many times.”
“Aye, Sir.” Michael repeated, turning and continuing on his way.
“And one more thing.” Anthony continued, causing Michael to stop short. “I put you under no restraint. No orders. Nothing. Except this: survive. You know you’re my only son. As such, you must return to me.”
“If I run a blockade or fight a ship of the line, I would not hesitate. I will come home. I only wish I could be sure of the same for you.” Michael answered as he prepared to disembark from the ship.
Anthony began to pace the quarterdeck once more, saying to himself “We’ll both survive. Don’t worry about that. I only wonder how many dangers we’ll both to have to fight through before we’re back at home again. You’ll be a different boy when we meet again. May your namesake protect you.”

24 May 2010

Chapter Seven

The system refuses to include my footnotes. I'll explain later.

Chapter VII

About three weeks after Mark’s accident, John, Dameon’s son, was on watch in the crow’s nest, with a spyglass at his eye, when he spotted a strange sail on the horizon which appeared to be set on a course to meet the Ricer. Alerting the deck, he shouted down “Ahoy the deck! Strange sail bearing straight for our bow! They’re coming up fast!”
Gauging the direction of the wind as he spoke, Dameon called back “Can you make out their colors yet?”
“No, Sir! I can’t, yet!”
“Then we must be careful, for most ships don’t run up their true colors until they’re about to fire. The wind seems to be coming from their direction.” Lowering his tone to a normal level, he called “All hands to tack Port-side!” In moments, the crew, who had become better seamen every day, had begun the maneuver without any further orders from Dameon. A minute later, Dameon shouted to David, whose watch was on deck at the time. “Bring her about to give our friends the full broadside!”
“Aye, Sir!” David called back, turning the wheel until the full Port-side battery was facing the approaching ship.
“Hold it there! Beat to quarters! Beat to quarters!” Dameon called when this had been done. Finally, he called up to John once more. “You should be able to make out the colors now! What do you make of them?”
“Spanish, Sir! I can see it’s the Spanish colors!”
“Spanish colors, eh? You hear that, crew? We’ve a battle on our hands! John! What do you make of the Spaniards’ firepower?”
John was slow to answer this inquiry. “Can’t tell. They’re still beating to quarters!”
“Still beating to quarters? We can’t sit here all day! Give ‘em a taste of our rice!” A moment later, a gun went off. Dameon watched the track of the ball. “Much too high, but it’ll get them set more quickly. Now?” The last word was addressed to John once more.
“They’re running their guns out one at a time! I can count them! That’s five, six, seven…” He trailed off as he began to concentrate harder on the opposing ship. About two minutes later, when he had reached the final gun, he called down “Thirty-seven on one side alone!” His voice had begun to show a hint of fright. “They’re bigger then we are! How are we going to win?”
“Come down now, that’s an order!” Turning to David, Dameon continued “A seventy-four, eh? Haven’t we survived a seventy-four before today?”
“You did? It must have been after we captured this one and I left. How did you fare that time?”
Remembering the event brought Dameon to the edge. He spat out something in Gaelic before replying “The Spanish were cowards. They refused to fight. Instead they held off and boarded us after dark. It appears that this commander though, prefers to stand and fight like a man.”
“Or, as the case may be, like a true ship of the line.” David answered, drawing a sarcastic laugh from Dameon.
At that moment, one of the men standing by the guns called out “Captain! They’re changing their position. They’re coming in closer!”
“What are you waiting for? Fire at will! It’s a seventy four, men! A broadside now from us would be within the rules of fair combat, as we’re only a sixty! Knock her masts away!”
Within two minutes, the Ricer’s full Port broadside had fired at the oncoming enemy. Several shots fell short or landed on the other side of the foe, but at least twenty found their marks. Dameon watched in satisfaction as two of the opponent’s masts began to fall. He could still see the Spanish captain standing on his quarterdeck, though. The sight almost reduced his mood to bitterness. “I guess we’ll have to fire again.”
As he turned to say this, the Spaniards’ broadside returned his fire. David pulled him down not a moment too soon. The Spaniards had loaded with grapeshot and swept the deck. Dead and wounded men lay all over. The Starboard battery rushed out to move the bodies and take their places. By this time, the guns had been reloaded. “Hole them!” Dameon shouted from his position flat on the deck.
The Ricer returned fire, causing massive casualties to the Spaniards. After this was done, Dameon stood to see that the Spanish captain appeared to have had enough; he was holding up a white flag and having his launch, which had miraculously survived Dameon’s fire, lowered to row across.
At this, Dameon called to his gunners “Hold your fire. It appears that we’re to get a truce.”
Unfortunately, one gunner who appeared to believe he would earn something extra for finishing the opposing captain fired a moment too late. Noticing the action and the result, Dameon exclaimed “Put that man under guard! Firing at a white flag is unspeakable cowardice!”
The Ricer’s crew watched the Spanish Captain swim toward their ship from the fragments of his launch. When he had reached the side, they threw him a lifeline, leveling pistols at him as climbed on to the deck. Still watched by an armed guard, the Spaniard made straight for Dameon. Stopping only a foot away from him, the Spaniard swept off his hat, pushed his long bangs out of his eyes, leaned in, and said slowly “I- am – the- Phantom.” Leaning back once more, he said with a laugh “Nice way to greet a good friend like me, isn’t it? Firing on me because I’m sailing under my crew’s colors!”
Dameon began to reply, saying “Spain is at war with America-“ Then the truth hit him like a knockout punch from his nephew, nearly causing him to stagger. “Joseph Sponsler the Spymaster! How did you survive?! And what did you mean by firing on me?!”
Joseph shrugged off Dameon’s surprise. “Long story. I stopped as soon as I recognized you. Are you, by any chance, able to take me home? I’ve been away for six years; I’m desperate to see my boys.”
“Then you won’t have to go far.” David replied. “I brought them along. Pass the word for Matt.” He added to a crew member standing by, who appeared to be in shock.
Dameon turned back to Joseph. “So how did you survive? Last time I saw you, it was at least three years ago, and your ship had just been disabled by a British broadside. The mizzenmast fell on you, you remember?”
“Yes, I do remember. How did I survive, you ask? It was like this. You may have thought you saw the mast fall on me, but the truth is that as the mast was falling, it got caught in the sail, which had not been reefed, leaving the whole expanse of it to come down with the mast. Anyhow, the sail was dragging the whole mast down, even though it was still tied on. This caused the mast to catch in the rigging of the next one, which allowed me to dive underneath and keep out of sight. I collected four of my crew who had survived, and we lowered the launch. I borrowed a man’s spare outfit, and we rowed around to the extreme outward edge of the battle. From there, we later joined Gabriel’s attack, even to the extent of dressing ourselves as Britons and boarding to your rescue. After the battle was won, I worked before the mast under your command, having sworn the lower deck to secrecy, until we reached Boston, where I disembarked by night and immediately took passage aboard the next ship for France.”
“Then how is that you are now the Captain of a Spanish ship of the line?”
“Master spies have their own way of doing such things. I need not elaborate.”
“Fine. Be that way if you wish, oh superior Spymaster Joseph.” Dameon replied with a hint of sarcasm. “Your son has arrived.”
Upon hearing this last statement, Joseph turned to see Matt coming out of Dameon’s cabin. As he approached, he was speaking. “Apologies, sir. I was visiting with Mark. Apparently, your men did not think of looking there for me.”
“That makes no difference now. A man you should meet has just arrived by way of the Spanish ship.”
“But I thought warships didn’t take passengers?”
“They don’t normally do so. And this man was the Captain of that ship.”
At this point, Joseph decided to speak. He began in Spanish. “Hola, mi amigo joven. Mi nombre es Joseph y tu y su hermano Mark estan mi hijos. Yo soy muy feliz es mir tu. (Hello, my young friend. My name is Joseph and you and your brother Mark are my sons. I am very happy to see you.)”
Matt looked at Dameon with confusion written on his face. Dameon translated the introduction bluntly. “He’s your father, boy. Didn’t you understand that?”
Returning to English, Joseph explained “Well, actually, he doesn’t know any Spanish yet because I had forgotten to teach him before I asked David to take him. Go get your brother, son.”
David spoke up. “He can’t. Mark sprained his ankle three weeks ago and has not yet been cleared for action.”
“Three weeks, already! If I remember Mark at all, he’s wasting away! I had best go see him. Matt, run ahead and let him know.” Joseph answered.
As Joseph was speaking, Matt had run ahead to tell Mark of his appearance. Joseph could hear Matt’s excited cries through the closed door. Motioning for Dameon to come with him, Joseph strode over to the cabin door. Leaning on it casually, they listened.
“Mark! Wake up! Have you heard what happened after the fight stopped?”
“No. You were only in here a minute ago telling me about the battle.”
“ You remember that I was watching out the window at the time? Well, after the firing was halted, it appears that the Spanish Captain crossed over in his launch, but somebody tried to sink him, so he swam to our ship, climbed aboard, walked straight to the Captain, and said something that sent him into shock. Then they sent for me. When I arrived, the Spanish captain spoke to me, but since I didn’t understand, our captain turned to me and said…”
Taking his weight off the door, Joseph whispered “This is where I appear.” When Dameon had moved aside to let him through, Joseph opened the door and said “Your father, Mark. I’m your father. If you don’t remember me, I haven’t seen you boys since you were twelve. That might explain it.
Rather than the excitement of Matt, Mark displayed more of the cool reserve he had shown at his first meeting with Dameon. “So you are my father? I was told that you had died. In fact, I suspected it for a year before my Godfather came to confirm the belief. In the extremely unlikely case that you had survived, and they were mistaken, I did not expect that I would be faced with a Spanish captain who appears to be fluent in several languages.”
“So you doubt me? What was the first thing your father taught you to do?”
“Why do you ask? If I tell you, you will only say that you knew the answer. I must hear you say it yourself.”
Suddenly, Joseph was laughing. “Mark, Mark! You remember me! Just say so! I can see it in your eyes! You know that your first real lesson with your father was when I taught you to read “I am a spy. Destroy this message.” in Gaelic, Spanish, and French! Didn’t I?”
“Yes. I remember that. You’ve proved yourself. I believe you’re wanted on the deck, though. They’re calling for you.”
It was true. A moment after Mark had told him, Joseph could hear David shouting for him to come out, followed by the distinctive sound of a cannon going off. “Joseph! Joseph! What did you tell those Spaniards when you left?!”
Leaving the cabin, Joseph replied “I told them to cease fire and make repairs to the ship!”
“You need to do something, because they’re disregarding your orders!” David shouted back as a ball sailed overhead.
Walking quickly over to Dameon once more, Joseph whispered something in his ear. David then heard Dameon reply “Are you popular enough to make this work?”
“I believe so. It’s the best thing you can do short of beating to quarters under fire and trying to fight it out, which you don’t want to try.”
“You’re right about that.” Suddenly, Dameon pulled a gun from his belt and pointed it at Joseph, marching him to the rail. Once there, Joseph began shouting emphatically in Spanish, waving his arms to attract the attention of the mate with the glass. A moment later, they saw with relief that the mate had put down his glass and appeared to be shouting at the Spanish crew himself. Soon afterwards, the guns which had been run out disappeared as the gunports were closed.
“Well. It appears that you were correct on that score.” Dameon remarked to Joseph after the Spaniards had stopped firing. “Now, you’d best return to them now, for if you stay any longer, they will suspect us of treachery and open fire once more.”
“That’s true. Tell my boys I will come home as soon as the war is over. I’ll charter my own ship if I have to.” With that, Joseph leapt overboard and began to swim back to the Spanish ship.
Watching Joseph’s progress toward the other ship, Dameon said to himself “There goes a brave man and a good friend. The Lord only knows if I’ll ever see him again, but his boys will return home if it costs me my life.” Turning away from the rail, he continued “David! What’s the damage?”
“Surprisingly, nothing but a few sliced ropes and four killed, five wounded.”
“That many? And Joseph never even offered to replace them!”
“No doubt he didn’t want to force you to force hostile men to work together. The problems could have ruined you.”
“You think so? Forget that. Tell Gabriel I want the course set two points north.”
“Aye. Where are we making for?”
“Spain. We’ll leave the Brits to the Admiral.”

20 May 2010

Delay 2

Chapter seven is longer than I first meant it to be. It will be ready by Monday.- Captain Joseph, Spymaster

17 May 2010

Chapter Six

Hope Danny enjoys this chapter. He retains his dignity, and it includes his favorite line. It's also been stretched to five pages.

Chapter VI

“Let it go!” Dameon shouted from the quarterdeck of the brothers’ ship, the Montana Ricer. He stood silently for a moment, watching the pressed crew’s rather pitiful attempts to tie down the maintopsail. As his lieutenant, David, stepped forward, he remarked “Lubbers, all of ‘em. These are the men expected to save America for the second time?”
“Don’t let it bother you. We gave them surprisingly short notice, as you know.” David replied, adjusting his hat.
Turning, Dameon answered “And how come I didn’t see you down there relaying the orders like good lieutenants do?”
“Simple. I was below, tallying the stores.”
“And is everything there?”
“Everything. Except powder and balls.”
“What?! Why are those missing?”
“Ask the yardmen. I ordered them.”
“The yardmen must be Brits, to hold powder and balls back from an American ship of war.”
“Maybe they are. But it’s your problem, not mine. You’re the Captain.”
“I’ll see to it, then. Meanwhile, get the men arranged in watches.”
“Aye.” Was all that David said in reply, as he touched his hat in salute and left the quarterdeck.
Nearly twenty minutes later, it having taken that long to arrange the crew in the proper manner to see the captain off the ship, David seized the speaking-trumpet and shouted through it. “You! Beat the call as I instructed you!”
The startled seaman standing nearest to the large drum on the deck began beating it furiously as David shouted through the trumpet. “All hands on deck! All hands on deck!”
It took several minutes longer than David had hoped, but another ten minutes later, the entire crew down to the last pressed militiaman acting in place of a marine, were arranged in suitable lines. The moment they were settled, David addressed them.
“Men! If you’re worried about your standing on this ship, worry no more, for we need every one of you, and there isn’t a man aboard who has served on a ship before, excepting your Steersman and your Officers. I could tell just by having been forced to wait so long to see you all here. So we’re all in the same boat, see.” This phrase, being so fit for their current position, set the men laughing. Striving hard to stifle his own laughter, David called “Silence!” through the trumpet several times. When they were quiet, he resumed. “It is now my duty to assign your positions on board the ship, and your hours on watch. There are six boys on this ship, and I believe that we only need four, which means that the two eldest, those twins on the end whom I still can’t tell apart, ought to be ranked as Master’s Mates, so they can learn something useful.”
“What do master’s mates do, exactly?” Mark asked.
Gabriel answered from the other side of the line. “They learn to sail the ship under the Master, that being myself, who does the sailing.”
“We might actually get to sail the ship?”
“Might, yes. But most of it would have to be hearsay and memory until Gabriel is certain that you know how to steer. And now, to continue our present business.” Without further interruption, David assigned a position to each of the men and dismissed the company. “As soon as you hear the call, I expect all of you to present yourselves to dress the side for the Captain’s arrival.”
“Aye, sir.”
A short time later, as the sails were being unfurled under David’s orders, he heard a shout come from a boat approaching the ship, which could only be Dameon coming back. “Deck there! Captain’s returning!”
Immediately, David began calling “Belay! Hands to dress the side!”
In another moment, the ship’s company was lined up properly, standing shoulder to shoulder at a right angle to the rail, while the fifer began playing on his pipe. A minute later, Dameon was on his own deck once more. Dismissing the men, he turned to David and spoke, his accent returning to his native lowland Scottish as it always did when he was upset.
“The rouges! Those swindlers? Calling themselves dockhands in America? A deaf man could tell they’re bloody Englishmen!” Having roused himself this far, Dameon went even farther: when he was murderously angry, he would begin shouting in Gaelic, much of which would have made even an unsophisticated sailor cringe.
Once Dameon had stopped, David, who had only vaguely understood the Gaelic, replied “Are you sure? Do you really think they’re that bad?”
“Of course! As sure as I’m the Armstrong they’re that bad! That’s why I avoid Englishmen like the plague, unless I’ve got them on the wrong side of a hot gun that I’m about to fire!”
“That may be, but you need to calm yourself now, for you know as well as I do that a captain who doesn’t keep his temper in check is in danger of mutiny and court-martial.”
“Don’t worry. I am calm enough now anyway. I shall need some men to load our powder and shot, though.”
Turning around, David spotted four men leaning over the rail on the other side of the ship, talking among themselves. Speaking sharply, he called them over. “You four! Over here!” When they had come close enough, he continued “Get yourselves into the launch. We’ve not finished loading.”
As the men went down the side into the launch, which not yet been raised since Dameon’s arrival, Dameon told David “I want no ceremony this time. Just have the men ready to stow the stores when I return.”
“May I ask why you seem so nonchalant about your return to the yard? Surely you’re no mood to face those Brits again so soon?”
“I knocked ‘em down. I’ve never met a Brit that a brave Scottish arm couldn’t knock down, and I don’t expect to. I have just one order for you: while I’m gone, I want you working the crew, to find out if your old ship still sails like it used to.”
Saluting, David stood silently until Dameon had gone around the bow of the ship. Then, he retrieved his speaking trumpet once more and called out “Hands to wear ship!”
Five minutes later, the maneuver was completed, and the old Ricer had her bow pointed toward the open sea. David spoke again. “Not a particularly bad job, considering that all of you are lubbers. But we really must be faster than that. If we were chasing a ship, or being chased ourselves, we could have been overtaken in the time it took us to wear. Bear that in mind, and now put a reef in the sails.”
It was nearly an hour later when David spotted Dameon returning. Dameon appeared to have ‘borrowed’ the yard’s barge and hired several more men to help his men with the load. In minutes the barge was tied alongside the Ricer and the crew had commenced the loading of so0me of the most important stores on a ship of war; the powder and balls. These were many and large, for the Ricer carried fifty thirty-two pounders and two twelve- pounders in the bow. When the task was finished, David approached Dameon once more and saluted, saying “All stores present and correct, Sir.”
“I should know. I’ve seen them already. What do you think those two boys over there on the port rail are doing?”
Turning around to discern who was meant, David saw Mark and Matt talking amiably. Mark appeared to be imitating hauling a fishing line, as both strived to stifle their laughter.
“What are they doing idling by the rail like that? What are they supposed to be doing, anyhow?”
“I assigned them as Master’s mates. They’re under Gabriel on board ship.”
“Call them over anyway. If we don’t try to keep them under discipline now, they’ll stretch their luck too far someday. Remember when I warned them that their father’s memory wouldn’t keep them out of the brig if I caught them?”
“Yes” David answered resignedly. Raising his voice, he called to them. “Mark, Matt, the Captain wants you!”
Looking up, the twins replied “The Captain wants us? On the double, then!” A moment later, they were racing across the deck, causing David to leap out of their way to avoid being knocked into Dameon like a domino. They skidded to a halt only two feet from Dameon.
When they had come to a complete stop, Dameon said “Why are you two not doing your duty?”
“The Master excused us, Sir.”
“He did? Well tell that your leave is revoked, and he’s to come on deck to get the ship underway. It’s high time we were gone.”
Just then, Dameon was hailed from the crow’s nest. “Deck there! Admiral’s flagship is signaling, Sir!”
“What’s the message?”
Reading the message took the man a few minutes, as he was consulting the signal-book for every letter. “Send my boy across. I am leaving on the tide!”
Speaking to David once more, Dameon said “Is he? As if we aren’t! Pass the word for Michael, though. Anthony wants him on board his own ship. He must send us a midshipman to replace him, though” Shouting up to the signalman, he continued “Acknowledge, man, and request a replacement.”
“Aye, Sir!”
It was only then that Dameon noticed that Gabriel had been waiting silently for a chance to report throughout his dialogue concerning Anthony’s message. He turned to look at Gabriel. “And what do you want?”
“Reporting for duty, Sir.”
“Good. I’m also glad to see that you know the importance of discipline. Make your preparations to get this ship underway. We’re racing Anthony out of the harbor.”
“We are?”
“Not exactly. But to uphold his dignity as an Admiral, he’ll feel bound to run a ship better than we do. Do you see my meaning?”
“Aye.” Saluting Dameon, Gabriel said “The tide is still rising. We should get the anchor in before it begins to ebb, or we’ll miss the tide we’ve been waiting for.”
Taking the hint, David called to the drummer. “Beat the hands to the windlass. We’re taking in the anchor!”
Only two minutes later, after a few vigorous beats to the drum, several crewmen were marching energetically around the windlass, hauling in the anchor. That done, Dameon continued “Loosen the mainsail and break out the mizzensail and the foresail!” A few minutes later, this was also completed. As the last sail was tallied, Dameon checked the wind and the tide. “Couldn’t have done it better;” he remarked to David “Wind’s from the west, and tide’s just beginning to ebb.”
Every other man seemed to have to have noticed this also, as a rousing cheer went up all along the ship a moment later. “Silence!” Dameon called “Master’s watch is to remain on deck. All others go below!” He watched as most of the crew filed down the hatchway. He could hear Gabriel, now that the ship was underway, giving orders to the twins. “Go heave the log. Let it trail behind us for a minute and tell me how many knots go underwater.”
“Aye, Sir.” The twins replied. Finding the log, they threw it overboard and watched it for a few moments, then called “Five, Sir!”
“Only five! This old tub sails faster than that, though of course we don’t have all the sails set and there’s no current in the harbor. Bring it in now.”
Deciding that, as yet, the Master’s information could be ignored, Dameon turned to David and said “Raise the colors.”
“If you look, you can see that someone’s done that already.”
Dameon looked and saw a – Jolly Roger flying from the masthead. “Wha-Who put that thing up there?”
“Would you like a guess?”
“No, no. Just get that struck instantly.”
A few minutes later, as David was busy having Old Glory raised, another cheer went up from the watch. Looking up, he saw what had caused the noise. “We’ve beaten Anthony out of the harbor, clear and away! I’m afraid he’ll be stuck there all day until the tide returns, unless he has himself rowed off!” With that, David joined in the cheers.
The next morning, as Dameon rose to put on his best sea-boots, he got an unpleasant surprise. His boots made loud squelching sounds as he pulled them on. Pulling them off again hastily, he turned them upside-down and soon discovered that there was an inch of water on his cabin floor which had not been there moments before. Angrily, he exclaimed “My best pair! Ruined!” Retrieving his second pair, he stomped out of his cabin, slamming the door. As he emerged, he could hear laughter coming from behind the foremast, across the ship from Dameon’s cabin. Starting toward it, Dameon saw the twins split up and break away to hide. Deciding to catch one and find out which one he was later, Dameon came after the one who appeared to be heading for David’s cabin. “So he thinks his Godfather’ll protect him from me! Not on board!” he thought to himself. “David! Get out here! I need you!”
“I’d love to come, but my best boots were full of seawater!”
“They did yours too?”
“Yes. And there’s a live fish in one of them!”
A minute later, David came out, and thy soon caught the twin, who proved to be Matt. As he climbed up the mast, Matt called “It was Mark’s idea! You’ll find him some where in the hold!”
Going toward the nearest hatchway, Dameon and David soon began to hear loud groans coming from the hold. As they began to come down the ladder, they heard Mark’s voice. “No, please! Don’t come down! You’ll step on me!”
“Fine. We’ll lower a line. Are you able to hold on?”
“Yes, just get me out of here!”
A few minutes later, David and Dameon hauled up a thoroughly depressed Mark. When they let him go to see if he could stand, he nearly collapsed on the deck. “I’ll have to confine you to my cabin.” Dameon announced “You’re not fit to do anything. You won’t be for weeks. You had some promise. Now Matt will be a better Master than you will. At least now we’ll know which of you is which. We’ll just ask you each to steer a ship.”
Taking this as sarcasm, Mark laughed loudly as David helped him toward Dameon’s cabin.

15 May 2010


You will probably notice that I have made some slight changes to my blog arrangement. I have removed the poll concerning my film. It will reappear after the film has been finished, so you can vote after having seen the actors' performances. Also, I have rearranged my playlist and turned shuffle off to reflect my top twenty tracks, though the other twenty-two that come after them are not necessarily in that order. Hoping to talk to my cast today. -The Phantom?

13 May 2010

Chapter Five

It was actually so short, that here it is. You might as well still read the other post though. And yes, I deleted chapter 6. chapter 7 is now chapter 6.

Chapter V

Little had happened since the day of the battle with the highwaymen, but the enthusiasm of the returning sailors had not diminished.
Their first stop once they reached Boston was the admiralty office. Upon arrival in front of the door, they all leapt out, racing to knock on the door. Only a moment before they reached it, however, the door opened, causing all of them to stumble inside and collapse in a heap, so great had their speed been.
The Admiral, looking up from the papers on his desk, only remarked “Not a very dignified way to enter, I must say. You must present yourselves properly before I will hear what you wish to say.”
Silently, everyone rose from the floor, straightened up, and marched outside again. After they had spent several minutes doing their best to dust off their coats and hats, they formed into a perfectly straight line and marched through the door, facing the desk in a line, all saluting stiffly.
When they were finally in place, the Admiral spoke again. “Much better. Now who are you and what are you here for?”
Dameon elected himself spokesman for the rest. “My apologies, Sir. I can only say that we are eager to return to the open sea, and those feelings seem to have carried themselves farther than they should. Allow me to present us. My brother and his son, David and Luke. My other brother and his son, Anthony and Michael, and my other brother and his son, Gabriel and Raphael. The two boys on the end are the eldest sons of the late Joseph Sponsler. Lastly, my son John and myself, Captain Dameon Mellino.”
“It may come as a surprise to you who are older, but Anthony there has been commissioned to flag rank. Work has begun on his squadron.”
In reply to this announcement, Anthony stepped forward and said “Pardon me, sir, but do I actually have a ship yet?”
“Yes. Your flagship is to be that line-of-battle ship of sixty guns that your brothers captured in the last war.”
Unable to hold back their excitement any longer, Dameon and David exclaimed suddenly “That ship? Be grateful! We nearly died five times capturing it!” Taking their leave of the Admiral, they lead their party out into the cab once more.
The Admiral, who looked stunned at their departure, called after them “Have you lost your minds? You can’t win a war with only one hundred and ten guns!”
En masse, the party replied “We can!”


Having been busy with school, I was unable to work on chapter five of Reunions and Destinies this week. I could have it posted by next Monday, but I'm still not sure. Also, even with all the effort I put into it, my movie is on the brink of collapse because I recently discovered that our cameraman got himself a Summer job. A later post will confirm whether this setback can be resolved or if the whole thing is off. -The Phantom?

10 May 2010

Chapter Four

It turns out that this chapter was only one and a half pages. The next one will be longer though.

Chapter IV

The next morning, Franz Turphoil, who had lain senseless throughout the night, woke early. The first thing he noticed on rising was that his coach was missing from the road. “Those scoundrels!” he shouted at the empty road “They stole my coach! What am I to do now?” This response was prompted by the fact that Turphoil was a slothful worker who made no effort to work unless he was paid a high price. Accordingly, he sat himself down upon the grass to wait until some one drove by.
A short time later, a farmer drove by on his way into the town. Turphoil rose quickly and called “Have pity on a coach driver who’s fallen afoul of thieves!”
Stopping, the carter replied “You don’t look as if you’ve been set upon by thieves. Are you sure you’re in your right mind?”
“Oh yes sir! I am! They tied me up deeper into the forest, and I have only just escaped!” Turphoil’s lies were compounded by the fact that he did not actually remember the truth, having been knocked out so quickly.
Minutes later, he climbed into the back of the cart thinking to himself “Ha! At least I can still get my revenge on those sailors.” He soon drifted off to sleep, lying in a foul-smelling pile of garlic.
Meanwhile, soon-to-be sailors, after having driven all night, were resting by the roadside toasting some of their traveling provisions over a small fire which Dameon had made. Gabriel, who was in the habit of keeping a journal, was taking the opportunity to record the recent events. Finishing, he closed the book and stood up, announcing “We’re about eight hours ahead of schedule. We lost a lot of time during the fight, but driving all night has given us enough leeway to make it to Boston with plenty of time to spare. I’m going to sleep now to be sure that I don’t doze off on the box.”
As he was speaking, Mark looked up from his meat to see that Matt was sitting silently on a large stone several yards away. Swallowing his last bite, Mark rose silently and began creeping up behind his brother, hoping to surprise him. He was completely successful, causing Matt to shout and turn around to look at him.
Having gained Matt’s attention, Mark asked him “What’s on your mind? You’re not still sad about Father, are you? You’re a Sponsler! Learn to put troubles like that behind you, because where we’re going, there’ll be worse thing to worry about. Father wasn’t afraid to die, so you shouldn’t be so miserable that he did, either. Believe me, under the surface, I’m just as depressed as you look. Put a grin on your face and come with me. You need to eat before we leave.”
Nearly six hours later, they were still rattling along in the coach. Raphael was driving, because, astoundingly, Gabriel was still asleep. As the coach jerked over a small bump in the road, he came awake with a start. He was so shocked that he began shouting. “Who-wha-where are you taking me, you villains?”
“Relax” Tony answered “You’re going to the same place as the rest of us. Boston and the open sea.”
Dameon leaned out the window. “Your father’s awake now boy. It would be best to let him drive for a time.”
Stopping the horses, Raphael swung himself inside through the open doorway. When he was seated, he replied “Now I know why the job is hard. I can hardly believe I’m still sitting down after that.”
“You’ll need to get used to it though, because we are driving in shifts after today!” replied Gabriel, who had by this time positioned himself in his accustomed spot. Cracking the whip over the horse’s heads, he continued “We’ve recovered stolen luggage and destroyed a band of thieves hundreds strong! Nothing will stop us after today!”
His words were tested only the following day, when, driving along a perfectly straight path, he spotted a tree trunk in the road ahead. He began to shout “Get your pistols primed! There are more thieves ahead or I’m a fish!” He cracked the whip several more times to speed the horses on. In moments, the coach was approaching the roadblock so fast that the boys believed the wheels would come off.
“Rise and fire!” In the next instant, three gunshots rang out as the coach cleared the barrier with inches to spare.

06 May 2010

Chapter Three

Gabriel has some fun here during this chapter. The next one will probably be delayed. Mention anything related to the story that's on your mind, because I enjoy the feedback. Thanks

Chapter III

Franz Turphoil lashed his horses unmercifully, cackling as he did “Aha ha ha! Hee hee hee! They shall pay! Will they not be surprised when they are chased and attacked as soon as they leave the harbor? And who shall have the honor of knowing that information? Only myself, no one else, and I shall claim the reward!”
A short time later he found that he was in need of food, for which reason he stopped a short way off the path to eat from the supplies which he had brought with him. As he ate, he failed to hear his pursuers come upon him from behind. A moment later, the bread and meat had been knocked from his hand and he was lying sprawled upon the grass, unconscious.
Luke, looking down at the comatose form which had lately been the target of his knockout blow, remarked “Well, I don’t think I like defeating enemies this way. Do you think of I’ve killed him, father?”
“If you had,” David replied, “it would be a surprise. Grown men who can kill with nothing but their fists are few and far between. Rest assured that he’ll be out like that for hours, but that he will rise again. Now, it is time for us to catch up with your uncle.”
As David was speaking, Dameon and his son had busied themselves with moving the body, while Mark and Matt calmed the horses and prepared them as best they could to start once more.
After they had let the horses rest for an hour, Dameon, Tony, and all of the boys took seats in the cab as David took the place of the driver. A moment later, they heard the whip crack as David snapped it in the air above the heads of the horses. The horses, scared by the ominous sound, began running at a breakneck speed, causing several of the coach’s occupants to bounce out of their seats, singing of the excitement that filled them at the thought of the adventures to come.
As the main party concluded their pursuit of the waylaid luggage, Gabriel and Raphael had run into far more serious trouble of their own. In moments, they found that they had ridden straight into the center of a surprisingly large band of highwaymen. As soon as he saw the men in front who were standing in the center of the path, Gabriel produced two pistols from beneath his cloak and announced “You can see well enough, if you’ve got eyes in your heads! We’re armed!”
The leader of the bandits scoffed at the challenge. Turning to the men behind him, he called “They’re armed, they say! Is that going to stop us from collecting our toll?” Turning back on the cab drivers, he concluded “No. It won’t. The toll is your life.”
In the moment of silence which immediately followed this announcement, Raphael heard his father say “We can survive until the others catch up with us, if every one of those guns out there misfires and explodes.”
“This is not part of the adventure I signed on for.” Raphael replied nervously.
“Don’t worry.” his father answered “It’s not like you’re going to die, is it?”
As he made this remark, they could hear the band leader berating his men. “Come now, attack them! They’re sitting up there like ducks with broken wings, and you haven’t killed them yet? Do I have to beat you?”
But he had reckoned without Gabriel Mellino, whom the men seemed to know and fear, as he had passed this way many times before while providing mail service between his hometown and the coast. Gabriel, remembering this, laughed in their faces and threw off his coat. Underneath, everyone could see a menacing array of weaponry which included two cutlasses, several more pistols and two pepperpots.
Drawing out several more pistols, Gabriel passed one to his son, ducking enemy fire as he instructed him “Watch their next round closely, avoid them ass you can, and then fire back. Listen for my call.”
“What are you doing?”
Gabriel appeared to ignore the question, jumping off the seat and swinging inside.
Mystified, but obedient, Raphael fired regularly until he heard his father calling to him. “I’ll need one of those pistols now!” Raphael quickly shoved one of the loaded guns so that slid along the seat and dropped off the edge. A moment later, he heard a loud bang from behind, and then his father’s voice. “Excellent. Blew out both windows, and hit a man on that side too. I’ll need another one!” Immediately, Raphael shoved another gun in the same direction as the first. Soon, he heard the explosion, followed by the sound of a door beginning to separate from it’s hinges.
Curiosity getting the better of him, Raphael scrambled to the edge and leapt down, shouting “Why exactly are you removing doors now? I’ve only got two more guns!”
“That’s perfect. One more shot’ll do it!”
“Do what, exactly?” Raphael asked as he handed his father the last pistol. As soon as he had said that, he knew what was up. The final shot blew the door completely off its hinges. Dropping the pistol, Gabriel pulled his two pepperpots from his belt and handed one to his son. “You take this. These’ll keep us alive awhile longer.” Grasping the door which he had removed from his cab, he continued “Pick up your end, and let’s give them a charge.”
Carrying the door, they abandoned their cover, catching the enemy unawares. Setting their wall down close by the coach, they leaned it against their shoulders and fired over it.
Ten minutes later, their pepperpots useless, they each took a cutlass in one hand, raised their shield with the other, and charged out into the midst of their enemies. Laughing maniacally, Gabriel challenged the robbers “Come and meet your friend Cold Steel! Though I must admit, he’s far more sociable escorted by my brother Tony! And, he doesn’t usually associate with cowards like you anyway! Prepare to die!”
Like two tornadoes Gabriel and his son tore unstoppably through the ranks of their opponents, slaying or maiming everyone within reach of their blades. They were still fighting furiously when a loud rumble startled them all.
Moments later, another coach arrived on the scene. The driver called out “Keep it up, Gabe, we’re only here to help!” In an instant, there were eight more sword-waving whirlwinds, led by Tony, slicing through the ranks of the robbers.
Taking on four men at once, Tony laid them all low. It only took him five more minutes to reach the leader. As the man drew his sword, Tony casually disarmed him, finished him off, and returned to the fray.
Half an hour later, the Mellinos and the Sponsler twins were left standing in the middle of a road otherwise vacated by living men. It took them another hour to clear the road, then, as the horses attached to Gabriel’s coach had, surprisingly, survived unscathed and were well rested, they all piled in once more and continued their journey.

03 May 2010

Chapter Two

This chapter is only two and one half pages long. And if you think my writing is awesome, you're in for a letdown at any moment.

Chapter II

The next morning, the whole party was up and about bright and early. They were making final preparations several days early so that they would be able to leave quietly when the time came. David was a prominent member of the town’s society, and his sudden disappearance would be sure to startle members of the highest circles. Thus, the quiet disappearance.
In the course of these preparations, Matt and Mark were allowed to venture into the town to place orders for various articles that David wanted to have on board his ship upon embarkation. Having done what had been asked, they were on their way back to David’s house when they heard a boy selling newspapers at the corner shouting “Britain declares war! 50,000 pounds offered for Tony Mellino, alive or dead! Britain declares war!”
The Sponslers stared at each other for a moment, exclaiming “Britain’s declared war? A price on the head of a Mellino? They need to know this!” With that, the boys raced down the block, got themselves a paper, and turned to run back to David’s house, singing “Adventure on the ocean! What do we care for war?”
With a final cry of what do we care for war?” they burst into the central room of David’s house. Their noise caused David to look up from what he was doing and ask them “Where have you been? Did you get the things?”
“Well, yes we did, Sir, and you’ll probably want to speed up your preparations after reading this.” Mark replied, as he passed the paper to Dameon. Looking over his brother’s shoulder, David exclaimed “Anchors away! This does change things! Gabe, go round up that other driver quick! We need to get out of town! Tony, stop what you’re doing, because you’re under arrest! Just kidding!”
Dameon cut in to David’s excitement to tell the boys “You two get up there and help them sort through those things. We need to work fast. Stand at attention when I speak, Midshipmen! If I catch you messing with anything, your father’s memory won’t keep you out of the brig!” Pointing them to the ladder, he turned back, muttering inaudibly.
Released by Dameon, the twins climbed the ladder quickly, and noticing Luke at the far end of the room, called out “Hey, Luke! Have you found out what is was that your father brought home from your Uncle’s shop a few days ago?”
“Yes, I have, actually.” Luke answered “Check it out! Be careful, because he doesn’t know that I’ve uncovered it yet!”
Mark caught the package Luke tossed to him, which was the same one he had seen David bring out of Tony’s shop, and unrolled it, remarking quietly “Great! It’s a pirate flag!” and rolled up in it’s package again. Signaling Matt to stand it front of him, he slid it down the back of his brother’s shirt, where it lay flat and would pass unnoticed. At an impatient cry from Dameon, who appeared to have lost his temper after hearing about the declaration of war, the boys got busy, and only twenty minute later, the upper room was clear. When they returned to ground level, Luke told Dameon “All clear up there, Sir, are we cleared to go below?”
“Go below? What would you mean by that at this time?”
“Leave. Is everything else arranged?”
“Yes. We’re just waiting for the cabs to show up.”
Two hours later, Dameon and his son John, David and his son Luke, Tony and his son Michael, the Sponsler twins, and Gabriel and his son, who were driving, were rattling along on the road out of their hometown.
After a long silence, John turned to Luke and remarked “I imagine that I”ll find it exciting to sail on a warship, won’t you?”
Luke answered “Oh no, don’t mention it! It’s making me sick already!”
As the others were speaking, Matt had looked out of the window and nearly screamed when he saw the empty road behind them. Putting his head out the window to speak to Gabriel, he called “You’ll have to go on without us, sir! We’ve got to recover our things!”
“What is going on?” Gabriel shouted back.
“No time to explain!” David called back “We’ll catch up with you later!” In the next moment, everyone riding inside had jumped off the coach and begun running back toward their starting point, chasing after the false aide, Franz Turphiol

01 May 2010

Random Good Vibes

(exhales) Well, it is a relief to finally have an extra follower, though I will admit that I was surprised that they turned out to be none other than my original follower's older sister. Glad you enjoy my writing, anyway. which brings me to my next note. Since I started posting Reunions and Destines on a Thursday, I will continue to post the following chapters on Thursday and Monday mornings, Pacific time. The story is not finished yet, so when I reach a point at which I have not finished writing yet, the chapter will be delayed until the following posting day. You will notice that each post gets a page to itself these days to accommodate the four-page chapters I will be posting periodically from this time on.
I would like to add that I am so close to catching up on my school homework that I will possibly finish it today, in which case, if the time is no longer reasonable today, you can expect me to call you sometime tomorrow.
I salute my new follower, but I have nothing more to say. May we reunite in Brandia! (on the telephone)